I have big dreams of renovating, decorating and doing all those things I see happen on HGTV. However, what they do not show you is the process. They give you tidbits to bait you into a desire to complete a rather daunting task without being totally honest about the process. We see just enough drama to keep it interesting, but there are no real tears unless they are tears of joy. The few arguments aired, do not seem genuinely detrimental to a marriage or family. Just the right balance of joy and struggle to make you take on the task, but not enough for you to shake the feelings of inadequacy when you experience very realistic setbacks.
I learned this lesson the hard way when my husband and I installed adhesive wallpaper in our den. It looked easy enough, we’re both capable of reading and my husband worked in a hardware store his entire childhood. How hard could this be? Let me be the first to tell you there were not only tears but frustration and multiple restarts. There were even questions of going to see a marriage counselor. Seriously, we fell apart at the simple task of putting up WALLPAPER! I guarantee you, we are going through a lot of transition right now and the mere experience of what we see occur seamlessly hour after hour, was driving us to question our ability to effectively communicate with one another. We took a break and a breath and realized we were not being patient with the process. It had nothing to do with our aptitude (or lack thereof), our inability to communicate or some other underlying stressor. It was simply that we are to relatively successful people who had encountered something new and needed to simply take our time to understand how to do it.
How often do we translate our ability in one area autonomously to another. For example, just because you are proficient in Mathematics, does not make you automatically a gifted Mathematics teacher. We must give ourselves time to translate our skills. However, that seems nearly impossible in this fast pace ever changing world. Yet it’s necessary, if you hope to avoid projecting negative thoughts and feelings on to others and most detrimental, yourself.
Spiritually, I am learning to be patient with the process. It can be increasingly difficult, considering I am not really sure what the end result of the process will be. However, like Paul I trust that all things work together for the good of them who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I am a “doer of the Word” not merely a spectator, like I am on the countless home improvement shows I have watched. I find to be a “doer” is an active posture that takes patience with the process. There is no studio magic, no editing, or special lighting. Only faith, favor and some elbow grease will ensure that you complete your project/ purpose.
Keep in mind processing is frustrating, tearful, and exciting all at the same time. Yet the end result is lasting. Every time my husband and I walk past the den; we smile at each other, kiss, or engage in some other giddy expression of happiness as we gaze upon our finished project. I want God to see me being patient during my process and (if I may assign Him a human attribute) get giddy when He looks upon me and say WOW, look at how beautiful my project is turning out!