Friday, April 22, 2011

The renovation winds down, the marriage survives, and God redeems a bad decision

Did you ever worry that you made a terrible decision and wondered if God would ever make it right? I did. My last three years read like a synopsis on the fall of woman:

1. Situated nicely—money in the bank, health solid, friends, and fame (well, not so much that). Wanders south to buy a house. (Husband trusts her judgment, lets her go alone.)

2. Beguiled by a blue plastic liner, buys a swimming pool with 100-year-old house attached.

3. Suffers consequences of bad decision: discovers rotten floor boards, broken water pipes, smelly wallpaper, mold and decay. Overwhelmed by magnitude of task, relationship with spouse and only friend within 700 miles strains, health suffers from sleepless nights, renovation consumes finances, jobs elude grasp, Lord does too.

This last renovation nearly did us in. I was big on vision but short on wisdom. (The yellow duct tape holding the front door frames together should have been a clue). Not only had I underestimated the financial costs, but also the emotional and psychological ones as well.

The dreadful realization we were over our heads stared us in the eye at three in the morning; it ate with us on paper plates of take-out; it sucked our joy, our strength and our vision. We didn’t know anyone, had no friends to come over and help carry sheets of plywood, or advise us, or cheer us on. I was known in the neighborhood simply as the lady with the dumpster.

I felt as though the Lord had left me to my mess, and I couldn’t see our way out.

I thought of how His disciples, friends, and family must have despaired to see Him hanging on that cross, to see Him die. The end, the hope, the king is dead. What now? Go home and wonder.
Mournful silence for three days.

Until that morning…God trumps death! He up and leaves the rocky tomb. And He makes a way for us to follow. That’s the great ending to the story: fallen, yes, but then redeemed, restored. Alleluia!

Meanwhile, as we undergo our sanctification, our stripping, and ripping, He sustains us. He reminds us that He is a God of restoration, of hope, and of redeeming bad decisions.

That’s what we had to keep in mind during the days of the Monster Restoration.

One day Bob brought home a bouquet of zinnias. We shook the sheetrock dust off the plastic covering the couch, overturned a box, lit some candles, found a classical music station on the Bose, and decided to reclaim our vision.

“That arch looks great.”

“So do the new ceilings. The wood flooring will be in next week.”

“It’s fifty degrees here; they’re having a blizzard in Vermont.”

“I peeked under the pool cover today. The water’s still blue.”                     
entry before
entry after

                                                   
fireplace wall before
fireplace after


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