A Blueprint for Interior Design & Renovation

I’m sitting at lunch listening to a friend talk about buying a 1940s bungalow that needs some updating. She says she and her husband don't know that much about renovation, but they aren’t intimidated by the endeavor since they have friends who will help.

I get excited with her, talking about ripping out the old and replacing it with new, until I remember my own house-buying adventure. Several years ago I stood in front of an empty lot in an artsy historic neighborhood, captivated by the idea of a house-building project.

The exterior of the house had to look like its 1920s bungalow neighbors but I could choose how everything would look inside. Visions of hardwood floors, arched doorways and French doors danced in my head as the builder showed me the blueprints.

I was completely inexperienced but I thought I knew what I liked so maybe the decision-making process would be a breeze.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

As the months went by and the house progressed, I had new selections to make every week and I was overwhelmed. 

What kind of plants did I want for the yard? A straight sidewalk or curved? Arched doorway or a pocket door from the dining room? Cookbook shelves or a bar counter in the kitchen?

I constantly worried I’d make a choice I’d later hate. 

I agonized endlessly over paint colors for my walls, comparing swatches of creams, whites and yellows until my realtor said I was out of time and flipped through the palette to her favorite butter color. I chose it on the spot.

Even though I knew there would be snags along the way, I still cringed when I saw gold cabinet knobs and door handles instead of the silver ones I’d chosen. 

I was shocked when the microwave I’d meticulously selected was ripped out of the wall and stolen during construction. 

And I misunderstood the builder about the alarm system, causing a hubbub that had to be undone.

It was only after I was in the midst of the project did I realize I was a rookie in this adventure, woefully unprepared and ill-equipped.

I wonder if you’re like me and ever try to do a little interior renovation and redesign work on yourself? 

I’ve been ripping up ancient habits and outdated patterns in my life, revamping old mindsets and making blueprints for new perspectives.

It takes all of my energy and focus just to make minuscule progress and I wonder why I’m surprised at how much effort it takes.

I have to admit that I really can’t do this on my own and I need help.

I petulantly ask God why I have to work so hard to change. I send a heated stream of words skyward and I dare to ask him if my attempts even make a difference. Is it worth it?

Eager to walk into a new land of promise, I discover that instead of the place of milk and honey, I’ve somehow entered into a training program. There's hard work to do here.

This isn't the place where I choose light fixtures and countertops. 

I'm here to flex the muscles of my mind and renew my thoughts. I'm here to carve out time in my day to search for God so I'll know his heart. And only when I know his heart and get closer to him, will I know his plans and thoughts for me.

That's my assignment while I'm waiting to see the blueprints for something new.

Maybe you're waiting for something new to take shape too?

But while I thought I was waiting to move ahead, I realized I’ve been practicing perseverance, learning how to sort through setbacks and redirect my efforts.

I’ve been conditioning my heart to take risks and pursue my dreams.

I’ve been rehearsing the art of resilience and gathering courage. 

And I finally understand that I’m going to need these skills to thrive and face the giants along the way. 

Maybe that’s why after a fresh revelation we're confused when we find ourselves waiting. Most of us don’t view a waiting period as a time of valuable preparation. 

Instead it seems like a hindrance, an obstacle and an inconvenience. Complaints and grumbling aren’t far behind.

But just when I think I’m left alone to wander in the desert of misdirection, at a loss for making decisions, I start to find my way again. 

God whispers, explore it, take the step forward, do the work. Trust me and see what happens.

After all, I’ve had a lot of practice by now.

During the months of my house-building adventure, my builder continually advised me to make decisions based on resale value.

My inexperience caused me to mostly ignore his wise words. 
“I know you think you’ll live here forever but I assure you, you won’t. Your life will change and you’ll move on.”

He was right. Five years later I sold that house.

My realtor told me the first thing the new owner did was paint over my beautiful butter-colored walls with a gloomy shade of purple.

I'm not sure I have any advice for my friend who is thinking about remodeling a house, but I might tell her that after the hard work of renovation, she just might be home free.

{A little note on the photos: none of the houses pictured are mine!}

I'm linking up with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Join us there by clicking the image!


  1. THIS! All Of This!! I LOVE it!! And man did this line make me laugh out loud: "I send a heated stream of words skyward..." Been there...! I've never built a house from scratch- you, my friend are a brave woman! I struggle sometimes with just decorating a room, but I've found it to be so much easier when you have an inspiration piece to start from.... and it works in life too! You're on the right track, I know, making God's word your blueprint and though the endless waiting is draining, I know you'll find ways to draw life out of it, just as you did with this post! Have a wonderful Wednesday Valerie!! ♥

    1. Heather,
      So glad I'm not the only one sending my upset words to God! Building that house was actually one of the hardest things I've ever done -- and I went into not knowing or quite possibly I wouldn't have started it. Just one of life's experiences that taught me so much!

  2. And this is truth - 'God whispers, explore it, take the step forward, do the work. Trust me and see what happens.'

    Your story has hit home in more ways than one, Valerie. Trust me, I've appreciated your words today ...

    1. Linda,
      Love the pun but love even more that we were thinking about the same things! I'm the grateful one, always thankful for your encouragement!

  3. I'm horrible at home interior design. I'm glad that God has the master blueprint for my spiritual interior design. It's much more fun that way. :)

    1. Lisa,
      Love that -- God has the master blueprint!

  4. Just talking about redesigning anything always makes me giddy. You should see me, I can hardly contain myself I tell ya lol. And I think with anything in life, we always need help. And that's okay. God put those people around us to make sure we always have help. Whatever you ask for, you shall receive. Great post.

    Kay of Pure & Complex

    1. Kay,
      I know! This post is right up your alley! :) He does surround us with help -- we just have to keep our eyes open to recognize what's all around us! Love it when you're here, Kay!

  5. Love hearing about your past experiences

    1. So you mastered the Google ID after all these years of the blog, Mother! :) Knew you'd like this one!

  6. Valerie- Thanks for this!( would love to see your house. Our walls are butter yellow. My favorite color :) I find waiting so hard and it feels so unproductive and lately I have struggled loosing hope on a few things. I also have been working at replacing my thoughts with truth seems like work and training! thanks for this wonderful encouragement today!! xo

    1. Susie,
      Yes, replacing our thoughts is hard work but the results are so good, aren't they? I somehow think that when we get past the times in our lives that seem unproductive, we'll be surprised that they weren't that way at all, and maybe it takes a little bit of distance to realize that!

    2. Yes this is so true!! :) thanks so much for the encouragement!

  7. Oh how I can relate to this! But God, I'm almost 60 years old! You want to do a new thing? You better hurry up! LOL! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Blessings, Patti at www.oldthingsnewblog.com

    1. Patti,
      I love how God still wants to do new things in our lives no matter what our age is! Thankful for your words here! :)

  8. Oh yes, all that waiting gets to me. When I look back at that time, I see what God was instilling in me and teaching me.
    I still don't like to wait!

    1. Sarah,
      I think we're always waiting for something, aren't we? :)


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