“Before and After…”

I love watching home renovation shows! When my husband finds me absorbed in one, he often asks, “Are you thinking of moving?” He’s probably more afraid I might think of actually getting an idea that will end up costing a lot of time and money! Indeed I have stored away a few inspirations I may yet implement. I’m not sure what fascinates me about seeing how a room or backyard can be transformed. Perhaps it’s just the appreciation for how a creative mind and talented craftsman can take something out-dated, deteriorated, or ugly and fashion it into something of beauty and improved functionality. I anticipate the “before and after” pictures with enthusiasm and enjoy seeing the reactions of the homeowners.

As some of you know, we had our deck rebuilt last fall (read that post HERE). I’ve been enjoying my new gazebo especially! Because of extensive lawn damage resulting from having to bring in a mini-excavator, we’ve been waiting to have the landscaping done this spring – no easy task due to all the rain. They finally came this past Wednesday and finished laying the sod Friday just in time for tropical storm “Andrea” which is dumping 40-50mm of rain as I write Saturday morning. Here are some before and after pictures:



As you can see from today’s rain, our lawn is already benefiting!

While watching the transformation take place, I considered how a few simple tools – tiller, shovel, rake, axe, and a wheelbarrow – when placed in the hands of experience could create loveliness out of an unsightly mess.

Joni Eareckson Tada puts it like this, “No tool, in and of itself, has great importance. But placed in the proper hands it can create a masterpiece.”[i]

Our back and side lawns may not be quite a masterpiece, but they have certainly been transformed into an attractive and pleasing space we can now enjoy in peace and tranquility.

I’m always thrilled when I see lives transformed! Whether it be someone recovering from the trauma of chemotherapy and being given a new bill of health, or experiencing freedom from the power of an addiction, or rediscovering the joy of life after depression, or enthusiastically embracing their release from sin’s hold to faith in Christ, or blossoming from feeling inadequate to using their gifts and abilities to serve God and others, I marvel at God’s power to heal and restore!

God’s Word, the Bible, has given us many principles, instructions, and warnings to guide us on our journey of growth and transformation. He longs to renovate our lives and give us a complete makeover. It requires obedience on my part though and a willingness to surrender to His will for my life.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

I must consciously apply the teaching of Ephesians 2:22-24, “So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to – the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.” (GNT)

My daughter-in-law, bless her heart, told me recently, “There’s something different about you. You look different. You’re glowing!”

Doesn’t it make you feel great when someone begins noticing good changes in your life? It is confirmation that there is a “before” and “after” and every effort is worth it!

Until next time,




[i] 365 Day Brighteners, Celebrating Women, 2004, DaySpring Cards, Inc., Published by Garborg’s, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, June 2 entry

June 10, 2013 - 8:52 am

Holly - I love before and afters too Kathy. I love the way you put it that God loves to renovate our lives to make them so much better. Thanks for your encouraging words.

June 10, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Take 5 with Kathy - Thanks Holly!

June 17, 2013 - 8:43 pm

Joan - Thank you. I feel refreshed just visiting your website. Joan

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