Saturday, May 18, 2013

Renovating Life

Renovation. Remodeling.   Those words can be both exciting and intimidating.

Exciting because it means something "new" is being made out of something old. Exciting because there is generally a lot of thought, care, and time put into it.

Intimidating because change in general can be and is intimidating. Intimidating because it means a lot of thought, care, and time are put into it, which can be quite tiring.

Renovation is challenging. Renovation is Beautiful.

Challenging because it will mean a lot of potential physical work and endurance. Challenging because it often involves financial planning.

Beautiful because the end result is fresh and updated and beneficial. Beautiful because of all the work that one puts into it. Beautiful because it is "new" and complete.

Renovation has been a theme in my life this weekend. And it involves excitement, intimidation, challenge and beauty all together.  Sometimes renovation is quick and less painful with a still beautiful outcome. Other times, renovation is exhausting, pretty frustrating, but still with a beautiful outcome. The process sometimes depends on my outlook of the renovation and it sometimes depends on the renovation project itself.

At work, I have been anticipating a renovation project inside my coffee shop for months. Much planning has gone into this renovation/remodel. A lot of time, planning, finances and personalities have gone into this renovation project. I have been talking about this for a year now, and it is finally  happening! The renovation of The Hearbeat Cafe (my coffee shop) will take a few weeks to complete, and there may be some minor annoyances for me to work around, but overall, when it is finished, I anticipate wonderful things! I anticipate a much easier flow of my work because the layout will be more adequate for my tasks. I anticipate more business, as we introduce new drinks and new merchandise. I anticipate being busier, and probably more tired, but way more excited! It will be fresh and new and exciting and beautiful. This renovation/remodel is long and drawn out, but so wonderful through the process.

At home, an unexpected renovation took place this weekend. This renovation held more challenges and frustrations than my exciting coffee shop renovation. Why? Well, it involved my finances directly, for one. Finances which were tight already. Two, it was unexpected, and change in this case, was intimidating. It meant rearranging my garage, kitchen nook and a part of my kitchen altogether, all without tearing anything down to make more room. It meant a major shift of large appliances, which requires time and energy. It was a quick renovation, but a tough one.

Life is like that. God likes to renovate us. ALL. THE. TIME. that is how he works. He does not want us to be stagnant and keep the same "decor" all the time. He wants us to shift and change and mold into who He is designing us to be. He wants me to trust Him and be excited for this, but more often than not, I am intimidated and challenged and resistant.
 "But God, I don't want to give that up. I want to keep living life as I am."
   "But God, I'm tired, and I'd really like you to just take care of that for me."
          "But God, I think I'm doing fine. Do I really need to change my heart?"

And God responds by renovation. Sometimes that comes in the form of tight finances, where I have to give up luxuries so I can learn the importance of the necessities again. Sometimes renovation comes in the form of difficult coworkers or friends or people in general, and God whispers to me "Rachael, I asked you to love them. No. Matter. What. so keep on loving them. I know you are tired , but I will be your rest. Love." Sometimes the renovation comes in the form of learning to say no or to walk away or to stand tall in my faith.
 Whatever the case, He is always renovating me. He is remodeling my heart to look more like His. It is challenging and beautiful. It is exciting and intimidating. But all in all, it is a God given opportunity to become like Him. I'm always still "me", but being shaped into a more beautiful me by Him, just like my coffee shop is still my coffee shop, just a more beautiful and functionable one.
 God says to us in James 1 "dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

One day at a time, as He renovates me, I will do my best to consider it joy and watch Him make me into something beautiful, needing nothing.

PS-When the renovation in my coffee shop is complete, I will post pictures so you can see!

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