Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)
TITLE: I Found My Heart in the Sheetrock Dust
By Gwen Plauche
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I was pulling in the driveway returning from Wednesday night choir practice and noticed something looked different from my view into the dining room. I quickly proceeded to the back door. What in the world had happened? What was all this dust? As the dust cleared, there stood my husband of just a few months by a newly cut opening between the dining room and kitchen. He was leaning on his sledge hammer and smiling like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. It seemed there had been a bit of a blowout while I was away at choir practice. My jaw dropped as I viewed the scene before me. Looking into the dining room I saw dust settling all over our newly acquired wedding crystal and on my favorite cross stitch picture on the wall.
He broke the silence, "Hey Honey, guess what? We are renovating the kitchen and I decided that this is where the new door will be!" What an introduction for a new bride to the real side of her visionary renovating husband. Little did I know at that point what I would learn about love while dealing with the sheetrock dust.
We were young and the project was large, but we completed it in what I call "Classic Tommy Style." In fact we renovated every house we lived in for the next two decades and today we are now nearing completion of a long master bath renovation.
Renovating a home can be a very stressful time. 2 Timothy 3:17(The Message) teaches us that through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. Studying the verse in Galatians can put you together and shape you up so that you not only survive a renovation, but reap a great result.
Do not grow weary in doing good: Decide that this completed renovation will be good but be aware that weariness will be knocking at the door. Discuss the planned budget and vision. Most renovating husbands have been working on the project details longer than you have had a chance to give it thought. Take the time to review the plans together and make appropriate suggestions.
Do not lose heart: You need to know what the estimated completion time frame is for your project, but keep the word “ESTIMATED” in big caps. Contractors work on time frames that are not nearly as efficient as our iPhone calendars. It is important to make up your mind to stay flexible and not frustrated when delays happen. It is nearly impossible to be flexible if you are focused on the timing.
Be aware that there is going to be a certain level of disorganization and mess. Most likely there will be a point when you are ready to throw everything out the window, or lose heart. When you feel like that, take a break, take a walk, regroup and refocus.
In due season you shall reap: Smile! Try to enjoy the journey. Celebrating each small accomplishment along the way will keep frustration controlled. As you focus on the small goals completed you will be looking towards the harvest at the end instead of the mess today. An example of this would be “we are so excited that the sinks arrived today.”
During that first renovation I learned a very important lesson about love and sheetrock dust. A friend of ours was teaching at church and described a friend who worked tirelessly around his house to show his love for his new bride, even building a new kitchen for her. I suddenly realized it was my husband that he was talking about. I saw the mess, the endless dust, and even the paint dribbles now as the love gift to me that he intended! I honestly had thought he was enjoying making all the mess just to get me riled up. My husband's love language was acts of kindness but I just did not realize that renovations fell into that category until then.
One thing that my husband told me on that first renovation that has always stuck in my mind is this, "Don't fall in love with your houses!" I would like to add my own ending to those words of wisdom, "Instead, fall in love with your man!" Happy renovating!
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