Renovating a house was something I never thought I’d do. Not because I didn’t like the sound of it, but it was just something that, in my mind, was for “rich people” :-). We’re not rich. Not financially, anyway.
However, we were thrust into the world of renovating a home we moved into! I must confess, I absolutely loved the project. Mind you, I was managing it rather than swinging the hammer myself. But I really enjoyed everything from coordinating the tradesmen, to picking the paint colours, to figuring out how to do it all on a shoestring budget!
There were several lessons I learned along the way, which I believe will be crucial for you if you’re considering such a feat, but that you may also find helpful as principles for life, if you’re not.
I recently read a quote that I thought was so wise:Clever people learn from their mistakes. Brilliant people learn from the mistakes of others. Click To Tweet
So, be brilliant and take notes of these 5 spiritual lessons learned from our house renovation.
Count the Cost
The first, logical thing to do when deciding if, how, and when to renovate is to calculate whether you have the energy, funds, and time to do it. The Bible clearly says this is what we should do:
For which of you, desiring to build a tower,does not first sit down and count the cost,whether he has enough to complete it?
While counting the cost may refer primarily to financial options, based on my experience, I would definitely urge you to consider that renovating may cost you more than you expect in other ways, too. It will very likely take longer than you planned, especially if you are dependent on tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers, painters, builders, joiners, and carpet layers, etc.
The project may very likely involve you needing to invest more time than you’d imagined which could include going back and forth to stores to replace items you’ve purchased, pick up items you’re requested to because the tradesmen don’t have them, follow up on tradesmen who haven’t shown up (true story :-(), etc. Just trying to give you a realistic picture.
All of this involves energy, focus, and motivation, which need to be factored in, too.
So tally it all up, count the cost, and if you’re up for it and ready to take the plunge, go for it! It’s a temporary inconvenience and the results will be worth it!
Consider Your Witness
You may be blessed to be working with tradesmen who are believers – honest, hardworking, punctual, friendly, and committed. However, chances are that you will need to hire some who are of the world.
I must be honest and say the realization that we had hired people who don’t think in the same way as we do, who aren’t following Biblical standards in their work ethic, and who don’t see themselves as serving a King who is to be feared and to whom they must give account, hit me quite hard.
It is therefore imperative and a real challenge to conduct yourself in a manner that is highly God-honouring. They need to see a difference between the way they work, and handle life, and operate, to the way someone in the Kingdom of Light does.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord,urge you to walk in a mannerworthy of the callingto which you have been called.
There are times when this is not as easy to do in the heat of the renovation as you may think.
- When someone you’re expecting to do a crucial job, on which the rest of the work depends, doesn’t show up for several days, how will you react?
- When one of the tradesmen has a sailor’s mouth and starts swearing in front of your children, how will you respond?
- When one of your tradesmen starts showing up at midday and clocks out at 2pm, how will you behave?
Realize that these tradesmen are watching your life. They are noticing your reactions. They are observing you. So be salt and light, and be ready to share your faith as God leads!
Cave In On Perfection
It wasn’t too far into our renovation project that I had to come to a stark reality.Perfection is for Heaven and Pinterest is only on the internet. Both are unattainable on this… Click To Tweet
The picture you have in your mind for your home, for your bedroom, for your kitchen, will most likely be directly affected by stunning photo’s of mess-free, squeaky-clean, and designer rooms that you will have seen online. Save yourself the disappointment – it ain’t gonna happen.
This is a difficult dream to let go of. It involves a hard look at what’s really important, and a willingness to check into reality and just let go of that virtual, perfect expectation.
I’m telling you, at some point during your renovation, you will just have to shrug your shoulders, smile, and come to terms with the fact that unless you’re a millionaire, getting your home to magazine standard is just going to cost too much money, take too long, and not be very liveable. You and I both know that even if we did manage to get a room to that level, with children, pets, and well… humans, living there for more than a day, that perfection would last about as long as you saying “Pinterest-Perfect-Places-Purposely-Pose-A-Perpetual-Problem” 🙂
Jesus has prepared a place for us in Heaven, and that is the only home in our entire existence which will be perfect…
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed,we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 Corinthians 5:1
Until then, settle for as close as you can get to what you’d like, and contentedly be pleased with making the best of it!
Called to be Mission Minded
As much as you’d like your home to be lovely and just your style, remember these words:Practicality first. Beauty second. Click To Tweet
Your first and foremost calling as a wife and/or mother is to serve your family well. You’re also commanded in Scripture to practice hospitality to others. So taking those two mindsets into consideration, rather than have a sweet little space for a living room which would be cozy and romantic – think of how you can have as open and most comfortable a space for your family to spread out and for guests to fit into.
- Instead of having just your bed and a desk in your bedroom, think of perhaps adding a wee nook for a small couch and coffee table so that you can sit and encourage your hubby or your children over a lit candle and a cup of something yummy.
- Consider turning an unused room that may be mainly used to store stuff, into a spare bedroom so that you can be ready and available to bless someone passing through, or a sister in need, with an overnight stay.
Be mission-minded as you are deciding how to renovate your home. You can always beautify a space, but first and foremost, your home should be a place where your service to the Lord is made possible and practical.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…
1 Peter 4:10
Carrying Your Issues
One last idea to keep in mind, is that whether you like it or not, you carry you your issues with you into your new environment.
- If you harboured bitterness in your heart towards your husband in your old place, you’ll take it into your new place.
- If you struggled with discipline and routine while in your previous living room, you’ll struggle with those very hardships in your new and improved living room.
You get what I’m saying…
Even though your kitchen may be spruced up, you are still you. When the novelty wears off, you’re stuck with your sins and skeletons.
BUT! Take heart… there is hope! God is a God of new beginnings. When you were saved you were made a New Creation, and as you grow in Him, He will continue to work mightily in completing all the beautiful things that He has begun in you!
So focus on the Lord, so that you may indeed have a peaceful and holy home, surrounded by the upgraded improvements, and use them as a reminder that God is perfecting you, beautifying you from the inside out, and is renovating you faithfully while you’re on this Earth!
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Which of the above lessons I learned caught your attention, and how can you start doing differently to live out this conviction? I’d love to hear! 🙂