Fixer Upper (Round Two)
Last week we talked A Message from Magnolia, here on the blog. After a quick day trip to visit Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas, we were inspired by all of the spiritual takeaways from Chip and Joanna's show. We really only began to scratch the surface last week and it seemed totally necessary to spend another week here diving in a little deeper. Dalayna and I co-wrote last week, this week, I'll be taking us just a little further. Hoping you'll come along and take things a little deeper and make them a little more personal this week also!
Writing last week's post, the section that stuck with me the most was "Restructuring." I talked a lot about the difficulty of this part simply because it requires the most patience and waiting. Both things I really hate and am not so good at. But as much as we hate waiting and being patient, we can recognize that this is the part of the show (of life) that makes the ending so amazing. Because we can hardly recognize the house when Chip and Joanna are finished with it. They've taken this old, run down place and turned it into a beautiful space where everyone wants to be.
Mmm does that ring true in my heart. It is so incredibly painful to allow God to come in and restructure everything. To give Him the freedom to tear down what He needs to and then carefully build it all back up. To allow Him to make room for what He needs and to haul away what does not serve His purposes or fall in line with His blueprints. It feels like the process is never-ending. We just want to be done with it and start feeling at home again. We wonder how much renovation is necessary and maybe sometimes even regret handing over the process. I wonder if those homeowners ever wish somewhere along the journey that they would have just signed up for a room makeover show.
Ever been there?
I can say honestly that on many occasions that thought has crossed my mind. Geesh it would be so much easier if I just didn't have to think about this stuff. If I could just start painting already. If I would have just left it alone. If there wasn't always something that needed fixing. Essentially, living life without Christ. Living life blind to my mess and my need for restructuring and renovation. I know I can't be alone in that thought.
But at some point I come to. My thinking clears. An easier day comes and I remember what I'm doing this for.
At some point Chip and Jojo sit down with the homeowners and remind them of the end result. They look at the final plans and they pick out a few pieces of furniture or other details for the home. They keep them focused on the end result and give them the vision they need to push through the waiting.
And oh how I know that's exactly what Jesus does with me! When I'm feeling tired and defeated and like there might never be an end to the changing and restructuring on the insides of me, when the patience and the waiting is just too much to bear. There. He comes in and ever so gently reminds me of the end. The goal. The point of all of the hard work.
To look like His Son. To be a space that testifies to who He is and where people want to be.
He puts the vision in front of me again and walks by me a little closer in the process. He reminds me that quick wall patching and paint jobs will not complete in me what He needs to. That He desires more for me and my life. He wants to restructure me in a way that brings out the unique personality He's given me against the backdrop and atop the foundation of His Son.
So, why does this process take so long? Why does restructuring take months, maybe even years, while making everything pretty seems to take days or even just hours? Because we are talking about the foundation of everything here. We are dealing with things that lie below the surface. Things that define the model of the house and the way it will be used and lived in. If this stuff isn't done right, all of the finishing touches will be in vain because the ugly truth will still be living underneath, and eventually it will show itself.
If we don't take the time to deal with the little crack in the corner of the wall. If we ignore it and paint over it, eventually the crack will spread and the water will leak through and the pretty paint job will be ruined. If we don't face the fact that the porch is leaning just a little bit and we build the deck anyways and surround it with pretty flowers, eventually the deck will sink and we won't be able to sit and enjoy the lovely details anyways. You see what I'm getting at I hope...
We have got to have the foundation just right, the floor plan in perfect harmony, or else the rest is just shallow and superficial and will only cover up the structural issues for a little while. Eventually the damage and the issues underneath will show the world that we took the quick, easy way out and that what we've got going on is not of great quality. Chip and Jojo make sure to cover all of their bases when it comes to structure and foundation. They deal with every issue, even the ones that seem at first to be small or simple, even those that put a dent in the budget or elongate the process more than the owners would like. Why? Because they want to do quality work. They want to present a home that is beautiful on the surface and below. A home that checks out. A home that anyone and everyone can be proud of and a home that speaks to their character and work ethic.
I don't know about you, but that's what I desire for my life. I don't want a life that speaks of Christ superficially and on the surface but that is ridden with damage and issues waiting to destroy down below. I don't want to live constantly trying to patch up the problems peeking through or covering them up with coats of paint. I would rather let God take His time. Let Him come in and lay out the plans carefully, address ALL of the issues. Even the issues that require more of my energy and a lot more time. Allow Him to restructure my life and my heart according to His plans and purposes. I want a life that points to Christ from the paintings on the walls and the trinkets on the shelves all the way down to the foundation of me. A structure and a foundation that cannot be shaken and that speak to the quality of the builder and the designer. A life that reminds me and everyone else in it that I made a wise choice in who I handed things over to.
I know that it will take time and a lot of careful attention. Painful processes again and again. But I also have a Designer who is passionate about His work. Who is in it because He loves what He does and He cares about those who have placed themselves in His hands. A Designer who will work tirelessly through every single issue that arises to be sure that the foundation is settled and steady and strong. Who will walk me through everything that needs to be addressed until we can proudly put on those beautiful shades of paint and excitedly place the little details all around knowing that they will only serve to enhance what's below and not to cover up and ignore the things just waiting to destroy down the road.
That's what I want for my life and that's what I want for yours too.
Let's determine this week to not back down in the process. Wherever we might be in that process. Perhaps it's our first go at renovations. Perhaps we have just allowed Christ in to start looking things over and reworking the layout. Maybe we're 20 years in and in desperate need of some reevaluation and renovations. It doesn't matter really. It all requires the same patience and waiting and painful process. It all requires the same grace. Let's walk through it with each other. Remind each other of the goal, share vision, and determine to be women with solid foundations. Women whose lives speak of the character and work ethic and personality of their Designer.