Operation Renovation: Lesson One

Our old home began its makeover in April of last year. It wasn’t hard to figure out what needed to be done first—the kitchen floor. It was a white linoleum that had undergone the wear and tear of four children, four teenagers and dozens of friends, thousands of meals made, hundreds of goodies baked, and had heard many discussions and opinions and encouragement. Under such stress for 15 years, it was just ugly. U. G. L. Y.

It was easy to rip out—way easy. The stupid thing was glued down only on the edges, so it came up without argument.

But underneath that ugly, there was damage. Water had seeped in over time and damaged the subfloor. We found some mold. At first, it scared me. But when I learned how easy it was to remove and replace from someone in the know, I wondered how and why we’d waited so long to deal with it.

Chief didn’t mind the transformation process—he was just happy that old lino was gone, gone, gone. That was the first wondrous layer of relief. Once the subfloor was replaced, we felt a new level of relief—assured that what we would cover with new flooring was clean, mold-free, and sound. The problems beneath the surface were solved.

We installed the new flooring, and in doing so we were extra careful to protect the subfloor from damaging moisture. We caulked the nooks and crannies, and installed waterproof baseboards. I’d never felt so good about our kitchen floor.

This is a great metaphor for our marriages. When we have been complacent in our relationships—busy with careers and kids and distractions—some areas of our marriages may become U-G-L-Y. There may be underlying damage that begs to be repaired. Why is it we wait so long to deal with these things?

Time to rip out the ugly.

Face the damage underneath.

Repair it through communication and forgiveness (sometimes you need education or an expert on how to do this).

Then replace it with something new and beautiful, being careful to protect it.

Renovations—both of homes and relationships—take intentional effort, some sacrifice, and a willingness to see it through to the finish. But you have to have the courage to begin.

So, what’s first on your list?


  1. Juice Ortiz on January 24, 2018 at 5:21 am

    AWESOME word picture!

  2. Amy Wilhite on January 24, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    It’s pretty tough to do a two-man job by yourself.

  3. Victoria Newman on January 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Amy, you are absolutely correct. It looks as if I’m saying that it’s all one person–my bad! The second part, at least in my mind while writing, was that I am speaking to BOTH officer and spouse–not just spouse. Marriage is 100% from BOTH parties–the damage is shared, the fixing is shared, and the benefits are shared. Thanks for making the point, Amy!

  4. Heidi Paulson on January 24, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Love this on so many levels!

  5. Amy on February 6, 2018 at 12:01 am

    I think what you wrote is perfect. I was more making the point that the job is hard when one person is content to live in the mess.

  6. Amy on February 6, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Or refuses to see what needs to be done.

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