How Firm a Foundation

So after last week’s discussion about the “big leap”, Tony and I jumped right into a project that may have been just about as ill advised as Mr. Govett’s horseback cruise off a 600 foot cliff!
We’ve been “fixing up” our downstairs bedroom/bath into a little apartment.  We’re waiting for you to come and visit, but in the meantime, we’re hoping to rent it out during the Commonwealth Games that are being held here on the Gold Coast in a few weeks.
We decided that a deck would just finish it off, and also stop mud and dirt from tracking in, so we asked a guy to come by and give us a quote.  It’s only little, about 8X20 ft, but nevertheless, he looked at the space and quoted us $2000!
We looked at each other and nodded, silently clicking our tongues while we ushered him to the door.
When he left, we euphemistically slapped each other on the backs and said that famous Aussie phrase, “Tell ‘em ee’s dreamin!” and sat down to draw up our own plans, supplemented with lots of YouTube instructional videos.
“Simple!  This should be fun, we can knock it out in a couple of days!”  And off we went to the building store.
That was Monday.
Now it’s Sunday and Tony and I are creaking around gingerly like two very old people.  Everything hurts. We may be broke, but we don’t know because we’ve lost track of the expenses.  The receipts are all in a drawer waiting to be calculated, but we’ve begun to notice that the store employees are now greeting us at the door every time we stagger in. On one of Tony’s solo visits where I had to stay back to hold something up at eye level till he returned, a clerk took one look at him and said, “Having a bad day?” Tony said he got a lump in his throat and almost burst into tears!
It’s not clear if we’ll finish this week……..or maybe next……or?
But we have learned a lot.
My sister texted me yesterday in response to my despair.   It’s seldom that I take to heart things she says, but this one resonated with me.  I’m thinking of cross-stitching it and hanging it on the wall.
Here’s what she said: “I’ve done a fair bit of this stuff and the foundations are the most difficult part.  Just wait till you get to the decking, it’ll be worth it.” In the quiet moments before the sun comes up and we scurry out to work, hoping to beat the heat but already wiping sweat, I’ve been soldiering thru my Bible readings, right now in Leviticus.  Not to be disrespectful, but some of this stuff is just flat boring, “Don’t eat this, don’t do that, this particular thing makes God happy, etc”
But then, coupled with Sherry’s advice, it dawned on me, “This is like so many things in life!” Rules; Confining, Boring, Unexciting…..
It’s all about FOUNDATIONS.  The Bible is absolutely full of ‘suggestions’ for a good start.  Very few seem like a walk in the park, but we are promised over and over that the effort will pay off.
I think right away of the many many years most of us spent in child rearing.  Some days were diamonds and then many were just stones, as John Denver sang.  It was tough but we did it because we all know a firm foundation pays off….and it has.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.  (Proverbs 22:11)

This week, that verse brings to mind those 20 cement-filled footings we dug out there, whose cement now extends to the screen door, the side of the house, and… hair and my blouse.

Or how about the Ten Commandments………. Maybe that’s the joists?  Get those things straight and level and the rest will fall into place (although we don’t use the word “fall” around here lately).

I’m sure you can think of many other references. The list is endless but the message is the same, “Foundations are difficult, slow and unrewarding but the product is worth the effort”
I’m sure you Americans out there reading this are thinking a lot about the foundations that are supposed to be holding up our society, and wondering like I am, where did things start to fall apart? Let me just say that there are a lot of Australians here who are thinking the same thing, and not in a reproachful way. You never have to look far to see crumbling foundations. But we remind ourselves that God is faithful and is still there, and there are still a lot of good things happening.
Stay warm, or in our case, cool (record heat wave here). I’ll tell you how this next week goes, when hopefully we get thru the tough part.  We’re ‘bonding’ if that’s possible after 48 years of marriage…….and looking forward to a good result!  I”m pretty sure it’ll be SOLID!
Till next week, unless Tony inadvertently hammers me into the structure somehow, Marsha

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