A few months ago, my husband, John, and I started a home renovation project that has had us working 15 hour days on the weekends and every night after work.

We tore down walls, rewired all new light fixtures, painted the walls a new vibrant color, stained the new wood trim, and painted our kitchen cabinets white with chalk paint. John even created a built in China cabinet with lead glass doors that I refinished. But, the centerpiece of this whole renovation is a beautiful built-in table our friend, Charlie, made for us.

Such a mess. So much still to do.

Day after day, we worked harder than we both thought we could. Naturally, the project became bigger than expected, cost double what we budgeted for and it took twice as long as we hoped it would. But, in the end we were very happy with the results.

A fresh new look also needed some new furniture, some of which we bought and some we stripped and repurposed.

The start of the built in china cabinet

Transformation time

The inside transformation is nothing short of spectacular. One might even describe it as a modern day miracle because while John and I usually get along great, the one thing that can stress us is home renovations.

There is still a day, 30 years ago, involving race car wallpaper for our young son’s bedroom that could have ended in divorce court, but I digress.

However, all these years later, we never said a cross word to each other while doing the renovation. In fact, we enjoyed good music and laughed a lot.

When we were done, we looked around the house with a sense of accomplishment, both of us stating how excited were are to invite people over to share in this new space.

The house, with it’s wall torn down, is so much more open and friendly. It begs for guests to use it and we can’t wait to entertain.

During our reflection on the renovation something spoke to my heart about an issue seemingly unrelated to home repairs.

People. I started thinking about people and our relationships with one another.

You see, before we invite a new relationship into our lives, we all paint ourselves pretty and put our best foot forward.

Some might get their hair done, put on makeup, buy a new outfit, or shave and wear cologne all to aid in attracting a new person into their life. Others might go so far as to have plastic surgery. You get the idea. We make sure our house is pretty and welcoming.

Now you are all ready to invite a new love into your life, but are you?

Beautiful, but first the hard work…

Just like my home renovation, I could not paint and decorate until the hard stuff was done.

First, we had to knock down the walls, and only after all the sawdust and sheetrock mud was removed could we start to rebuild. Even with decorating, we had to strip the furniture before we could put a fresh new color on it. Lots of hard work went into readying the house for fresh paint and new furniture. In fact, it took us months. It sure would have been easier to just paint over the old walls and furniture but realistically none of the cosmetic work would have lasted that long without all the prep.

We all know people who look beautiful on the outside, but have they done the hard work on the inside?

1.Have they knocked down the walls that hold them back from true intimacy?

2.Have they rewired their thinking to accept life’s challenges together?

3.Have they cleaned up the debris from their past?

After all, a fresh coat of paint will look great for a little while, but soon, structural problems will cause your house to crumble. Building a solid foundation takes hard work. Are you up to the task?

Fix yourself from the inside out…

1 Peter 3:3-4

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

Ezekiel 13:14

And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

Matthew 7:25

And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

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