What is it about major decisions that get made unexpectedly? 

Suddenly we decided to do new windows, insulation, and new siding.  And then Gary decided to do some other things, like rip off the back porch.  So while I’ve been up in my garrett in the garage, typing merrily away with my space heater on “high”, Gary has been braving single-digit temperatures working outside.  This is NOT the best time to do all this work on the house, but for us, because of our travel schedule, it is the ONLY time. 

Our houseThe main part of our house was built in 1897.  Two bumps (a new living room and a new kitchen) were added in the 1930’s, at which time the owner also resided the house.   When we bought the house it was painted a very dull orangey-taupe with rust trim.  U-G-L-Y!!!  Seven years ago I power sprayed the wood siding, primed it, and painted it with 30 year paint.  Our house looked great for a short time.  However ,we had absolutely NO insulation in the walls.  I’m not sure WHY the extreme temperature changes in Minnesota  make such a difference but since it can go from 30 below zero to above 100 degrees, it is hard on roads, people, and houses.   Within 5 years the paint was blistered and peeling and the house once again looked very ugly and I’m sure created the impression that we were careless homeowners.  Actually we were absentee homeowners who didn’t have to look at the house very often!  Luckily we live on a street that is only two blocks long so not many people pass our house.

When Gary ripped off the wood siding, he exposed all kinds of odd boards that showed other changes that had occurred over the years which had been hidden by the siding.   

 rollie and wall

 We’ve had insulation blown in the walls and it is SO obvious that things have changed inside.  Today I looked at the thermostat, thinking my daughter had turned it up.  Nope, it was still at 64, but the 64 felt warmer than before when the wind was whistling through the house.  Gary boarded up two windows, which look really ugly inside but those spaces will be covered up outside and only a memory.  

At this point in time BOTH the outside and the inside look quite, quite ugly!  But soon, hopefully by early next week, the outside will look great!  The inside will FEEL great but will still have a few places that will need finishing.  new trim

Inside/outside-outside/inside – scars on the outside revealed when the outer layer is removed, ugliness on the inside that will one day be covered up…there are some powerful spiritual images here!  All of life tells us about God – even remodeling!  I’ve thought about so many analogies – how God patches us up from our mistakes and wounds and then covers us with His grace; or how vulnerability uncovers those patches and people see the “real me”; or how remodeling is a process and anytime during the process you wonder, “is this worth it?” which is similar to times we decide to change or God is taking us through some trial and life looks REALLY ugly yet if we wait it out and let the process continue, beauty comes forth!

We have relied on the help of others for this process.  Gary could not get this done himself.  He needs the physical help, the experience of others, and the tools and equipment of professionals.  Again – like life!  We need each other because we each have learned things that can benefit one another or we may have just the tool someone else needs.  

Francis Schaeffer once said that Christianity is true because it is the only belief system that lines up with reality.  But also the converse is true: reality lines up with Christian truth, as my insightful examples clearly illustrate!