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Sunday, September 23, 2007


We have officially begun one of many (down the road) projects on our 27 year old house that has yet to be updated. The kids spent Friday night and Saturday at Mike’s mom’s house so that we could have a date night (what’s that?) and get started without them under foot.

The current project is the living room. It has wood floors that are still nice and a beautiful huge stone fireplace which we love. The thing we don’t love is all the wood paneling on the walls. We’re talking floor to ceiling wood paneling. Oh, and long tubular fluorescent light fixtures. Oh, Oh, and in case anyone is interested in my opinion (which I’m going to share even if you aren’t), grass/hay/raffia/jute type materials are NEVER acceptable mediums for wall paper. Along with the wood floors, stone fireplace and not very many windows, the whole combination makes for a very dark room. And, the paneling is a picture frame design that is pretty prohibitive when hanging pictures. It puts me in too much of a box where that’s concerned.

So, our plan is to:

  • take the wood paneling (and underlying particle board) off the top half of the wall,

  • fix up and repair the dry wall as needed,

  • take out the fluorescent light fixtures and replace them with can lights around the perimeter of the room,

  • texture,

  • paint, and

  • replace the chair-rail.

This weekend was “demolition.” We were not very encouraged about how much we would get done when the first pieces of paneling and particle board were extremely difficult to get off because all the nails that had been used. Mike said it looked like whoever did it had just gotten a new nail gun and was showing it off… 30 times in an approximately 3 foot long by 8 inch wide piece of particle board. He was so frustrated.

However, after we got past those couple of pieces, there were not as many nails and the rest went pretty quickly. We started at about 8:30 or 9 am, and we were done by 4 pm. This is how it currently looks:

As we were working, I kept thinking about the concept of demolition. Have you ever been involved in the demolition phase of a project? I tell you what… it feels good!!! It felt so good to just rip that stuff that we dislike so much off the walls and throw it away. However, it doesn’t feel so good when it happens to us.

What? When it happens to us? “What-chu talkin’ ‘bout Willis?”

What I’m talking about is what we have to go through sometimes in order to learn what ever it is that God is trying to teach us. Just like when a football team gets a new coach. In order to teach them his way of playing the game, he has to get rid of the old way of playing before the new way can actually be taught. We’re no different in our spiritual lives.

I guess I made this connection because I just feel like I’ve been through this process recently. As I look back on this summer, I think that’s what God allowed to happen with me. He had to allow me to be completely broken down, torn apart, and demolished in a sense, before He could truly begin to teach me what being dependent on Him and finding my purpose in Him is all about. And I tell you what, being broken down and stripped of what I thought life was about didn’t feel very good. In fact, it hurt… a lot.

My guess is that He has tried to teach me these lessons before in gentler ways. But this thick skull of mine kept the true lesson from sinking in. I had to be desperate for it in order to truly grasp the depth of what finding my purpose means in every day life.

The glorious thing is that I’m mostly on the other side of it now. After the demolition, God did build me back up again. He showed me purpose and began revealing His plan for this season of my life. He remodeled my life to be more in line with what He likes instead of the outdated version of the life I was living.


Cristel said...

SO glad your prediction of getting sick didn't come true! It already looks brighter and bigger in there. And you are still married and talking to each other! AWESOME. And wouldn't our lives just be so much easier if we listened to God the FIRST time He reveals Himself instead of fighting and fighting - just like our kids do! Amazing how childlike we really are as grown-ups. Of course, our lives might be easier but they wouldn't be as rich and my friend, you have a very rich life! Love ya.

bethj said...

I loved your article on this even though it's an older post. I just now came across it. We did something very similar to our first house. It had HORRIBLE striped wallpaper on it, and we ripped it off -it FELT GREAT. The result, though, was a MESS. I used a steamer to take it off but some parts would stick, and we winded up trying to just rip it off however we could. This resulted in damage to the wall, and we had to get a friend to mud/sheetrock it. After that, we painted it a red and it looked GREAT. Shortly after that, we went through the "demolition" you were talking about - my husband's job loss, our house's foreclosure, etc. Things are much more stable now, and looking better, but God used all that "demolition" to bring about brokenness in our lives, to teach us to trust Him and depend on Him. I enjoyed reading your post very much. I really like your blog. :) I LOVE your header's graphic, too -it's so cute!