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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)

TITLE: I Found My Heart in the Sheetrock Dust
By Gwen Plauche


Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV

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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This article has been read 313 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kate Oliver Webb 05/06/11
I've known men like that -- and this article left me smiling. Some minor editing would smooth it out a bit, but all in all, nicely done. It made me want to go shower off the dust!
Virgil Youngblood 05/06/11
Great title and story. Life can make you bitter or better. You chose better. Thanks for sharing your memories.
Jody Day 05/07/11
This would be a great magazine article: Five Steps to a Successful Renovation. It's a great, informative devotional. Thanks!
diana kay05/07/11
great title and entertaining writing... i could picture it
Mildred Sheldon05/07/11
A perfect title for a beautiful story of true love and a marriage made in heaven. I enjoyed your story very much and it brought back some very fond memories of my husband who is now home with the Lord. Keep writing.
Laury Hubrich 05/08/11
This is a very nice marriage devotional:) Good job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/08/11
You made smile. I would not have been quite so calm. I loved your last line. Nice storytelling
diana kay05/12/11
well done for the HC placing!