January 15, 2009

From Chaos to Glory

These last eight days have been quite a whirlwind around here! Between our “minor” home renovation that turned into a major project and my adventure to Dallas I’ve been grasping to control the chaos, let alone my day-to-day responsibilities. The good news: I’m sitting at my brand-new desk in my almost-finished new room (and it’s looking great!). I promise to post pictures when we’re done, but first I want to go back a few days to when we were in the peak of disorder around here.

Perhaps Empty Me may become my theme for 2009. It’s certainly been apropos this January. In order to lay the hardwood floors, and do the other construction, in our living room and dining room we had to completely empty both rooms. (When half of one of those rooms is my office, it's no small task.) Add to that the necessary tools, supplies and equipment, our house has became an obstacle course. “Stuff” was everywhere…and I’d just gotten the house back in tip top shape as I reclaimed it from Christmas.

Did I mention we’re doing all of this work ourselves, under the expert direction of my sister who is the brains behind the operation. This isn’t a sit back and watch, and offer the workers refreshing beverages, project. No, we’ve paid for the results with our sweat equity. By the end of each day (like midnight), Dan, my sister and I are spent—emptied physically. (We’re fast tracking the project because my sister has a deadline to go back home to Florida.)

This business of transformation is hard work. It isn’t for the faint of heart, those without a desire to see it through to the end, or those who need continual order. If you don’t believe me, here’s the view to our front door last week. (This area usually has nothing in it except a coat rack by the front door.) It’s like an obstacle course navigating through the cluttered pathways in our house.

But today, I finished assembling my desk and began the process of putting the piles of "stuff" away. This is when the fun starts and we can see the rooms coming to life.

The Bible says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corin. 3:18) … AND …
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” ( Corin. 5:17)

The transformation promised by Jesus is beautiful and miraculous. For me, it’s the hope of my “old” becoming “new” that spurs me on. But, transforming into the likeness of Christ is hard work. It shakes up our ordered lives. It requires perseverance. It's uncomfortable and often messy. And it takes time—a long time. However, God won’t do it all while we sit back and offer beverages. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and participate in the process. He directs, we follow. We take down, He builds up. We empty, He fills.

If our home renovation is any indication, the work is hard, but the results are more than worth the effort.

Holy Fire burn away,
my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me.
I want more of you and less of me.
--From "Empty Me" by Jeremy Camp


Anonymous said...

I love the pic! Thanks for the visual! My favorite transformation verse is from Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. You're right - it's hard work!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Talk about "extreme home makeovers"! I love the connection you've made between one's living domain and one's own temple.

The renewing of my own mind - the place of transformation requiring the most overhaul - has been a lifetime process. Just about the time I think I've arrived, some new facet shows up beneath the Lord's ladder. Work in progress!

Be blessed,

Dan said...

Yes, it's been quite a process. But, as cliche as it sounds, it's also cleansing...amazing how much of that detritus you see in the hallway (and some that didn't even last long enough to make it into the picture) has continued its trip in a straight line from the living room to the garbage. Kelli and I are NOT pack rat-types, but like anybody, we hang onto so much stuff simply because it's "ours" and we "might want it someday." Empty me, indeed!

Sue J. said...

Our Bible study this week is on Philippians 2. Verse 7 talks about how Christ "emptied himself" so that He could take the form of a servant and be made in the likeness of men.

Talk about a transformation!?!

Of course, Christ never actually took His deity out to the trash, and we can never be that fully God.

So, empty on! I can sense from you both some "weight" being lifted and that is allowing you to see things in a new light. It's all good!!

Gail W. said...

Congratulations on the new digs! I ADORE this post and the link you've made to that four-letter word needed for transformation, w-o-r-k. I LOL'ed when I read, "God won't do it all while we sit back and offer beverages." Thanks for a great start to my morning!

Chatty Kelly said...

What a picture! Worth 1,000 words, and probalby a couple of advil. LOL! Glad the glory comes!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Wonderful connection between the two...the home and the heart. Who knows how many bags have been carted to the curb during my process of "becoming"? God knows. He's carried them all...willingly.

So glad for your new space. Makes me think I need to do a little re-ordering around here.

Happy weekend, and be sure to post some pic's.


Peggy said...

I feel you write just to me a lot of the time. Today is no exception. In my prayer journal today I asked God to hold me up , give me strength and help me purge a lot more in this last week before I move into my apartment.
My body aches, but God gives me new strength and mercies everyday.Lamentations 3:21-23, my favorite scripture.
Pray for me to get this job complete by next Saturday!!!!!
Blessings and Love...Peggy

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Kelli,

LOL on Chatty Kelly's comment.

Having gone through a major renovation just 3 weeks after delivering our son via C-section, (many years ago,) I can honestly say I feel your pain. But in the end there will be SUCH satisfaction. And just THINK of all the $$$ you're saving.

God bless you as things pull together. Can't wait to see your before and after pix.

Anonymous said...

I love both...the purging that is taking place with what use to be in the room and the transformation in the room. Sometimes that looks so much easier then transforming ourselves. Thank the Lord that He is there to help.

Thanks for the visual that you provided! I needed this tonight.

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, what a great analogy. And yes, more of Him, less of me... I want that, too!

Terri Tiffany said...

This was a great post! ANd the picture was great too--sometimes we need to unclutter what's inside to see that transformation. Can't wait to see the results of your space!

JottinMama said...

Hello :)

I popped over to your blog today from Glynnis' blog post on working from home:)

I love the whole idea of "Awesome God...Ordinary Girl"! Too cool.

Blessings and strength to you as you remodel your home! We are in the middle of that ourselves!

Rolling up my sleeves right along with you,
Kate :)

Debbie said...


I LOVE THE NEW ROOM/S! I know you were thankful for what you had but God has truly blessed you with a “grown up” space for you to write, be creative, and soak in the sunshine from those big windows!! I’m thrilled for you!

Having to empty a room completely to renovate is no easy task, yet after the renovation is complete and we put things back in a more orderly way it all looks so much better. I think that is the way it is when God forces us to empty some rooms, He does the renovations, and puts things back in our hearts in a place that looks and functions much better.

The renovation of our hearts’ process can be hard but the fruits of the labor are beautiful, just like your new room!

Love, Deb