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Between the home decorating shows that Jamie watched while the children were at school and her daily Bible studies, Jamie felt led to paint and redecorate. “It’s one of the needs of my soul,” she confessed to a neighbor.
Her husband, Gus, didn’t share her enthusiasm for home décor and curb appeal. “I will help you paint now, but this is it,” he emphasized firmly. “Pick a color you like and stick with it! It has to be there to stay.” To say he hated to paint was like saying that removing poisonous snakes from the backyard is fun.
A new job. A new location. A new home. When the Gus and Jamie had a new home built where his company transferred him, Jamie picked out a color she liked–a soft grey with a lilac tint.
“Okay, then,” Gus concluded, “This color is right in the stucco, so it won’t change.” And I won’t have to paint, he thought gleefully as he layered a serious look at his wife.
But his job often took him out of town. Jamie watched lots of HGTV [home and garden television shows.] She got the idea home improvement: it’s for everyone. Jamie couldn’t help herself. One day, Gus returned home to find she had painted the front door.
Much later, another out of town trip and Jamie had taught their three children to paint, assigning them to paint the shutters in accent colors.
Many seasons later, when Gus was sent out of town for two weeks, she enlisted her family paint crew, now pre-teens, to help and painted the outside of the house.
Gus searched the block for his grey house and drove by it four times before really seeing it, then he spotted his children, each of the three decked out in paint clothes with a brush in hand and underwear on their heads. They were washing out brushes with their mother supervising.
The house was now butternut yellow with dark green shutters and a red door. Very chic! Jamie decided.
Gus was speechless. He had gotten out of painting, but the house wasn’t the same anymore, either. Hadn’t he said, “Pick the color you want. This is it!” ?
Just as Jamie was convinced that her will, HGTV and God’s all worked together for a different look on the house as the right thing, she needed to evaluate her choices. How would Gus feel about it? Besides just her loving to paint as a need of her soul, was it God’s will after all?
Each action and decision that we choose should be up for our thoughtful evaluation. The Bible gives us guidelines for that. Jamie might have been leaning on “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.” [Psalm 119:105-106]
Or perhaps she had been thinking on the prayer which concludes the book of Hebrews, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Chris, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” [Hebrews 13:20-21]
Are you evaluating decorating and life’s redos which count? Prayer, listening and the Bible will show us the way. No paint brush required!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]