Sat., Jan. 7, 2017
Hebrews 10:36 – You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
My life has been filled with restoration projects the last 18 months. August 2015, Rick and I bought a 110-year-old Victorian/Farmhouse that needed love. With basically good bones, we’ve put lots of time, effort and resources into making this “old girl shine” as Rick would say. About half of the house is done. Rick spent the summer restoring and adding onto the original carriage house. It’s still not done. How can restoring a carriage house take longer than remodeling a kitchen?
In 2016, restoration has been at one of the churches I serve. It started when I asked for new blinds and some paint. First, the basement and small upper room were repainted. Last summer, an addition to the church’s rear provided an indoor handicap entrance, a bathroom on the main level, dedicated office space for the church assistant and myself and a coffee bar with a fellowship area. Once the addition was completed, the sanctuary looked dowdy. Traffic flow was awkward. In five short weeks, the sanctuary was torn apart, rotated 90 degrees and restored. The transformation has been nothing short of remarkable.
These projects, along with normal jobs, families and life, means time for myself has been skimpy. Honestly, I haven’t taken care of myself spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. I’m not a mess. I have a good life. I’m just not where I would like to be. As I creep closer to a milestone, making the best me can’t take a back burner. 2017 is about restoring me.
Rather than resolutions, my focus is remaking areas of my life I desire were different. Practices and mindsets that prepare my mind, body and soul for healthy longevity and sharpness. Just like remodeling a house or church, it doesn’t happen overnight. It requires constant vigilance and attention. Things simply are not going to be magically “better.”
I want to become the person God desires me to be. It’s having the right heart with God more than having the right occupation or way that I serve. Making sure my physical temple is well-cared for. Having mental sharpness, an appropriately compassionate heart and a closeness with God I haven’t experienced for a while.
Daily exercise is a priority, even if it means doing it at an oddball time of the day. This is easier than restoring my eating habits. While daily time with God and reading is happening, distractions and focus remain a challenge. Here are a few things I’ve discovered:
- Healthy food choices take more time than convenient, tasty and addictive junk food choices.
- Our physical bodies loose strength much quicker than restoring physical strength.
- It is much easier to flip on the TV than choose a nourishing book. We often watch some really awful TV shows.
- We quickly lose 30 minutes on Facebook or surfing the internet. Ten minutes centering ourselves with God seems FOREVER.
Excelling at anything requires repetition ad nauseum. Not true just for athletes, it’s true for any person desiring to master a skill. I’m hunkering down for a lot of repetition as I restore what is most important in my life. I believe it is worth it. How do I know this? I look at the doors in our bedroom.
While remodeling the upstairs in our house, one day I decided to switch what bedroom we would use. Besides painting and sanding the floors, there was only one problem: the closet doors. I knew what I wanted them to look like. I just hadn’t found the right kind of wood. Rick had brought home some samples which I had nixed. One day, he brought home the old boards from the cow bunk feeder at his Dad’s farm. They were covered with mold, smelt like manure and were very rustic. Rick was shocked when I said this was exactly what I wanted. When he questioned the mold and smell, I told him “this is what power washers are made for.”
A few weeks later, we installed the doors. They are my favorite restoration project of our house. This morning Rick said, “I never envisioned having boards from the bunk feeder in our bedroom.” But we do.
If bunk feeder boards can be restored into gorgeous closet doors, I’m confident I can make something special of the rest of my life. I may be a bit weathered, a little stinky and need to scrap away some undesirable habits and attitudes. I know it will be worth it.
Lord God – You never give up on us. We give up long before you do. Encourage us each day to restore ourselves to You. May we discover simple, easy ways to find peace and comfort in knowing Your presence in our lives today. Amen.
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