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Work boots, a sledgehammer, and a portable speaker….

Sounds like the start to a ridiculous joke, doesn’t it?

Really it was just the start to yet another home improvement project. I distinctly remember telling the hubby I did not want another project house when sold our last home. Something must have gotten lost in translation because guess what we ended up with?!

Recently, we finally decided to tackle the main bathroom. By tackle, I mean tearing up small tile floors, tearing out tile walls around the tub, adding recessed lighting, replacing the tub, vanity and sink. Basically, strip the entire bathroom leaving only the walls and window. Not even the door survived!!

This meant I got to bring out the big girl toy; the sledgehammer. Have you ever swung a sledgehammer? Feet braced, hands wrapped the handle, look of sheer determination on your face? It’s a very liberating feeling to pull back and let that baby fly at a wall. Taking out the shower tiles meant taking a whack at it with the sledgehammer. I was pumped!!

As I stood there, feet braced, hands gripped on the handle, ready to demolish the shower walls, I had a small but profound thought. Growing and stretching in life is a lot a remodeling project. You see, when we first moved in, I hated the main bath. The walls were pea soup green, the tiles on the floor and around the shower were specked with pea soup green, and bath tub was pea soup green. One word: UGLY!!

Within a few weeks of moving in, I put a nice glaze over the ugly tiles and bathtub. I scrubbed it down, sanded it, and spent the hours covering up the problem. I painted the walls a color that suited my taste and the bathroom looked great. At a glance, it was a decent looking bathroom.

Unfortunately, over time, my pretty glaze that covered the ugly parts began to wear, crack, and chip away. Suddenly, the ugly started to show again. Making changes in life can be a lot like my bathroom. Most changes are superficial. A little glaze, some paint, and the ugly parts are beautifully concealed. But, with any surface concealment, given time, it wears away, showing what we tried to hide.

Change, true change, is a remodeling project. Walls are torn down, floors ripped up, new lights added to brighten things up. It’s messy. Dirty. Takes time. Many times more time than you originally thought. By the time the change is complete, you have aches, bumps, scars, and bruises all over. Yet, the end result is often something beautiful and solidly built to last.

Who knew tearing up a bathroom could be so enlightening?

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