Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Renovations

 



Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. ~Matthew 23:25

Do you own a home?  Have you come to rely on the comfort and security that it provides for your family?  Are you honestly assessing whether or not things are structurally solid and sound when it comes to the skeletal strength of the house?

That's the evaluation my husband, Danny, makes recently when he calculates the health and resilience of our decks.  We already know they are old, 37 years to be exact.  That's a long time for them to withstand the abuse of foot traffic and inclement weather throughout those many seasons.

Upon the advice of a deck-building consultant, he decides it's past time for our decks to go the way of the dinosaur.  In fact, the representative tells us that the oldest deck they've replaced to date was a mere 32-years old.  That makes ours an anomaly, for sure!

Does Danny have any hesitance about going through with this project?  When he's hit between the eyes with cost, yes.  He falters for a moment or two, wondering if we can, perhaps, put this home improvement venture on the backburner for another year or two.  But when he inspects the stairs more closely, noting that the stringers are rotting, his mind is made up.  New decks, here we come!








 

The crew isn't close to completion, but they've certainly come a long way considering how few days they've been on the project.






It's so refreshing in this day and time to see guys who aren't afraid of an honest day's work, putting their all into everything they do for the satisfaction of their customers.
~
During this season of Advent, while we wait with expectation and hope for the coming of the Lord, it would be a good thing for all of us to reflect on the state of our spiritual health and well-being.  Are we as clean and vibrant on the inside as Jesus can make us, or are we holding Him at bay, shying away from the inmost renovations our hearts need?  Our homes can be spotless and bright with Christmas decorations, but if our spirits aren't focused upon the cleansing that Jesus can make happen within us, can we say we are ready for the celebration ahead?

I don't know about you, but I'm certain there are lots of renovations my soul needs that only Jesus can do.  I need Him to continue the good work He began in me.

He has my full permission.

Amen!

45 comments:

  1. Me, too! Just yesterday in Bible study one of my friends 'fessed, she's often guilty of becoming preoccupied ... telling God, "Not right now."
    Yours is a great example of making time and taking steps before it's "too late"!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Myra! It's so human of us to push God away when all He wants is to get closer to us. If we can become aware of the times we do that, and choose to embrace Him instead, our lives would be infinitely better.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. First comment: that is a long drop off. I'm glad you decided to tear the old deck AND replace it with a new one!! :) And I will wholeheartedly agree with you Martha on the needed soul renovations. I have already been asking for that this month.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that, Bill! Yes, I think that renovation should be all we want for Christmas.
      The deck is really coming along, and we should be, too. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  3. It looks great! And it's always better to be pre-emptive and not post-operative!

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    1. That's so true, Glynn. Better to be safe than sorry any day of the week.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Yes, I totally understand about the physical repairs that need to be done and maintained in a home...it is costly, but ignoring the situation could become even more costly in the long run. Same with our hearts, souls, bodies...if we neglect proper maintenance of our bodies, hearts and souls, it could cost us even more in the grand scheme of life and death and eternity. Always good to make regular assessments of our condition and seek the Lord's direction in making appropriate improvements. Great post today. Thank you. Be sure to share the final results of your new deck when complete!!

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    1. I will be sure to share the final results with everyone when we get there, Pamela, which could be sooner than later as the rain we thought we'd get has held off for the time being. The guys have been here since 8:00 this morning, taking only a lunch break. Things are looking so good.
      You are so right, too. When we fail to tend to our health, spiritually or physically, our entire bodies suffer. Let us reflect and allow God to renovate us as He deems fit.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Dearest Martha Jane,
    Oh, in our elements any wood work that is around for 27 years is a risky thing and prone to a lot of rot and deterioration.
    Our balcony is not out of wood but still we have had to re–do it several times. The wood railing did rot twice and now we got a Polyurethane ballustrade...
    There is always something and being a home owner is a blessing but also quite a challenge!
    You're lucky for having found a crew able and willing to tackle this mega task!
    Sure, our Advent is just like that—mending our soul and making it safe till the very end!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. You're so right, Mariette - with all the humidity in Georgia, especially in the summers, outdoor wood fixtures suffer. As I watch these guys working, I'm so thankful that we went ahead with this renovation. They are making great progress every day, and it won't be long before we can enjoy our new decks.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. We each need a close inspection of the structural integrity of our souls and the quality of our footings/foundation. Great analogy Ms. Martha. I'm like Mr. Danny though, the cost can sometimes lead me to risk another year out of something (piece of farm equipment, etc.). But when it comes to safety, we can't put a price on it. God's blessings ma'am.

