Thursday, July 19, 2012

From muddy yards to a muddied heart...

John and I are getting ready to move into our new house next weekend, and we couldn't be more excited! The renovation process has been much more fun than stressful, thanks to an incredible builder, crew, and realtor. It's been so rewarding seeing an empty house with just the studs transform into our new home, wall by wall and inch by inch.

I've mentioned before that being a part of the renovation process has taught me to appreciate the story behind what is seen. And the same is true for our backyard. One of the last steps to complete is the landscaping, and in one day the backyard went from being overgrown to a muddy mess.

Mid-landscaping... Hope to have a post-landscaping photo soon!
Heavy afternoon thunderstorms this past week have made the yard even muckier and messier than I expected. Yet in order to put down sod, the sloped yard must be evened out and smoothed down. It appears that it's getting worse before it gets better.

As a high achiever and recovering perfectionist, I struggle to find patience to see the vision beyond the mess - and I am not only referring to my yard. Whatever change that I want to take place - whether accomplishing a goal, trying a new hobby, or undergoing a serious heart change like accepting imperfections or being joyful in all circumstances - usually requires putting up with some muck and mud.

Especially for intentional heart changes, it is easy to see my muddied heart and despair. How will I ever change? How will beautiful flowers and green grass blossom here?

In listening to a sermon by Ted Sinn (Eph. 6:10-20) this week, I realized how often I believe the lie that if I make a mistake, such as slipping into a past pattern of perfectionism, that I cannot possibly be changing.

When you are discouraged that you are trapped being the same person you've tried so hard to change, don't allow yourself to be stuck looking at the murkiness. Instead, we must get beyond the mud and look from a new perspective. Out of struggles that seem to be moving us backward comes true refinement.

We need to allow ourselves to be embraced by the journey and trust that we are being transformed "from one degree of glory to another" because "it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (2 Corinth. 3:18; Phil. 2:13).

Don't see the mud. See each degree of glory that is taking shape.

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