We may not have any major structural issues, but there are always small imperfections that keep us from being all that God created us to be.
When your floors are being redone, chaos and disruption are unavoidable. Everything -- from the fragile to furniture -- has to be moved out, and if the work involves more than one room, it all gets shuffled from place to place until it's done. Don't get me wrong: it's totally worth the hassle. Tile is close to indestructible, and engineered wood laminate isn't. And most of the baseboards get painted!
One of the positives of having to move things around so much is that it provides an opportunity to clean places I can't normally reach. You know, the under-the-couch and behind-the-piano spaces that collect a lot of dirt and grime. But one of the things I'm most excited about is the chance to patch and touch up all the walls in the house before putting everything back where I think it all belongs.
So, I've embraced my inner spackle queen. With my putty knife and step stool, orange peel texture spray, brushes and cans of expertly matched paint, I've been tackling all the bumps and holes I can find, one room at a time. My amateur repairs aren't perfect, but they are noticeable improvements.
It's strange how glaring small imperfections can be and how much better a room looks when they've been addressed. Our rooms have not been entirely redone, but somehow, they look and feel that way. Of course, there's always more to be done. I think touching up the woodwork will be next.
This is how it is in our spiritual lives. We may not have any major structural issues, but there are always small imperfections that keep us from being all that God created us to be. There are always places where dirt gathers, where paint chips off, and where the holes from something that once hung need to be patched. And there are also rough old repairs that can be made smoother and better. It's all livable. But not all of us is beautiful.
That is why the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit is at work in us. Much of what he does is intended to make us stronger and more beautiful. He moves everything out of the way to tear up those sagging or swollen floors. He replaces the siding and shingles that have been lost to strong winds and repairs the leaks around the windows and doors. He exposes the corners of our lives we may not even realize we have and shows us where deep cleaning is needed. And he patches and paints those small imperfections we routinely ignore because we have been too willing to accept them as things that cannot change.
And yet, through all this, we remain who we are. And that is what is most beautiful of all. God doesn't create us one way and then ask us to become someone else. The transformation and change he offers us isn't a complete demolition and new construction, but a renovation. He takes everything about us as is, leaves most of it where it is, but brings out the very best of what it can be. In becoming more like Christ, we become more truly who we are.
As we observe the feast day of St. Mother Teresa on Sept. 5, it's good to remember just how much the little things really do count. We may not be among those able to do great deeds, but all of us can cultivate great virtue. We do that best when we give ourselves to all the little things with love -- when we surrender to the hand of God in our lives and let him arrange and rearrange, spackle and paint and renew our souls.
- Jaymie Stuart Wolfe is a Catholic convert, wife, and mother of eight. Inspired by the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, she is an author, speaker, and musician, and provides freelance editorial services to numerous publishers and authors as the principal of One More Basket. Find Jaymie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @YouFeedThem.