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Demolition and taking stuff apart is pretty fun!! Give me a hammer and let me at it!! Just kidding. Kind of…. 

My oldest is graduating from high school this summer (crazy!). I’ve been thinking and planning his graduation open house. And like every graduating parent, the mile long list of home improvement projects just became a priority!! The main one I want to accomplish in time for the open house is to finish our sunroom. The ceiling was open to the rafters and I wanted to enclose it. And of course one idea led to another that led to another! To start, I hung insulation (new experience for me!) in the ceiling. It immediately made a difference, but still drafty. I wasn’t sure how well the outside walls were insulated. I wanted the new ceiling to be white. The current walls were white. Too much white! So….I needed to double check the insulation behind the walls and the white needed to come down!! Right?? Let the demo begin!! Haha. I went to town with a hammer, knife, screwdriver and pliers!! (All the people that know me just cringed!! Haha!) The walls were insulated. But I had already taken part of it down, might as well take the rest down and put up new, right?? Seriously, though, the window needed to be sealed better and more insulation needed to be added. If I’m going to do this, I want to do it right! The walls were vinyl, waterproof material that uses a j-channel to attach to the walls. The j-channel was a little more challenging. There were a couple of times I had to show it who was boss, get a little mad at it and put a little more muscle into it! It had no chance!! I had a surprise when I took the j-channel off. There was another layer of trim around the windows. They nailed it in place and used caulk as “glue” to hold it in place. That was not fun to take off! It took longer than expected to get it off and a lot more elbow grease. I was down to 5 pieces left and they were being stubborn!! I was about to throw in the towel. I stopped, took a step back and just stared at it. I needed some perspective. I was getting too frustrated in the details and losing sight of the big picture. As I took a step back, I could see it as a whole then narrow down the problem and look into what was holding me up. I was able to get a few more pieces off before calling in reinforcements for the last couple of pieces. FInally, all the trim was down and I could start putting things back together!

While I was taking a step back, gaining perspective, I realized my life reflected this process. We all need a little demo every now and then! When I was putting up the insulation, I was advised to cover up as much as possible. Jeans, long sleeve shirt, gloves, hat, and goggles. I was styling!! I am so thankful I was covered from head to toe by the time I was finished! Insulation dust was everywhere. I thought it was interesting that I put up insulation before I started taking things apart. Hmm, see the parallel? We need “insulation” before we start our demo. What do you insulate yourself with when circumstances are difficult and the demo is about to begin? 

Not going to lie, the day after I had put up the insulation and it was still up and hadn’t fallen down, I did a little happy dance!! Haha! “Okay,” I thought, “I’m ready to start taking some stuff apart!” My “insulation” is not going anywhere. WIth that reassurance I got my screwdriver and hammer and went to town!! Pulling the vinyl off went pretty smoothly and I was feeling pretty confident. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! It was time for the j-channel to come down. I was advised, once again, “Oh, just give it a good tug, it will come down pretty easy!” Says the person who makes a living in the construction business! For the most part, yes, it came down with a few good tugs. There were some stubborn parts that needed a little hammering to get to loose enough for me to tug down. There was also a j-channel along the floor. I could pull down pretty easily. Pulling and yanking up was a different story. I’m not that old, but my lower back thinks I’m older than I am! After the first couple of tugs, I felt my lower back twitch and thought, “Nope. Not going to happen!” Once again, I called in reinforcements to take out the last few pieces. 

The first part of “demo” gives us a little bit of confidence that we can do this, we will make it through and it won’t hurt too bad. Whether it’s a physical demo or internal demo, you can guarantee surprises along the way. The extra layer of trim underneath the j-channel was my surprise. It stopped me in my tracks for a minute or two. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know how it was attached to know how to take it down. No one warned me that it could be there. I wasn’t sure I had the right tools or the know how to take it down. And it needed to come down. I could not leave it up and complete the job right. 

This was my, take a step back and gain perspective, moment. We all face circumstances that we don’t know what to do, where to go, how to handle it or what’s the best way. I have a tendency to put my head down and push through. While this philosophy has worked and I’ve gained strength, stopping and taking a step back is just as important. I took a step back and scanned the entire room. Not just the one area that was being rudely difficult, but the whole area. I was getting discouraged in the details and losing sight of the big picture. I was mad and ready to throw in the towel. “Forget it. Someone more experienced and stronger can come in and finish. I’m done!” That did not settle well with me. I’m not a quitter.I took a look around and saw what I had accomplished so far, look at all my “firsts” and realize how much I had gained already, how much strength I had gained. After I took a longer than normal lunch break, I came back to the sunroom, took one more look at the big picture, took a deep breath and said, “Let’s do this!” As I’m manhandling a piece of trim, I’m muttering, “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength. Lord, I could use a little more muscle right now!!” And viola!! The piece came off!! Ha! Take that you stubborn piece of trim!

Tada!! Demo is complete! Time to clean up my mess and start putting things back together! 

Life lessons learned from demo: 1. Insulate yourself with the knowledge of whose you are and aware of His strength within you. 2. We all need a little reinforcement along the way. Allow yourself to receive help and give you the strength and encouragement needed to continue on. 3. Perspective. Take a step back. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Throwing in the towel is unnecessary. He will give you the strength and knowledge to complete what He has laid out for you.

Years ago, my mom and dad were out of town for a couple of weeks and their yard needed to be mowed. I had been using a push mower for years at this point and had used my dad’s several times. When I went over to mow their yard, I couldn’t get it started! I checked the gas, oil, the primer, all the things dad taught me to check. I finally turned it on it’s side to see if something was caught. At that moment, my brother walked up! In his calm, humorous tone, says, “Whatcha got going on there!” Haha! I was bending over, looked up at him and replied, “I don’t know. I can’t get it started!” We both had a good laugh. He soon got the mower started and the yard was taken care of. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve tried to figure things out on my own. Or how many times I look up and Jesus whispers, “Whatcha got going on there?” Then He proceeds to guide me through and help finish up the task. 

Demo is necessary to rebuild and strengthen any structure from the inside out. Demo doesn’t last forever. Thank goodness! It’s a season in our growing and strengthening in our understanding, knowledge and love that Christ has for us. I’m humbled to have Him in me, by my side and above me to see the big picture. I need Him for it all and He willingly wants to be my all.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this demo together, in Him.  

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