Tuesday, December 7, 2010


 My husband put in wood floors approximately 7 years ago. It was a painstaking process that took nearly a month. In fact the kids and I (we had only two then) went and stayed down the hill with family because the house was not easily livable, especially since we had a toddler and a crawler at the time. My husband would come home from his usual work day then spend most of his evening, laying wood throughout the main living areas and halls of our house. We had purchased unfinished brazilian cherrywood and though I thought I wanted knotty pine, my husband assured me I would be happy with the end result. It required not just the measuring, cutting and installing of the floor but then the sanding and more sanding then the clean up and staining, drying, more staining and drying then there's the sealing....(if your husband is perfectionist like mine, then you can understand why it took so long). When I finally did see the finished product, I absolutely loved it. The shimmering, smooth and clean look of the floor, the beauty and varied colors, the uniqueness in the grain of each plank which gave the house an upgraded finished elegance that the 20 yr old brown shag (that came with the house) did not emit. No two planks were alike and I truly loved it and was ecstatic to have such a beautiful hand done masterpiece in my home. 

  I can remember the first time it got scratched. My oldest was playing with one of his toys and innocently slid it across the floor. There was a screw on the bottom of the toy that was not quite screwed in all the way and it gouged the floor approximately 6 inches in length. I gasped and yelled at my poor little dude (who had no idea what he'd done wrong and I later apologized and begged his forgiveness for my outburst) and mourned the perfection lost in my once consistently blemish free floor. Having kids, one learns ever so quickly that if you purchase nice furniture or floors or whatever they will soon and quickly become ruined and destroyed by their presence. Because, let's face it..they're messy little creatures.  Whether it's the marking pen or crayon done deliberately in their youthful experimentation and rebellion or whether by accident during a stomach virus that you witness projectile across your couch or rug. But for some reason that first scratch, that first blemish although you know it's coming, hurts. Now, of course our floors have multiple scratches and I have added my own messes over time. Like for example when my sister came up to color and cut my hair and we spilled hair dye on the floor..UG! That was a tough one to admit to my husband..He of course gives me more grace and patience that I deserve and he laughed when we told him. 

I find a double lesson in this for me: 
   For one, I see this attitude in my life and in my demonstration of self control or lack thereof. Once I blow something, I'll use my diet for an example, I determine.."well, the day's already shot" and then in my disappointment with failure, allow myself to dive in to my eating depravity and eat with wild abandon. Thinking that because the perfection is now lost and unattainable, who cares. But Romans 6 (see below) reminds me that I am not a slave to sin and I have died to that life and because I act on my sinful nature does not mean I "live there" and that I need to preach God's word back to myself and remember that though I mess up, Christ is likened to a holy sander that presents me as that unblemished floor to our Lord -wholly perfect and sanctified. But like my floor, while I take care to demonstrate my love and appreciation for my husbands hard work by doing my best to take care of it, likewise- in my life I need to take care to obey and honor God with my heart and actions in appreciation for HIS sacrifice and unlimited grace for me. 

  For two, our floors now look lived on. My house is no showplace or replication of the pottery barn catalog I sometimes dream it to be and now the kids live and play and don't "walk on egg shells" worrying they'll mess up the floor. {They're not barbarians either and know if they intentionally did something destructive there would absolutely be consequences.} But maybe, some of those dents, scratches and stains add to the uniqueness of my house just like my struggles, failures and lessons learned add to my testimony for Christ. If I were a perfect floor, I would not need Him but I most surely do.  

Romans 6

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
 1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.

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