Pardon our #dust

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(full read at dawnlizjones.wordpress.com)  The work on the house is progressing.  Isn’t being a property owner just loads of, um…fun?

The ceiling in the dining room is now finished, and the new crown molding looks great, matching the rest of the downstairs which was done last summer.  Our wonderful contractor even patched up many of the cracks in the plaster, even though that wasn’t part of the “work order”.  (Gotta love IMG_20150410_191810206contractors who see what needs to be done, and just fixes it!)  I haven’t cleaned all the dust out of the kitchen, or moved the furniture back into the room, but it’s going to happen, I can just feel it…Haven’t gotten around to painting it all yet either—that’s my job for a later time.

The new bathroom is moving along also.  We managed just fine with seven people in the house over Easter weekend and only one functional commode and shower (we Americans are just so spoiled.)  Just today they replaced the old window with a new privacy opaque IMG_20150401_154857189_HDRone.  Now you can’t see how badly the window needs cleaning.  I wonder if that’s one of the draws of an “earth” home…??

I’ll admit, it’s all moving a little slower than I had hoped, but that’s only because I don’t have really any idea how long these things take.  Thoughts:

  • God sometimes has to move everything out of the way to get the job done. Schedules, toxic relationships, modern-day idols.  It makes the rest of our lives look a bit “undone” for a bit while the work is going on.  The nice thing is that when I do move the furniture back in, I can be choosey about what I put back into the space, perhaps a bit wiser than before.  This takes some planning and muscle on my part, a.k.a. diligence.
  • God fixes things beyond what we thought we needed fixed. Like my contractor who mended the cracked plaster in the walls—something that I had learned to “live with” as just part of my old house—so also God isn’t content to leave the cracked and peeling places in my life either.  After all, my life isn’t just my life, it ultimately belongs to Him, and He doesn’t settle for what seems to us to be “good enough”.  It takes humility to admit that there is more to the restoration process than I first admitted.
  • Sometimes things just take longer than we had hoped, doggone it! Of course, I could stop the upgrading project in the bathroom today if I so choose, but then the plumbing wouldn’t be very functional, negating the whole reason for the bathroom in the first place.  What God starts, He finishes, unless I choose to stop the program.  Patience is part of the grace He gives during the dust of construction in my life.

So during the upgrade, we have lived with the dining room table in the front room, a confused dog wondering who these people are and why they were rearranging his “cage”, and oh yeah, a short love note to my husband  written in the dust.

Who knows?  After moving the furniture back in, maybe I’ll even clean a few windows.  (Not….)

These Old Charming Houses

“Old houses have charm.”

Sure, okay.  I guess that depends on your definition of charm.  Like an obstinately leaking flat roof or creaky floor joists.  We have lived in our “charming” abode for over twenty years, and are s-l-o-w-l-y but surely getting it upgraded from charming to more functional.  Central air and the first attempt at a new roof came when we moved in.  Since then, we have successfully vaulted the flat roof, gutted and remodeled the downstairs bathroom, put in new ceilings, and improved the whole picture with new aluminum siding.  Currently, we are completely re-doing the upstairs “water closet”.

Of course, “we” is a euphemism for our wonderful and patient contractor, Dusty (which, personally, I think is a terrific name for a contractor, if you get my drift.)  Bob and I can barely hammer a nail in straight—that is, if we can find the hammer.  Dusty and his men really know their stuff.  And they didn’t even raise a stink when my over-curious husband checked out their work area to see the progress, promptly stepping into some construction goo that they had just carefully spread prior to laying the tile.  They have vision, and that gives them purpose.  They’re going for both functionality AND aesthetics!

 I love these guys.

But regardless of how careful and considerate they are (and they are!), when construction is in progress, you just can’t plan to dine a royal party in style in the middle of it.  And you also don’t want to rush the work, either.  It needs to be done properly and under experiended supervision so that the electricity doesn’t burn down the house and the plumbing doesn’t, well, you know.

Life is similar.  We all need to be remodeled, upgraded, re-done.  We are all under construction, and have our times of messiness.  People close by step in the sticky goo of our moral confusion, or have to be careful not to trip over the ripped off wallboard of our pain. 

Like my contractor, God is not deterred from His vision and purpose for us. All my goo, all my dust, it’s all temporary.  And Jesus didn’t die on a cross just to make me “functional”, although some of us would be thankful even for that!  No, He made the supreme sacrifice to make us beautiful, to make our lives count for eternity.

This Easter, don’t be afraid to hang up the “Under Construction” sign and put on a hard hat.  It’s what He now lives for!