"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."--Psalm 25:4, 5 A few years ago, just before we were expecting our youngest child, my husband and I embarked on a remodeling project in our home. In order to have enough room for our growing family, we needed to move our existing office...but where? After months of thinking and trying out different configurations, my husband finally came up with a solution. An unused corner of our family room would work out perfectly for our needs. But it would require us to move out for a couple weeks so he could do some focused work. Life was a little on the crazy side for awhile, but now, as I sit here writing this post in that very same office, it was worth the effort.

Likewise, in our lives, there are areas where we can use a little "remodeling." It can be areas in our spiritual lives or in our character, such as a lack of discipline or a sharp voice that hurts others. It can be relational, such as a broken relationship or a lack of deep friendships. It can even be in our homemaking, such as organizing our home or decluttering. Whatever it is, there are places that need some refining work. It's normal. We all have those places in our lives.

This week, we will look at some principles that will help us to do that much needed remodeling. Sometimes it's not convenient. Sometimes it seems like an awful lot of work! But whatever it is, most of us are usually so glad that we went through that process.

The most important thing in any remodeling project, whether it is an actual one or not, is to know where you're going. It doesn't work if we just start hacking away at things or tearing down walls or taking relationships into our own hands. Without any forethought or without any direction, we may end up doing more damage than good.

This is where we need the guidance and the direction of the Lord. I have found that unless I spend time seeking His direction and His help, all my remodels quickly disintegrate to nothing or go off track. It becomes easy to forget why we're doing it in the first place and then give up. When that happens, the changes that we long for will always be out of reach.

Before beginning a project, it is wise to sit down and envision the end result. Whether it is living a life according to our priorities, grace-filled speech, a clean home, or meaningful relationships, we need to ask the Lord for a vision in those areas. For example, one of the areas that I am working on this summer is cleaning out our home. I probably don't need to tell you how piles of stuff really make me stressed out. I hate not knowing where things are and hunting them down...or buying replacements and finding what I was looking for later! I am envisioning a home that is orderly and filled only with things that we use or things that help fulfill God's purposes for our home.

This is true also for relationships. In my last post, I shared about how my husband and I wrote out a mission and vision for our family. It has provided a blueprint for us on how to build our relationship. It is also what I have done in my own relationship with God. I have longed for an intimacy with Him that lasts beyond my morning quiet time. Sitting down and sharing with the Lord what I desired has been the first step. Listening to His thoughts has also been part of the process. Usually He has bigger plans than I have ever imagined.

Do you have some areas in your life that need a little remodeling this summer? Feel free to share your projects in the comments! I hope we can come alongside each other and encourage one another to push towards the things that help build lives of godliness and joy.