Monday, May 24, 2010

Valuable Remodel

My friend Cathy owns her own business and I went to work with her the other day. She does custom window coverings and she was going to measure a house.
My idea of custom window coverings is whatever I can nail to the wall that won't fall down. Don't tell Cathy but I have been known to use bed sheets in a pinch.
The home was in an established area with one house more beautiful than the other. We pulled up to this awesome home with it's stone staircase leading to this grandeur entrance , I couldn't wait to see inside.
I expected to see the life styles of the rich and famous crib when we opened the front double doors. As the door opened I was surprised to see that the whole place was being torn apart.
The carpet, wall units, doors, the entire kitchen and for Cathy's sake the window coverings. Everything was being changed.
I assumed the decor was beautiful when they bought the house but it obviously wasn't to the new owners personal taste. So they hired a decorator that I'm sure showed them many drawings until they found what they considered perfect.
I wondered why they didn't just build a house from scratch and not waste all that money. I thought about it for a few days and then the Lord showed me that we are very much like that house.
We are all born (become a house) into sin.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
When we get to earth our owner is satan, that may freak you out but that's the truth. The good news is while we were still sinners God sent His son to purchase us and offer forgiveness of sin. You can put your house up for sale and have a new owner, Jesus Christ purchase you.
The outside of that house was fine. The foundation was good, the location was great it just needed some remodeling to the new owners specifications.
When we accept Christ are sins are forgiven and that's great but if all we take from God is forgiveness we will never grow.
Forgiveness should just be the first step. After we are purchased the remodeling should start. We shouldn't want to have the same decor as our old owner.
We may need some walls torn down. You may need to change your view of God or better yet your view of how God sees you. We may need to be gutted out right down to the foundation. But like that house your foundation is good because you were created in the image of God.
Remodeling isn't an easy job and it can't be done alone. When I walked in that house there were guys doing construction in one room and painters in another. There was a man looking at the electric and of course the designer and Cathy looking at the windows. The thing is each group was doing their designated room.
One guy wasn't responsible for the whole place.
It's the same with us we have to do one room at a time. If you start tearing yourself apart all at once it can be very defeating.
Sometimes we don't want to take on the job of remodeling because it will be too much work. Sometimes it's because we don't want to see what's behind a wall.
It may be a bigger job than we want to tackle so we decide our house looks OK the way it is.
For example one time I decided to pull the molding off of a wall in my kitchen and on the other side was a bunch of mold. (no pun intended) A part of me wished I left the molding alone but that mold would have gotten worse and eventually become a health hazard to me and my family.
Just like sin we think if we're getting by we can just pretend it's not there but eventually it will cause damage. You can't continue to make bad decisions and not expect them to damage you at some point.
Another reason we don't like to remodel is if you redo the kitchen then the living room looks outdated and if your gonna fix the living room you definitely want your bedroom redone and so it begins.
We can get overwhelmed if we try and work on every room at the same time, you need to do one room at a time. It may take a long time to get all the work done but in the end your loving your new place.
It's the same with us . We have to tackle one thing at a time so we don't become overwhelmed or worse yet think we're not fixable.
The men at this house were doing all the big jobs first then they'll come back and do the smaller ones. It won't be too hard for them because this is what they do for a living. They are trained professionals and because of that the owner doesn't have to know how to do the work he just needs to know who to hire.
It's the same for our house. We tear down the walls of despair, discouragement, anger, rejection whatever your old owners foundation is built on.
Then you get the design of your new owner, Jesus, and start remodeling each part of your life to His personal design.
You don't have to do it on your own or even have to know how you just have to make the decision to start remodeling.
This remodeling is a life time project but like I said once you start working on the big job like realizing you need forgiveness of sin it gets easier and easier.
Don't take the chance of foreclosure or even worse being condemned.
The enemy will try to condemn you so you won't want to move forward. He'll make you think the general condition of your house is no good so there's no reason to try.
The Holy Spirit will convict you in a specific area so you can tackle one room at a time.
Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Get a Bible and start reading the blue prints of how your life (home) should look
Ask Jesus to be your interior designer and let's bring up the value in our homes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Love Language

