Sunday, June 9, 2013

Renovating Life, Part 2

"How do you like your changes so far?"

   That is a common question I answer all day right now, as the renovations are in place in the coffee shop . (See Renovating Life . ) As I have answered this question many times, (which I don't mind, really. With each person the conversation is a bit different),  I have begun to think on this aspect more and more.

My common answer to most people for that question is: "I like it, but I will like it even better when it is finished.  "

I began to think on that in the aspect of my own life. I am under constant renovation. My heart is being molded on a daily basis. Sometimes the molding is obvious- much like the first weekend of the renovations inside the coffee shop. The changes are evident to me and others alike. When God wants to change something inside me, He will use things in life, such as Simplifying Life, to help me become more like Him. To see more like He does. To become more of a light for Him. A year ago, I would say I went through a major renovation. I mean, God tore down walls, peeled the paint, scrubbed the floors and rebuilt me to some degree. My friendships changed, my outlook changed, my priorities changed....all for the good. But that was an exhausting journey, and yet today, there is a much more beautiful picture inside my heart. That would be an example of one of the renovations that would be more obvious to others.
   And yet some renovations are less noticeable to the public, but quite obvious between the renovator and the renovated. The second weekend of the coffee shop renovation was a simple fix, but a needed one. Tile was put in place, as well as a tile backsplash on the walls.  Most who walked in didn't really notice that, but I did. And just like that, there are many renovations inside me that are between me and God. Many minor adjustments I have to make, sometimes on a daily basis. A mindset change, which leads to An attitude change, which leads to a characteristic change.  A smile instead of a frown. A laugh instead of a cry. A positive word to myself, instead of a negative word. I will tell you that like most people, I am my own worst critic, but sometimes to a detrimental degree.  Sometimes I put my own self down so much I believe it and then it comes through in other ways. This is one way God has been renovating me lately.  having a mindset battle can be one of the most exhausting experiences. I have to work on a daily basis not to give into those negative thoughts. Instead of the "lies" I have to embrace the truths. I don't know why that is so challenging for me, but it is. However, I am working on it. Embracing what others see in me. But even more, what God sees in me.
  Last Monday, as renovations didn't quite make it as far as they were supposed to in the third phase, my boss says to me " Now, Rachael, don't get mad....I'm just going to tell you now.... the reopening is being pushed back another week."
  I laughed and said, "I wouldn't get mad about that!" But it's likely my impatience comes through as frustration which may interpret to another person as me being angry. It's also likely that perhaps I am so excited to be done and see the final new, that I get impatient at every word that means "wait..." And renovations in my heart are that same way. I want to become confident overnight. I want to love myself overnight. I want to be done with anxiety attacks and depression mood swings. But, it's a slow process. and a process of learning to lean into God more and more. Because renovations mean waiting. And waiting means growing. Over the last few months, these are some words I have been hearing from others and learning to embrace myself. More importantly, they are truths God tells me and I am embracing more and more through this process. Seeing an actual renovation take place in my every day world (my coffee shop) has made me pause to consider this whole concept inside of my own heart.
   I like to dress up, but I am a farm girl at heart. I love the blue jeans and boots and the farmland.
     I love to run. It is a part of me.
        I love to laugh! Belly laugh. Laugh til I cry laugh.
          I love to help people.
            I love coffee.
  I am Rachael.
    I am a wife.
      I am a mommy to 2 growing children.
        I am a writer.
         I am a barista...and proud of that.
        I am beautiful. (I have to make myself write that....that is one I don't embrace yet)
          I am loved.
             I am forgiven.
                 I am redeemed.
                    I am a daughter of the One true King.
                       I am accepted. Sins, scrapes, bruises, past mistakes, current talents, devolping dreams and all that I am. Faults and failures. Talents and Treasures.
        I am passionate about causes that matter and God is using those to touch others.
            I have talents. Perhaps not outward, visible talents to all, but they are inside of me blooming.
 These are just a handful of the truths. A few grains of truth found on a beach full of sand.

So, if you ask me today, " how do you like the changes so far?"  I will tell you, in regards to my heart renovations: " I love them. It will take a lifetime to finish this renovation, but I love what I am learning and seeing and becoming." (But you might have to remind me sometimes that I love this renovation!)
 One day at a time. One thought at a time. He is renovating me. And I love it. Painfully at times. But I love it.

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