The Ugliness of the Unfinished

Honestly, my house is a mess!  I’m not speaking of the everyday this, that gets left there or the laundry piled up.  That’s there too, but I’m talking about my walls.  Some are still bare, never adorned with favorite photos or works of art, even as the one year mark of our move into these walls approaches.  Some of the paint colors just aren’t my favorite or need to be freshened up and I guess my thought has been, why decorate a wall that I don’t like, or that needs work?  Why take the time to put things up, just to take them down again to start from scratch? 
Another bit of honesty:  I thought that if I left them bare, I might be more quickly moved to make the changes I envisioned so that I could get my pretty things up…it hasn’t worked.  Sure I’ve worked on things here and there, but either life or perfectionism has kept me from getting the jobs done.  I did tear up my bathroom walls back in the Spring, kind of on a whim, tired of the brown, and certain that it wouldn’t be all that hard to paint a brighter color and throw some new wainscoting up.  Even the sanding of the vanity cabinet took less time than I thought and I am fairly happy with my creativity in the painting of it.  But I hadn’t thought of ALL the details when I first tore it all up in a matter of hours way back in the spring…It takes time!  (and money and patience and more hands and the list goes on!)  
The cabinet hinges are old and rusty and just don’t go with my newly prettied up vanity, and strangely I am not finding, very quickly,  what I hoped to replace them with.   The old mirror is permanently cloudy, and really needs to be replaced, but I can’t find a mirror quite the size, shape and color I want or need to fit nicely under the light fixtures that I don’t know how to move, not that I would want to add that to my list!  I have a wonderful idea in mind for the ceiling that is peeling of the old brown paint, but I need quite a few extra hands to help with that undertaking, and although I have willing souls to help with it, I have yet to find the best time to gather them here and give it a go.  The new wainscoting, or at least a sampling of the two styles we settled on are waiting patiently in the garage for us to haul in and make our choice.  But our weekends are busy, and our evenings are fleeting, and meanwhile, I have tired of the complexity of that little bathroom, even though it is paining me to look at all that old tile glue and liquid nails still left on the walls from the tearing out of the previous dwellers preferences. 
Even with all of the my hard work in choosing, prepping and painting it a nice, warm, ocean blue, adding a trendy new door knob, and almost finishing the vanity, I am still seeing the ugliness of an unfinished room.  So while I continue my search for the details and wait for a big enough time slot to get things moving again in there, I have decided for the time being to move on to the living room that I am certain will be much easier to tackle, with just a new coat of paint, a new curtain rod and curtains.   I hope to have it finished within the month so that my Christmas tree and decorations can go up in a warm and finished room!  But now begins the process of doing the work and the ugliness and mess have crept farther down the hall!  

Have you ever felt like an ugly mess?!  Have you ever felt like there is so much work to be done in you or your life that there couldn’t possibly be any good shining through?   We have a tendency, just like I did about my bathroom walls, to misjudge the time or amount of work it takes for change to take shape in us or our circumstances.  We live in a world of instant access, and we have grown unaccustomed to the virtue of patience.  Are we looking past the Carpenter and his careful, committed work in us, and only focusing on the ugliness of an unfinished circumstance?  Are we focused so much on a desired end result, that we neglect to see His hands at work in this moment?  Are we showing gratitude for his presence and trusting Him to complete His good work in us?    Let’s remember that life is a journey, and He is our everything.  Let us unfix our eyes from the ugliness around us or even in us, and focus in on the Carpenter at work in the midst of it.    I am so grateful for this reminder today, and pray you are blessed by it too…He is at work in us all!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”  Philippians 2:13
–written by Naomi M.