Gratitude Day 324
Thurs., Sept. 12, 2019
2 Thessalonians 1:3: We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
Sometimes, it takes time to fully appreciate something. A little maturity can go a long way.
Several winters ago, Hubby Rick built the crème del-la crème of playhouses for three of our grandchildren. Basically, he built a miniature version of Waylan, Ellie and Dylan’s real house for the kids to play in. This wasn’t just any old playhouse. It has a loft, furniture, curtains and even electricity. Shutters on the outside, a chimney and a front porch make the house seem very real. The gate doors on one side of the house make it practical. Rick spared no amount of energy or effort in making this the playhouse one any kid would want in their back yard. For the full story, take a few minutes and read this.
Fast forward several years. A couple weeks ago, granddaughter Ellie asked if I would help clean-out the playhouse. Over time, things have accumulated in the playhouse. There’s sand and dried play dough and leftover bottles and food wrappers inside. The chickens used it for awhile as well as some hornets. While well-loved, the cleaning lady needed to pay it a visit.
After school, Ellie and I went to work to restore the beauty of the playhouse as much as we could. We ran into a few challenges. The sliding windows are broken. Rick put indoor/outdoor material in the loft which was now covered with a layer of sand. While I was prepared for cleaning, the cleaning lady didn’t bring any tools along to fix a few missing screws. Those fixes will wait for another day.
We hauled everything out of the playhouse and cleaned it all up. Ellie chose what she wanted back inside, which we neatly arranged after a good cleaning. We put in a rug in the center, one I had at home. It used to be at Rick’s mom’s house. As Ellie and I laid it down, I mentioned how she had a little piece of her great-grandmother’s house now in her playhouse.
After we were done, we closed up the doors and reopened them like a reveal. It was so fun to see the expression on Ellie’s face as she saw the playhouse through new eyes and with a bit of maturity. While I know this playhouse has been used extensively, it just needed a little elbow grease to bring it back to a place where books will be read, pretend meals fixed and games played. She laid on grandma-great’s rug and let out a big sigh. It was like she felt home all over again.
Faith is maybe a bit like the playhouse. When faith first becomes personal, we are excited and can’t wait to share our experience with someone else. Initially, faith often feels easy and simple. Over time, faith can begin to feel a little more challenging. It gets bogged down by real life and complications and others who want to root in and take up residence. Faith usually doesn’t disappear. It just gets covered up with a layer of sand or mud or dirt.
When we are able to dust off faith and clean up some of our habits in which we become a bit lazy in practicing our faith, slowly, we begin to feel more optimistic about faith. With just a little work, maybe faith won’t look so difficult or hard and actually will inherit a whole new feeling. Faith never left us or disappeared. It just simply was covered up by other things. With a little effort, cleaning and going through, faith looks refreshed, remade and ready for another whirl.
When Ellie’s dad got home, she quickly asked him to go see the cleaned-up playhouse. Her one caveat? He had to take off his boots before he could enter. She wants her cleaned-up playhouse to stay this way. A little older Ellie longs for it to be used again; this time, with a little more care and attention.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Unfortunately, we didn’t take any before photos. And my helped snapped the photos included with this post.
For the opportunity for faith to grow and mature, I am grateful.
Holy God – sometimes, we feel like faith isn’t worth the effort. We put our energy into other things or decide that something else is a higher priority. God – forgive us for the times when this happens. And when we’re ready to dust off our faith and explore it again, thanks for always being ready to be a part of this. Help us mature in our faith and find it anew as often as we need to. Amen.
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