More than just a reno

Renovations! That word can elicit a variety of responses. There are countless magazines and reality shows on the topic. I have to admit that I love to watch others and have helped people with their own renovations, but when it comes to doing my own I am not filled with joyful anticipation. We should have thought of that before we bought an older one-and-a-half story home. Built in the 1930s, this home has incredible charm but we’ve also discovered it needs some TLC.

Last winter was exceptionally long and cold. As the snow started melting we didn’t notice any problems with our home, but by mid-June we saw water damage on some ceilings. It’s not like I was purposefully choosing to not think about what was happening in the crawl space, but I had other things on my mind. I filed that away in the ever-growing “to do” box in my mind. Other items had priority. The ceiling stains didn’t seem to be getting worse, so I thought it was just because of the colder winter. Then, in September, we had heavy rain and I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. I called in the specialists. The roofing company said we had three issues: shingles needing replacement, insufficient insulation and a humidity problem. The roof couldn’t be ignored any longer.

What was the solution? We needed to rip out everything from our upper half-story so that we could adequately insulate it. That part didn’t sound so daunting, but when the work began my mind wondered what else might go wrong. Would we run into more work than we could possibly afford? I began to feel overwhelmed with the magnitude of the job. The roofer suggested we do the gutting of the space, which would save us a lot of money. We had no option to do it any other way. But it also meant I would see everything! Thankfully I have some very good friends and family who have encouraged me, spurred me on and calmed my fears. We have encountered some surprises, we are a long way from completion and I do still feel overwhelmed with the whole magnitude of the project, but I’m realizing that I am not alone.

No detail too small
One particular day I was home alone and my to-do list, my emotions and the cost of the roof plus insulation all came to the surface. I realized that I had bottled up my fears and anxiety rather than talk about them with my wife and I hadn’t really been giving this to God either. So I sat there and prayed! As I poured out my heart to Jesus, I felt him near, and my anxiety began to lift as my tears flowed down my cheeks. I realized that I wasn’t alone, nor meant to walk this renovation by myself. I was reminded that I am called to commit my ways to the Lord and that he is interested in everything about me, even this renovation. In this place God reminded me of the ways he has provided for our needs during the renovation – the wisdom of the specialists, the help from friends and family and the continued funds being donated.

This renovation is teaching me again that God cares for every detail in my life. It isn’t just a renovation; it’s a life experience and God is in the midst of it all. I call this the Spiritual Narrative. So often I am consumed only by the human narrative, which focuses primarily on my own feelings and emotions within the experience. When I stop and look at what God is doing in the midst of the human narrative I am in awe of his goodness and love. His care is incredibly gracious and merciful. God is challenging me to focus on the Spiritual Narrative and the things he is doing rather than be consumed with my own anxious thoughts. There is always more than meets the eye in every situation and God is always speaking to us, showing us his glory and purpose.

  • Kenny Warkentin after working several years as an urban missionary with Living Waters Canada and Exodus International is now an associate Pastor. Kenny is passionate about issues regarding relational wholeness, gender and sexuality and has written numerous columns on those issues as it pertains to the Body of Christ. He is married to Paula and they have a daughter Phoebe. Paula and Kenny are both avid artists and they have showcased their work in various venues. Paula is a spoken word poet and Kenny is a photographer and painter. The are passionate about marriage and travel and share their testimony throughout North America.

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