Looking Back>Katrina Ongoing Repairs:  October 1st, 2005

Day 34

Thursday we accomplished a great deal. Rocky is almost done sheetrocking the kitchen. Jon and I worked on the bedrooms. We are learning a great deal about mudding and sanding sheetrock. It only takes a couple of mistakes to figure out the wrong way to do something. I remember when Jon and I watched the building of the first home we purchased: the foundation, frame and sheetrock seemed to go up quite quickly and we were excited how things were moving along. But then, the work seemed to slow down and take a long time as the details were completed. As I considered this and thought about the details I’m learning about in this house, it occurred to me how like the building of our Christian lives it is.

We become Christians the instant we believe.

(Romans 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.)

Christ is the foundation of our faith.

(1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.)

The frame work is built next in our lives and even this can be built rather quickly, as we learn the basic fundamentals of Christianity and turn away from the “bigger” sins in our lives. Then the Lord begins walking through the homes of our hearts, looking at the details of what is being built within.

We want to make sure what is built will last.

(1 Corinthians 3:12-13 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.)

The details take the longest. In our physical home we mud and sand the walls smooth, then match the texture to the rest of the walls. We will seal, prime and paint the walls. We will install all the doors and window frames, caulking each seam. We will have to install doors, hanging them so they swing smoothly. Then we’ll install the floors and cabinets. Any builder can tell you what we are learning; the details take the longest, if we want the home to be beautiful.

Christ wants our hearts to be beautiful – in fact He wants to transform us into His likeness.

(2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.)

As Christ resides in our hearts, He is concerned with the details. Any mature Christian can tell you what we are learning; the details take the longest, if we want our hearts to be beautiful.

Today, we will continue work on our house. Hopefully Rocky will be over again to hang some more sheetrock. After watching and learning from Rocky, Jon thinks he’ll be able to hang some himself. We will have some additional help today, some guys who are in the area on temporary orders, to help out with recovery efforts. We would like them to help us move some of our stuff.   Jon and I have made the decision to move into a friend’s empty house.   A friend of ours (than you Mark and Brenda Burton) will be transferring to the Gulf Coast from Hawaii and he has already purchased a home in Diamondhead. His home sustained no damage from the storm and he has offered to let us stay there as needed. The house is empty, but does have a complete kitchen so we can prepare and clean up meals. After a half dozen duty stations, we and the kids have learning how to “camp out” in our empty houses, awaiting our household goods. So, we’ll camp out until our home is livable (I think when the sheet rock is hung and ready to be painted and we can get some of our stuff somewhat organized). We’ve really enjoyed Bob and Staci’s hospitality; we’ve been living together for a month now, if you count the time we all stayed at Jon’s parents’ home right after the storm. Our living arrangements were pretty peaceful until we brought all the kids back from San Antonio (in anticipation of schools opening) – then the house seemed to get a lot smaller.   It has been fun and we hope the Tyo’s continue to allow us to visit. We just don’t want to “overstay” our welcome and we are very thankful we have options.

As Jon and I look back over the last few months, we are blessed to see the ways in which God has prepared us and provided for us during this time, spiritually, financially, physically and relationally. He is so good and a very present help in times of trouble. If He is for us, who can be against us? We will not give up hope, for we know we will be rewarded.

(Hebrews 10: 35-36 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.)

May we walk in obedience to Him during these times and do His will, not our own.

God bless

Grace & Peace

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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