Have you ever been to a friend’s house who has recently remodeled or redecorated? Do you find yourself admiring the beautiful wallpaper or paint colors, or the charming bay window where there used to be a wall? Do you love their sparkling new bathroom with sharp new fixtures, not only for its beauty, but for the ease an extra bathroom provides in a home? Is there a warm, cozy fireplace where there once was none? Is there a new layer of carpet softly inviting you in? Have they changed the lighting or added a few coats of new paint? What fun it is to admire the finished product and share their joy! Have you ever walked away wishing you had the money, creativity, and time that they must have had to do those things?
We love the end product we see on home improvement shows, in the magazines and in our friends’ homes. The thing about home improvements in real life is that they are expensive, time consuming, temporarily inconvenient and very messy. That is the side we never see.
In the book In My Father’s Vineyard by Wayne Jacobsen, he says,
"Almost always long days lie between promise and fulfillment, and those are the days when the process of transformation takes place." He goes on to say, "We give up, thinking that a promise delayed is a promise denied."
Have you or one of your friends, ever had a home built? Truly, it is the perfect illustration for the quote above. The days do indeed seem long between the promise of the house plans and the day you move in. There is the changing of the house plans, breaking ground, the pouring of the foundation, framing, sheetrocking, painting, the installation of plumbing, electricity, windows, carpet, appliances, etc. and many more details to numerous to mention. It all leads, however, to an incredible transformation from an idea on paper to an actual house that a family can turn into a home. I don’t know anybody who has moved in when the builder originally told them they would. It always takes longer than expected. However, none of my friends have ever given up on their plans to actually move in, regardless of the delays they meet along the way. A house, however, is tangible. We can see the progress, which helps keep our hopes alive.
It may be a bit different with our lives. Perhaps you hold the promise in your heart of what you would really love to do in life, but have no way of knowing how that will be fulfilled. We often do give up, sometimes because it is delayed and sometimes because it is just too costly. There may be things we would like to change or install, but the price is high and the mess is big. We don’t have the time, can’t make the time, can’t afford the inconvenience or don’t want to do the work. The process is not as clear cut as building a home.
It is then that we can renovate. To renovate is to restore to life, vigor or activity, revive; to restore to a former better state as by cleaning, repairing or rebuilding. The synonym is to renew. Are you a candidate for some new life, vigor or activity in your life? Do you want to keep hope alive between the promise and the fulfillment? Is there a small step you can take to "change it up" a bit in your heart and life? A vase of fresh flowers or the smell of baking bread, can change the whole feel of a room and costs little. The same is true of a sense of humor or a generous heart. If you’re not ready for the mess or the hours of work that it takes to make some of the bigger changes, that’s ok. The important thing is to keep it fresh; to be able to live with yourself and like what you see. Certainly there are those seasons when the hard work needs to be done, when we’re ready. In the meantime, let’s see what we can do to simply live life a little fuller!
Renovating With You,