Hey, everyone! Summer holidays are over, and I feel my brain cells slowly replenishing. I think I’m finally getting my writing mojo back. Ahhhh….feels so good…like my favorite drink when I write –hot black tea with honey and a spot of cream (I grew up in Canada). Otherwise, it’s just plain black coffee (I still claim American citizenship).
This summer was pretty crazy. I know money is not a very “PC” thing to talk about, but I just gotta share how God has used our cash flow, or lack thereof, to transform my thinking and grow my faith. I think I can safely speak for my sweet hubby, Neil, too. We are growing together – as a family. In the next three posts, I’ll share what we’ve been learning.
We rent the house we live in (See https://mosaiclifeblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/today-we-rent/), and over the summer, it became obvious the deck needed to be replaced. Wood rot and poor construction resulted in a sagging deck. We agreed to cover any expense which might have been incurred by our daily use. After several estimates, we planned to spend no more than two thousand dollars.
During the week before this undertaking, I made sure to prep Noah really well, so he knew exactly what to expect. “Okay, Noah, in a few days some people are coming to tear down the deck. Then they will build a new one.” I even wrote it on his calendar. He ran out to the deck to make sure it was still there.
“No tear down the deck!”
“It’s okay, Noah. We need to tear it down.” I pointed out where it sagged.
A couple days before the project, our contractor told us he was bringing a whole work crew. “Don’t worry about paying them,” he said. “It’s already been taken care of.”
The day finally arrived, and Noah’s anxiety was escalating. Slate tile was the first layer to come off. Next, plywood. And after that, particle board. Untreated scrap wood framed out the deck with two joists supporting the entire thing. No wonder the deck sagged! In fact, the whole deck was dangerously built to fail. Needless to say, the entire deck needed to be demoed. Over the next few days, the work crew worked diligently to carefully demo the deck.
Meanwhile, Noah could hardly stand watching the demolition crew tear down what was familiar. That evening, I grabbed Noah’s Bible from his desk and turned to Ecclesiastes 3 and began reading.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to break down, and a time to build up…” (Eccl 3:1, 3b).
I handed Noah his Bible so he could read it for himself. I even highlighted it and placed a bookmark in that page. Then I explained, “See, Noah? Sometimes we need to tear down what is dangerous so we can rebuild something safe in place of it. God does that, too.
There are times He will tear down places in our lives that leave us open to danger. Sin is dangerous.”
“Dangerous,” he said, pointing to the door leading to the deck.
“Yes, the deck is dangerous. We need a new one. Safe,” I responded.
As Noah and I were having this conversation, I felt the Holy Spirit whispering to me: “Will you trust Me to build your faith? First, I need to tear down your fear and apprehension, and I will use this deck.”
“Lord, I’m ready…” Ahhh, in all honesty, telling God I’m ready for Him to do soul surgery to build my faith caused a little more anxiety than I already had. But I guess that was the point.
What was supposed to be a three day job turned into a six day job. A $2,000 job turn into an $8,000 job. My stomach knotted over the next few days as old boards were torn away and several trips to Home Depot ensued. I wondered where all the money was going to come from. For Noah, he just couldn’t watch, so we closed the blinds on the French doors looking into the back yard. That way, he couldn’t actually see the deck being destroyed. However, every few minutes, he opened the door and made sure everyone was doing their jobs. “Get to work,” he quoted from Thomas the Train. Or “What in the world…?” Another line from a Thomas the Train episode. Fortunately, everyone had a good sense of humor.
I was just glad the deck was getting done, although I needed to keep reminding Noah (and myself!) that sometimes tearing down and rebuilding can take longer than we hope. We just need to be patient, and let the work get done and give it the time it needs.
At last, the deck was done! Noah and Judah were both ecstatic to be able to play in the back yard again. Everyone liked the newly built deck MUCH better. Even our two cats seemed to enjoy hanging out there more! But my gut was still in shambles as Neil and I poured through all the receipts and what we still owed. True. God provided labor costs for the work crew. By the way, one of our contractor’s clients, who we never before met, paid for the week long cost of the crew! Still, we owed another $2,000 to pay our contractor and cover some other expenses. So, that Sunday evening, after the boys were in bed, Neil and I prayed. Lord, we need to pay our contractor by Wednesday. Will You please send us $2,000 so we can pay him?”
The next morning, as I was making breakfast for the boys, I received a text from Neil, who was at work. “Babe, we just received $2,300 dollars into our account!”
Yes, we know who sent the money, but it wasn’t asked for, nor was it expected. In fact, before that morning, I hadn’t heard from my friend in awhile. We have the kind of friendship where we can pick up where we left off several months before.
“A time to break down, and a time to build up…”
It was a good lesson for our whole family.