All of us have enjoyed driving through neighborhoods admiring homes we see and commenting on what we think...
"That yard is beautiful."
"I would love a house like that." You get what I'm saying.
We may do this from time to time; then, there comes a time when we are really looking for a home to purchase. We get in the car and drive through those neighbors we admired. We find homes for sale, call the listing agent and make an appointment to go look at some of them.
The first one we go see has almost all of the criteria we have on our list of wants and needs. We pull up to the drive, get out of the car and meet the agent inside. Once we walk through the front door we are immediately let down because it has not been updated and is in much need of attention. Not only is it not updated but it is not as clean as it should be, especially since it is on the market for sale.
Down the street there is another house for sale and our agent wants to take us there as well. We are hesitant because it does not look very appealing from the outside. Our agent assures us it is within our price range and worth a look. Reluctantly we go.
To our total amazement it is spectacular inside! It is updated in every room. Due to circumstances beyond their control the owners could not afford to do what they needed to the outside. We now want to carefully consider the pros and cons of both homes. It is going to be a tough decision.
Let's think about this for a moment in relation to our own lives...
We may look really awesome on the outside. Our hair is the latest style. Our clothes are looking good on our body. People come up to us easily to talk and get to know us. Or, we find someone we want to get to know and introduce ourself to them. After chatting we make arrangements to meet again in a couple days at a local coffee shop. After spending time together we begin to realize this person, whom we thought was someone we wanted to spend time with, is not anything like we thought. On the surface, on the outside, they looked good, but once we got to know them we found out their values, their way of life, everything about them was not what we thought. At this point we make a decision whether or not to continue the relationship...
One day we are having a bad day. Sitting alone in a coffee shop someone notices the look on our face. They are a regular in the coffee shop as well and notice we are not as cheerful as normal. We have never talked to them before because, in all truthfulness, they just did not look like someone we wanted to get to know. Wouldn't you know? They are the very person we needed all the time...
Remember the two houses we liked and went in, just to realize they were not what we thought? I began thinking of all this when we purchased a home recently that we are renovating.
The home had been on the market for several months. I had driven past it several times and always said I did not want to even consider it because it really was UGLY. I am not joking! We looked at other homes in the area and nothing ever happened with the ones we considered. This "ugly" house finally got our attention and we broke down and walked through the house, just out of curiosity. After walking through it, we saw potential in renovating and making it a place of beauty. We placed an offer and negotiated to where we were comfortable. We are in the midst of that reno and many spiritual correlations come to mind. So bare with me...
We are working on the inside first. The inside had not been updated and it just was not designed properly. In order to bring the home to it's full potential we have to gut it and redesign it. It is going to be beautiful, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the outside.
A few pictures to see the progress:
Kitchen before reno
Kitchen during reno
The Apostle Peter tells us in I Peter 3:3-4 that we should be concerned with our inner beauty, not our outward appearance. He is not telling us to not care about what we look like on the outside; just be more concerned with what is going on inside. If we do this...work on our inner self, which the help of the Holy Spirit, we will not only become beautiful inside, but outside as well. Often we work more on our outer appearance. We want other people to accept us by our looks. It is much more valuable to be beautiful on the inside. Respect, love, concern, thoughtfulness all come from our inner health. Our inner self will reflect what is transforming in our lives.
Let's all take a look at our house. Do we only look good on the outside? What does our heart tell us? When other people look at us what do they see? A lovely "house" which is our body, or a lovely person that comes from the heart, making us beautiful inside and out?
My prayer is we will allow the Holy Spirit to come inside our house and begin renovations. Some of us may need a major overhaul, a total gut, down to the core. Other's just might need to update their house and refresh their spirit. Then there will be those who have never really started the process and will start from the beginning. It doesn't matter where we are, we just need to take the first step and begin the reno. Come on and join me. It will be worth it, I promise.
Thanks for reading and blessings to you.
ps. stay tuned for updates on the progress of the home renovation that will be used in the future for women's retreats once again.