Will the re-construction be painful?

“We didn’t know how many subs would be here today, and we wanted to get a good parking spot,” said our cabinet guy with a smile. He showed up on Monday at 6:45AM. Six. Forty. Five. In the morning.


Knotty alder cabinets
Bench seating with pull-out storage and built-in end table–ready for thick cushions (and a good dusting)

Dan and I sat at the window of the fifth wheel trailer, sipping cinnamon tea and gazing across the backyard to our house. “When you suggested investing in the house,” he said, “who would have thought it had to go as far as it did—gutted out, and with all the mess?”

I’m usually good at seeing a completed project in my head, but I couldn’t yet picture our home with our choice of cabinets, next to our choice of flooring, next to the wall color, next to the fireplace rock.

And now I’m beginning to see that the selections we made months ago blend well together.

Dan, who knows his way around construction tasks, said, “You take it down to zero … now it’s starting to go back together, step by step.”

Isn’t that a lot like how God works in our lives?

When He calls us to a specific destiny—like, counseling people who have been wounded by trauma, or rearing a family, or reading to second graders, or painting watercolor beauty, or coaching high school students, or building houses, or rescuing women and children from human trafficking—then sometimes, to be most effective, a bit of remodeling needs to take place.

Sometimes we need to be taken down to nothing before we’re built back up and equipped for our high and holy calling.

Now may the God of peace … equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him. – Hebrews 13:20-21, NIV

God is the General Contractor. He wants the finished project to be purposeful and effective and inviting. And beautiful.


The kitchen–the heart of the home

And while it may be painful for us to get rid of the old—pulling up nails, ripping out wood, sledge-hammering through sheet rock—God always and only selects the best materials for the rebuild: Joy. Love. Goodness. Peace. Beauty.


Glass tile waterfall in master walk-in shower

This promise, written in a letter to believers in ancient Philippi, is so encouraging:

I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. – Philippians 1:6, NLT

I love how God’s craftsmanship can profoundly transform us into the people He intended us to be all along—the people we truly want to be: strong in faith, audacious, full of courage and grace.


Why we remember


Here’s what happens when you think of everyone else first


  1. Great analogy, Marlys. Our General Contractor is in the business of creating temples that will endure forever, conforming us to the image of Christ and indwelt by his Holy Spirit. The finishing touches will continue until we see Him face to face. And,yes, sometimes it is painful.

    • Well said, Julie: “The finishing touches will continue until we see Him face to face.” I love this promise, knowing that He never gets weary of working on me.

  2. Tanya Neelon

    Your and Dan’s new home looks beautiful as it should! xxox Tanya

  3. Nasus

    Beautiful, Marlys! Words, pictures, and your heart! Beautiful! Love to you two precious ones!

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