Many of you may have heard the phrase “love language.” Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages. If you have not read it I suggest you do. The five love languages are broken down by Mr. Chapman as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.
I think we possess all five of them; however one may be needed more than the rest depending on what’s going on in your life at the time.
When my kids were younger and all lived at home it was very difficult for me as a single mom with no help. An act of service was a huge love language for me. If someone mowed my lawn or helped clean the house without me asking I was beyond thrilled. Now my love language would lean more toward quality time. Don’t get me wrong I always love gifts so feel free to shop for me any time! Speaking of gifts let me tell you about my Mother’s Day.

I had an absolutely great Mother’s Day! How my children expressed their undying love and gratitude to me was not expressed the same way.
If you have more than one child you know one kid can be so different from another and mine are no exception.
I was blessed to have spent the day with all four of my children and this is the usual scenario from them.
My oldest son will usually get me a card and flowers on his own or if he’s with my oldest daughter they will get them together and then my oldest daughter will add a little something just from her. My youngest daughter always gets a card and something special whether it’s bought or made. Then there’s the third child… I only get a card with his name on it if he gets the youngest before she seals hers and he adds his name to it. If he’s not there when she buys the card he’s out of luck. He was out of luck this year.
I have been known to guilt him into doing some kind of chore for me on Mother’s Day but it usually involves an argument. This child is also capable of going the longest period of time without any contact between us so the no Mother’s Day token can be hard for me to handle.
Now you may be thinking I’m publicly dissing my son and any proper parenting article will tell you I’m doing a bad thing.
When has that ever stopped me?
I have wondered if he was switched at birth. How can a child of mine not know how important gifts, no matter how small, are to our family? How long has this kid known me?
We do have things in common. He has a gift for communicating in writing and we have the same wild hair and same color eyes. The truth is although my third child is the most different of the four children he’s also the one I have learned the most from.

Here is the point I want to share with you.
I got the card and flowers from the older two and my daughter made an awesome dinner. My oldest son also washed my car and gave spontaneous compliments through out the day. My youngest also got me a card and bought me a special gift. Child number three? Notta….
I could have made him feel like crap and compared him to his siblings or just got ticked off and wrote him off the rest of the day. That was an option. Other moms would have sympathized with me and agreed he was inconsiderate BUT I decided not to. Remember every reaction we have starts and ends as a decision. That reaction would have just made us both miserable.
Truth is I knew he probably was going to be empty handed so I decided to give him an out. I did let him know doing something on his own would have been nice however, he could still redeem himself. I gave him the envelope from one of the cards and told him a personal note would be accepted and appreciated.
By the end of the weekend he handed me the envelope with a sweet sincere hand written note on it. This is what it said:
“I’m so glad that I have such an amazing and strong woman as my mom. None of us would be the people we are today without your wisdom and love guiding us along through the years. I’m so thankful to have you in my life; all of our lives have been blessed because of you. I love you mom.”
Hang on I need a tissue.
Remember this is not about comparison on which kid said or did the best thing. I loved everything all 4 of my children did for me; it’s about the language of love.
If I had slammed him I would never have gotten this beautiful note that he had to take time to think about and write.
His love language is physical touch so if I were mad at him I definitely would not have been expressing my love for him with hugs and kisses.
We always have a choice in how we react to each other. I think it’s important for us to know the love language of those we are closest to whether it’s a spouse, child, or good friends.
Satan loves to mess with our emotions so let’s not give him any ammunition.
Jesus freely gave us all five love languages. We get words of affirmation from the Bible, quality time if we spend time reading and praying. Receiving the ultimate gift of salvation, meaning a place in Heaven with Him, because of His act of service on the cross for us. And last but not least we get physical touch here on earth when we become the hands and feet of Jesus and love on each other.
Don’t just expect your love language be the love language.