Carpet and Stucco and Nails… Oh My!

In my family we are not handy. If something needs to be repaired or assembled, a handyman is summoned. So, after my retirement, I realized that there was lots of work to be done in my home. My daughter’s room had become a mess, where in the middle of the chaos I would try to study, and write. Then my mother died and she left a condo that had been well lived in which needed a tremendous renovation. In six months, I have done two renovations. During these six months, I have learned some lessons that I want to share with you.

When you renovate something, what you are actually doing is rebuilding. You are taking something that was originally one way and transforming into something else. When I think about the concept of rebuilding, I immediately think of Nehemiah and the walls of Jerusalem. When Nehemiah heard of the distress of the remnant in Jerusalem, the state of the wall of Jerusalem, and that the gates had been burned with fire, he wept. But, Nehemiah didn’t just weep; he mourned, fasted and prayed before the Lord. He asked the Lord for success and mercy, before the King, for the plan of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. This is the most important point to remember when you are building anything, whether it is your family, your ministry, your dream, your home office, your business. The most important point is, what is God’s plan? What is the plan that He has for your endeavor? Whatever the plan is, soak it in prayer, fasting and listen to His plan.

Once you know what the plan is, move forward. Order your materials, draw up the plans, know what your resources are, and then assemble the team. For me my team was small, made up of my family and a great handyman. Individuals were given certain duties which they accomplished and my handyman gave me advice, warnings and instruction. You might think that is strange but, the truth is, he is an expert at doing renovation, and I am a novice. So, sometimes he would just shake his head and say, “You’re not living there are you?” when I wanted something pretty (meaning expensive). Whatever project you are involved in, make sure that you have someone who can speak into your life. When building a family, listen to your husband/wife. When building a business, get good counsel. And if you’re building a dream, go and search out someone who will mentor you.

One thing that happened to me while renovating both projects, were the incredible delays, disappointments, and discouragements. Home Depot delivered my flooring three times before I actually correctly had all of the materials that I needed. The truck driver drove away as I begged the dispatcher to turn the truck around! Purchasing light fixtures was not about selecting something pretty but about what fixtures were available. Appliances were purchased quickly, because there was a shortage of appliances. The granite company was so backed up that it was going to be weeks before they could install. As for my sofa that I ordered in December for my office, it is still delayed somewhere. I have had two delivery dates. If we look at Nehemiah we can see that he dealt with discouragement, ridicule and opposition. The worst example of this is when the people themselves opposed Nehemiah in 4:10, “And so in Judah it was said; ‘The strength of the burden bears is failing, yet there is much rubble; and we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall.”’ The people were discouraged, exhausted, fearful and overwhelmed. Nehemiah had to encourage them and himself to go forward with the plan God had entrusted to him. Whatever you are building you will have to learn to go before the Lord to get His encouragement.

When we are building it’s not just about the finished project. It’s about the process, the learning, the experiences, the growth, and the trust that we have learned to have in God. Nehemiah finishes the wall and then Ezra reads the Torah to the people. The people are overcome with emotion because they had never before heard the word of God. The hearing of the word then leads to revival for the people. 

As we build/rebuild, let’s focus not just on the project itself but, upon the Lord, and may He revive us!

P.S. As I am finishing writing this blog the realtor has sent documents for me to sign for the sale of my mom’s condo. In God’s perfect timing the work has been finished, the perfect buyer has come, and now I am thankful to Him who is faithful!

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Diana Levine grew up in a Catholic household where God created an intense love for Israel and the Jewish people. She holds a BS degree in art education/art history from the State University College at New Paltz, NY. Following her college graduation she worked at various corporations in NYC. After accepting her Messiah she and her husband (Rabbi Alan Levine) founded Kol Mashiach Messianic Synagogue in Melbourne, Florida. She has spoken at bible studies, women’s retreats, and both national and international conferences. Her blogs are featured on