Have you started your Fall cleaning yet? Such in-depth semi-annual cleanings are extremely beneficial. We are still underway with our Fall duties here at our home in New England. We have been engaging in much labor inside and outside getting ready for winter. Around here, we could see snowfall in as little as the next couple to few weeks! Brrr!!!
As I mentioned in the first blog of this series, The Fall Overhaul is comprised of three specific components: clearing out the clutter, cleaning up the mess, and caring for the worn. In the first blog we talked about the importance of simplification in our lives. In the part 2 of this series, we targeted the varying levels of cleaning that are required if our lives are going to shine, which includes taking a look at one’s behaviors, character, personality, and heart. Today, I want us to focus on the final point, caring for the worn.
As I look at our home, there are so many things we want to get accomplished before snow falls. Some are already underway. These things go beyond the usual cleaning that we do inside and outside. I have been noticing paint that has chipped on door frames and wallpaper seams that are beginning to come undone. Outside, we have been working on re-shingling the roof, which has turned into a chore greater than previously anticipated. Then, there are other things that we want to do but may need to wait until next year to tackle, such as rebuilding the porch and sidewalks that once existed at the front of the house. All these things may not necessarily be “cleaning” but they are important to providing a home that is welcoming and peaceful for family and guests alike.
As I consider this third phase of the “Fall Overhaul” process, I find myself once again contemplating how this applies to our personal lives. As I consider the chipped paint, roof repair, and porch installment, I see three primary categories of improvements beyond clearing the clutter and cleaning. If we are to care for the worn things, whether in our homes or in our lives, it will require the processes of restoring, restructuring, and resurrecting.
The chipped paint and peeling wallpaper in our house is just a sign of what the years will bring. Time, climate changes, age of materials, and use of the home all play a role in the current condition of the home. Restoring the appearance will require nothing more than some patching and painting to eliminate the wear and tear that the years have brought. Whether in our homes or our lives, the same principle applies. Things, situations and relationships will wear down and beauty will fade away if attention is not given to those areas that are showing signs of deterioration. However, a little attention and a little freshness applied to those areas will restore them to their original beauty. A fresh application of paint, polish, varnish or glue will restore most anything in the home. A fresh application of time, love, forgiveness, patience, passion, or skills – combined with a little diligence and effort – will restore most things that are showing signs of wear in our lives. This includes our life-long vision, relationships, personal aspirations, and responsibilities.
Some things in our lives need more than a little restoration. They need restructuring. Take our roof, for instance. Our roof needed more than some restoration that could come from a fresh layer of shingles. The shingles were 3 layers deep and were so far gone that they were loose, cracked, and melting together. The shingles had to be totally removed, which revealed additional problems that had to be fixed. The shingles were hung on beams that had huge gaps in them. This required the entire roof to be covered by sheets of plywood before the new shingles could be laid. If we had laid the shingles as they had been before without making all the necessary changes, we would, in time, end up with the same problems that we were now trying to correct. In our lives, there are times when we need to do some restructuring. We see a problem in our lives, and then we simply cover the problem over with another layer of experiences. In time the problem repeats itself. Now the cost is greater to make the necessary changes than it was before. Take my advice, bite the bullet and strip away the layers. Nothing will change until you do this. You will probably be surprised to find that the real issue is something totally different than you expected. Restructuring our lives will often involve new processes, new tools, and new resources, but the end result is stability and a sure construct.
Maybe the things that you are faced with are not in need of restoration or restructuring. Perhaps the things you are faced with seem to be totally lacking or “dead in the water” and need to be resurrected. Such is the case with our front porch. Actually, we do not even have one. There is a covering over the front entryway, but there was originally a full front porch on the house. What happened to the porch, we do not know. Maybe it rotted away and was removed. Maybe a previous owner did not see its importance or beauty and so they had it torn down. Whatever the reason, it no longer exists. When we looked at purchasing the home a couple years ago, we wondered what it would look like with a full porch attached. Imagine our delight when we went to the historical society and discovered, not only that it once had one but, we were able to see a picture of it! This ignited our passion to see it put back on the house, as well as the sidewalks that had been ripped out (though you can still see where they once laid).
Are you needing a resurrection experience? Is there something in your life that seems to have “rotted away”? Is there something that had been neglected for so long it appeared to not be worth saving? Did you lose sight of its importance and thereby removed it yourself? Did hurts burn it away? All that remains in your head is a picture of what once was or could have been. All you see is the moss that now covers where the paths once laid. Get hold of the vision again. It may require the help of someone to see it as it was. What may exist only as a dream now can become a reality? It may take time, perhaps longer than you want it to, but ignite the passion and make the necessary steps to make it happen – no matter how long it takes! Our porch will not be realized this year…but it will be realized!
What do you need to restore? What needs reconstructing? What do you desire to resurrect? How can we help? Let us know.