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    1. So glad you liked the analogy here, J. D. You and I seem to gravitate to using analogies in our story-blogs, and it's such an effective way to communicate a lesson to others. Also a humbling realization that God is giving us His lessons for us to learn and pass along.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Hi Martha, I agree with all you have written regarding the necessity of cleansing our inner self. My husband always says things like 'Ah, that person looks like ......' I always say to him 'You can not tell what a person is like by looking on the outside.' There are always things that I have to adjust to in the Lord, it is a learning process. I find the best way to do it is act as if my thoughts are loud words, as I know the Lord can see on the inside of me. God bless you Martha.

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    1. Wow, Brenda, what great advice you have given us here, acting as if our thoughts are words spoken aloud. Yes, God certainly hears us and wants to renovate us from the inside out when we need it. And it is most definitely a learning process.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. A good post with a good lesson at the end. Thank you, Martha, for making us think about our spiritual life at this holy season of Advent.

    God bless you and your family now and always.

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    1. You are so welcome, Victor! In this busy, busy season, we all need reminders to slow down and focus on the reason for Christmas, and to ask God to renew a new heart within us.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Amen Martha so agree, “as he thinketh in his heart so is he.”is a verse I illuminated many years ago for a teen at the request of his mum, I don’t know where he is but my Lord does and pray for him and many more likewise, I was sharing with two needy souls again today, Christ is the answer to all our problems,
    Your new steps deck look great I’m very grateful I’ve neither steps nor decks so less maintenance in my 3 bed brick veneer, it is having some renovation too.
    My heart likewise is needful, every year older the need seems even greater!
    Thanks for Sharing, God bless and keep you safe, and all those you love, hugs Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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    1. Thanks for sharing that verse with us and your personal story behind it, Shaz! All houses, whether it's a need for new siding, window, paint, have to be reevaluated and renovated at some point in their structural life. And we need that same renovation, sometimes on a daily basis.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. We must constantly look at our lives and take actions to strengthen our faith. Just like we look at our homes to be sure the foundations and structures are sound.

    We rebuilt our deck last year I had restained and tightened boards over the years but it was time for a total rebuild.

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    1. Wow! That sounds like a big project, too! And may we all, especially during this season of Advent, make sure our faith and our hearts are strengthened at their very foundations.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Oh I wish we lived closer because Tim would have been over in a flash, lending a hand. When the weather warms next spring you'll be already to go again ... it will be beautiful! I'm so happy for you!

    Meanwhile, amen to paying attention to always-needed soul renovations. All part of advent season, 'let every heart prepare Him room.'

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    1. I didn't know Tim was a handyman, Linda! We are definitely NOT doing this ourselves, but have a professional crew over here, working hard, every day except when it's raining. If the weather holds, they might be done by the end of the week. Here's hoping!
      And yes, may each and every heart make room for the coming of Jesus!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Martha, I love the parallel of home renovations to our spiritual growth. Boy, do I understand the cost of a project like this. We just had landscaping done to our front and backyard. I so identify with Danny's feelings about the cost. However, when linking this back to our inner spiritual growth, every effort and time spent with the Lord is well worth any sacrifice!
    Much love and Merry Christmas!

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    1. Yes, Beckie, we certainly can't put a price tag on the cost of growing closer to the Lord. That should be our first and greatest priority in life.
      And when you own a home, there is no end to the need for some kind of improvement, right? Sometimes, we have to simply take a deep breath and plunge ahead.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. An insightful analogy, Martha! Praise God for His renovation work in our lives. I would be in much worse shape than your 37-year-old deck if it were not for Him!

