The past three months have been a season of releasing the old and embracing the new. In January my husband and I started renovating only the main level of our home. It’s amazing how one project quickly leads to another. With what started with only one level of our home has now gradually made its way to the upstairs. Finally, three months later, we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. And we are determined, after this final project of re-tiling the master bathroom, this is it.
No more projects!
I am very grateful for the opportunity, though. It has definitely been rewarding to watch the transformation. Nearly nine years ago while living in our previous house, we found ourselves in a financial crisis, trying to recover from the economic recession in 2007. We nearly lost our home to foreclosure.
Through much prayer and counsel, my husband and I knew we couldn’t afford to stay there any longer. We had to move. The Lord quickly provided renters who were able to move in and take over the payments, and we were miraculously approved to buy another house that had been in foreclosure for over a year. With only a few cosmetic repairs, we were able to make our “new” home move-in ready for our family of seven.
From day one, there were countless items I wanted to tackle to make our new home more beautiful, but we simply didn’t have the money or the time. We were still in survival mode. But now, almost a decade later, we are finally at a place where we can make some improvements.
Ironically though, I discovered that the house had become more sentimental to me than I realized. Along with all the improvements, I had to learn to release the old and embrace the new. My husband was so sweet to hire a project manager who has become such a good friend and adviser through this entire process. I don’t know what I would have done without her! She truly has a God-given gift to bring all the elements together to create a magnificent masterpiece, one I never could have imagined on my own.
As I’ve reflected on these past three months, the journey has been overwhelming, tiring, and sometimes a huge interruption in our family’s daily routine. For example, taking everything out of the closets to be painted seemed like an undaunting task. But the end result was well worth all the hard work. In the midst of all the repairs, I decided it was time to get rid of some stuff, which has been extremely liberating.
I can’t help but think how this relates to my spiritual walk with God. It is when I finally let go and stop trying to hold onto what is comfortable and familiar that God is truly able to set me free to be all He has created me to be. And the most amazing thing about it is that it not only transforms my life, but it also touches the lives of those around me by releasing His joy and peace.
Isn’t it interesting how our lives, when completely surrendered to Christ, become His instruments of peace to influence others for the better, releasing the “sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
(2 Corinthians 2: 14)
~ Meet Laura Bachtel ~
Laura Bachtel and her husband Bryan have been married for nearly twenty-eight years. They are the proud parents of five amazing children, from age twenty-four down to sixteen. Laura homeschooled all five of her children during their elementary years and then sent them to Artios Academies in Gwinnett for the remaining years. She now teaches high school English at Artios and loves sharing with her students her passion for writing and great literature. Some of her favorite hobbies include finding new ways to make healthy food taste really yummy, traveling to new places with her family, and enjoying a savory cup of coffee and dark chocolate while reading a good book. Laura's children are in age order as follows: Sara, 24; Alicia, 22; Maryellen, 20; Caleb, 18; and Josh, 16