purpose over perfection…
I LOVE my new house.
Every morning, my husband and I say to each other that we can’t believe we get to live here. It’s so much bigger than our last house, has room for entertaining, and the yard is beautiful. What a gift from God it is!
It’s also REALLY out-of-date.
Lucky for me, I am surrounded by handymen. Together, my dad, my father-in-law, and my husband make it possible for almost all of my remodeling dreams and Pinterest endeavors to come true. We completely remodeled our last home and I loved every square inch of it. By the end of our tenure there, it was a modern farmhouse paradise.
I’ve got similar plans for our new place…complete with a list of updates at least 75 items long.
(If you need my husband, he is busy for the next two years. Kidding not kidding.)
Here’s a fun fact about me: remodeling is one of my favorite things to do! I love making old furniture and old houses pretty…preserving and drawing out the character.
Here’s another fun fact: I can work miracles with a gallon of paint. #truth
Because I love fixing up houses, it’s easy for me to get consumed with making to-do lists and pinterest boards. If I’m not careful, I can easily find myself drowning in trim styles, flooring types and lighting options. Seriously, lock me up in a design center and throw away the key. I would thrive.
The problem is that my fixer-upper hobby can quickly turn into a wayward desire for the perfect house. When that happens, I start to get dis-satisfied with what my home currently looks like and how little progress we have made (which is ridiculous because it’s football season and we have lived in it one month). I glance critically around, and instead of being thankful for my new residence, all I can see is what I don’t like about it:
- army green carpet
- honey oak trim
- dark brown ceiling
- giant copper light fixture
(after tearing off the kitchen backsplash)
(My friend, Karisa, and I tearing out some of the green carpet)
The other night, I was having one of those discontent moments.
The living room in this house is so ugly, I thought to myself. I can’t wait to make it beautiful.
In my mind was a vision of how this room will look someday…after my husband and his mad carpentry skills get ahold of it. I imagined all white trim, board and batten on the walls, a light-colored carpet and a big stone fireplace.
But not even close to the current reality.
This particular evening, the ugliness of my living room was even more apparent because my husband, son and I were setting up for breakfast club. To get ready, we had carried all of the living room furniture into the garage and replaced it with folding chairs. Over 50 of them, to be exact. The chairs were red, orange, brown and black and each one had a bright blue bible carefully placed underneath. Students would come in the morning and get a plate full of food, sit in those mismatched chairs, and hear an encouraging message from those blue bibles.
It made quite a sight: the green carpet, the brown ceiling, the colorful chairs and the bright blue bibles. I was critically smirking at the clash of colors when I heard God whisper to me ever so gently,
“Your house will never look more beautiful than it does right now.”
A living room full of teenagers that are attentively listening to the gospel is indeed a beautiful thing! Never will my house look better than when it is full of people hearing the truth of God’s word. I was reminded that:
God didn’t give us this house so that I could make it look perfect.
God didn’t give us this house so that I could make it pinterest-ready.
God gave us this house because he has a purpose for it – that I would open up and share his love with those around me.
Purpose over Perfection.
(Let me clarify that I don’t think it is wrong for me to want to remodel and fix my house. But I do think I got off track when I became so obsessed over making it look prettier that I forgot that my goal was to simply fill it with people so they can receive the hope of Christ.)
Friends, so many times I have fallen into this trap in my spiritual life! I get so focused on what I need to change and who I want to become that I forget God already sees me as beautiful…mess and all. I also forget that I’m supposed to be loving and serving others, not just working on myself.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
God sees us as beautiful when we walk out our purpose…even while he is still remodeling our hearts. Just like my out-dated house is beautiful when I use it to share the gospel in the midst of renovations.
Can you relate? I’d love to hear about it. Email me or comment on the blog and I will get on my knees for you. Let’s do this faith journey together. PS… I tried to paint the dark brown ceiling yesterday and the popcorn literally started falling off… remodeling is an adventure! Send help and coffee!
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