I took a deep breathe as I glanced around my house.
There was Sheetrock spackle everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I mean think a glitter explosion gone wrong—but worse. The walls, the floor, the cabinets—every little nook and cranny where it could find to settle. It was going to take days to clean up the mess we just made trying to make but one small improvement.
There were holes in the wall that had been patched—but not yet painted. The trim still needed to be finished. And the cabinets that hadn’t yet been touched were beginning to fall off the walls. There was sanding, and caulking, and filling, and priming, and prepping, and on and on it goes—still left to do.
This old house has been a challenge. A constant work in progress—but sometimes in the midst of the mess, the progress was hard to see. This was that place.
As I stood and stared down at the grimy floor and my trusty old sneakers covered in muck, I began to wonder if any of this was going to be worth it.
We had done remodel projects in this home before—and I remember feeling the exact same way. Because life is busy, our budget is tight, and our schedules are full—so an hour here and a Saturday morning there plugging along for weeks and weeks left me feeling undone. About as undone as the surroundings I was observing.
I have never claimed to be a patient gal, and here I found myself tired of all these individual steps and just wishing for the finished product.
You see, I long for a home with a finished, cleanly painted ceiling---
And bright new ceiling fixtures lighting up the room--
And white washed trim sharply hung along the walls that no longer bore the wear and tears of holes and gashes and marker drawings—
And that sheek gray coat of paint—with all the new/old décor—you know because vintage farmhouse is so in right now.
I dream of sitting on my new sofa, sipping my afternoon coffee and indulging in a favorite book right here in this room. I want it so bad. BUT the in between—this place where everything becomes even more undone in the process of trying to get it finished—the hard work, all the hours --- the clean up and then mess up and then clean up again—this is the part I’m not much a fan of.
OK—not a fan AT ALL.
Cause it’s long.
But here in the mess as I find myself spiraling into an impatient tantrum, I’m reminded of the way in which God so often transforms. And the way I often grow impatient waiting for the final product He is creating too.
I believe God is the Master molder—the one who takes hold of our mere globs of clay and begins to form something beautiful—little by little. He takes our tired bones and breathes life. He starts with the old self and He transforms into the finished product. But it’s rarely, perhaps never done over night. It’s a process—the making new of something that has already been made old—the changing of a mind and a heart. It’s gradual. And sometimes just when on the outside all seems to be settled and clean, God begins to undo us again in the best of way—but we often only see the mess—the splatters and patches and imperfections of this process.
And I don’t think I’m the only one. I think we live in a world that craves the fast, easy, finished product without the work or the mess.
But that just not how it works—not in this old house—or this old heart—where God is so often slowly transforming and undoing and remaking.
SO, I look around again, and I sigh—knowing there is a lesson to be learned here.
Under my breath I re-assure myself—it’s just part of the process, we will get there.
And God gently whispers—yes child, in your life too—it’s all part of the process, we will get there.