Remodeling, Research, and Rest

IMG_3306There are two things about a home remodeling project that seem to be at opposing ends. 1. The new results make all of the old stuff look outdated and in need of replacing. It's kind of like "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...he's going to ask for milk..." and on and on. So now that the bathroom is nearing completion...I've noticed how shabby the bedroom carpeting is...

2. While the new looks far better than the old, the work, even when half or more of it is contracted out, is still exhausting! I discovered today (again) why I'm not a fan of painting walls. I love the end results. If only there were an easier way to get them!

I suppose remodeling is kind of like research in that respect. On one hand, I love research. I enjoy digging into history and pondering Scripture and allowing my mind to imagine and to fit pieces together I might have never before noticed. Today, (in between painting breaks) for instance, I was reading about Judges and ancient Canaan, which led me to understand that Deborah (the next woman in my list to study) lived in Ephraim, which led me to Genesis where Jacob blessed Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which led me to the city of Ramah, which is in the land of Ephraim, which reminded me of the prophecy of "A voice is heard in Ramah, Rachel weeping for her children...", which made me realize that Ephraim and Manasseh are considered Rachel's tribes (as opposed to Leah's children) because they were Rachel's grandchildren. And that's why Ramah and Rachel are linked in that verse, because the city belonged to her grandson. And it's also interesting that Joseph's children were both blessed by Jacob, essentially receiving the double Jezreel Valleyportion of the first born. Joseph was Rachel's first born, though not Jacob's. Jacob blessed him as such nonetheless.

I know, I know. That last paragraph probably gave some of you a headache, and I promise, it probably doesn't make sense to most people, but in my roundabout way of understanding things, it does to me. And I will do my best to make it clear to all when I write whatever story God gives me.

But see the strange places where research takes me? If you give a mouse a cookie...she's going to ask for milk...and a writer who researches is going to ask...why...and what then?

In the end it makes sense, though in the middle it can sound muddled.

That said, one does grow tired of too much of a good thing, be it remodeling or researching or whatever else life brings our way. Which is why rest and recreation become increasingly important to me as time passes. Which is also why I am planning a social media sabbatical in the coming weeks. Perhaps it has become a new trend, but lately I've heard from a few people that they decided to "unplug" from the social media world for a specific time. And I actually have some friends (you know who you are!) who are still living in the age of "dumb" phones, as opposed to "smart" phones. :) I think there is some wisdom in that. How often do you check your phone or Facebook or email a day?

Mediterranean SeaOf course, I enjoy each of these things and I will miss everyone. In fact, I'm not sure I can successfully refrain from peeking at least at my phone for an occasional text. But my goal is to practice what God teaches us and what we as a culture have lost the art of following - to take a Sabbath rest. I won't go into the explanation of Sabbath in this post, and my sabbatical from social media is not the same as a weekly or seventh year rest given in Leviticus 25. It's just a time to take a break, to be refreshed, and to come away and see life outside of these computer walls.

But first we have remodeling to complete and research to do and to ponder. I'll let you know when that break is coming. I hope you reconnect with me once it's over!