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    1. I'm in that same renovation club with you, Nancy. If God didn't continue to work in me, I don't know where I'd be. Glad you liked this analogy!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. The new deck looks like it's going to be so nice. I love the analogy you make to our reflection during Advent. I pray to consistently look at my heart and life and the renovations necessary for the Holy Spirit to make in my life. God bless, Martha!

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    1. Oh, yes, Karen, it is coming along splendidly! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who asks God to make me new and cleanse my heart.
      Love and blessings!

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  15. Martha, He has my permission as well!! Praise God. Glad you are getting the decks replaced so you will be safe going in and out. Love & hugs!

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    1. I had no doubt that you'd give Jesus full permission to give you a make-over when He deems it necessary, Terri. You are one devoted Christian!
      And yes, having a safe way in and out of the house will be so welcome.
      Love and blessings!

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  16. Wonderful thoughts, sweet friend! And your new decks are going to be so beautiful! It is so refreshing to do updates like this. Your yard and house look so pretty. Georgia truly has a beauty all its own. May the Lord continually bless you this Christmas season!

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  17. Olá Martha
    Linda reflexão, que Jesus renove sempre as nossas vidas em todos os aspectos, um forte abraço.

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  18. Oh, yes, Lucinalva, may Jesus never stop interrupting our lives with the vision He has for our potential in Him!
    Love and blessings!

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  19. Wow, quite the job! Excellent work. And yes, I always use December to reflect and think and pray and thank Him.

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    1. I am so glad to hear that, Marja. There's nothing like the end of the secular year and the beginning of the church year to make us wake up and take notice of where we are in our journey with the Lord. We are hoping our deck will be done in time for celebrating this new year.
      Love and blessings!

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  20. Seeing your pictures took me back to the days when my wife and I were pretty much building a house on our own. The work was challenging, to say the least, and as I read your post and looked at the pictures, I re-lived what it was like for us to build our deck. Like yours, ours was high off the ground and it ran most of the length of the house. I'm still not sure how we managed to do it with no help except each other. Looking back, it's incredible how many things God enabled us to do that we didn't think we could do. But getting back to your point, unfortunately, we can waste our lives and expend our energy trying to make garbage look good. And as you pointed out, it's what's on the inside that counts. Thanks again, my friend, for an uplifting and encouraging piece.

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    1. To say I'm impressed that your wife and you undertook building your own home, deck included, is the understatement of the century, Ron. Just wow!!! No way would Danny and I even contemplate such a courageous venture. All of us have different gifts from God, and that isn't one we inherited. :)
      We can't afford to spend our lives making garbage look good, as you so aptly stated here. Let's strip down to the bare bones, and allow Jesus to rework us to His satisfaction and purpose. I know that the older I get, the more I want to feel His daily presence in my life.
      Love and blessings!

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  21. Love the analogy, Martha.
    And such a great reminder to slow down and focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

    Hugs and blessings.

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    1. Thank you, Veronica; so glad you liked the analogy here.
      Love and blessings!

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  22. Bold chap!

    Philippians 1:6: "having confidence of this very thing, that he who has begun in you a good work will complete it unto Jesus Christ's day".

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  23. Renovations, yes, we've just completed one in the front yard and today began the business of starting another one in the back. I understand the hesitancy to go forward but there are times, as you have indicated, when we just need to get on with it. What you have got going there looks great!

    To reply to your message to me a few weeks ago about subscribing to my blog, I looked into the method Terri D and Pam S are using and they both emailed with me about it. I poked at it and when I was not successful, I put the matter on the back burner for further consideration at a better time for me.

    I've got some new responsibilities thrust upon me that I did not expect, so it may be a while before I can address the subscription issue.

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    1. I hear you, Barbara, and I do appreciate you getting back to me, especially at this busy, busy time of year. I will make a point of looking up your blog today in case I've missed any recent posts.
      So, you're doing renovations, too? There does come a time in the life of any home when improvements are needed; par for the course in being a homeowner. I'm pleased to say the deck crew completed their work today - still some odds and ends to take care of, but that will happen in the next several days.
      Love and blessings!

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