These last few weeks, my husband and I have been attempting to improve our basement. The house we bought has five amazing basement rooms, but they were dusty, dark and not quite fulfilling a useful purpose. What initially seemed like a quick job of just smartening them up is now taking a reasonable length of time, as we seek to do things properly and so that we won’t have to do it again anytime soon!
We started with clearing out all the stuff stored in them, which meant we had to make space for that in other places. We then mopped and cleaned the floor numerous times ready for painting. This was proceeded by a primer coat on the floor, then two coats of heavy duty grey floor paint. The floor is looking mighty fine right now!! Gone is the red dust, random sticky patches (don’t even want to know what happened there!) and dusty corners.
Next, my Father-in-law installed new lighting to brighten it up and make it more energy efficient. He dug in the wires into the joists so that the roof could be boarded over, stopping draughts upstairs through the floorboards.
We then decided to move on to the walls. My hubby took down all the old shelving units on the walls that were sagging and rusting. We brushed the walls down, hoovered up all the dust, primed them with a watered down coat of paint and did a full coat of white paint on every wall we could get to!
Every step took a day of our time, to let things settle and dry (and to let us recover from working hunched over – did I mention the basement rooms are half the height of normal rooms!). It was slow, it took longer than hoped, and just when you thought you might be finished, another preparation step popped up. As I type, we are now having to do another coat of grey paint on the floor to hide the white splodges that got there after painting the walls. There is more sweeping to do after the mess made from boarding the roof, and then the job of boxing everything up in plastic to keep it dry and safe from rodents.
So what’s my point? I guess all the DIYing has got me thinking about how long it really takes for God to move and work and change things in our lives. Quite often I’ll identify an issue I have and pray about it, expecting it to be instantly resolved. But then a year or so later it comes back, and I’m annoyed that I am still battling it. I like to think that as I grew up a Christian, my problems aren’t that bad and I’ve never really sinned big style! But I know now that the sins and issues in my life are ones that are taking many years to be noticed and then to be resolved.
I am currently reading a book called “Idols of a mothers heart” and the author says that motherhood is a season that reveals things in us in a way that no other season can. The unique stresses, pressures and challenges of motherhood throw things out of us that we never expected, and only then can God deal with them. Well I can certainly attest to that! But what I now know, and hopefully will remember, is that most things take a long time to do right. There are unexpected steps and extra steps we never bargained for, there are the times we have to go over the same job twice because we messed up again. But if we do it right, and take the time, then we will make a positive change to our lives that will last through future seasons. Just like we hope our new basement will.
Nothing is unfixable, we just have to deal with the next task on the list to making it better.