This and that...

What a busy week! The goal during the month of July was to get our kitchen painted (our son's project) and to get the 1966 Mustang painted (hubby's project). Me - I played a supporting role, mostly helping Randy with building the paint booth, cleaning out the garage, vacuuming the garage, and at long last prepping the car for paint. Yesterday was the big day, though if we'd planned it better, today would have been painting day. Prep time takes a lot longer than anticipated, and instead of taking four hours to paints as we hoped, it took six. Randy finished painting at midnight last night. Then it took an hour to cure before we could take down the paint booth, put the tires back on the car so we could roll the car further into the garage and shut the door. There are times such projects go beyond exhaustion... The car looks good - from a distance, really good! But there was some dirt in the air that got on the paint and some drips from a little over spray in a few places. The paint store said we should be able to sand and polish those out, so I'm hoping/praying that is the case. It's hard not to want complete, manufacturer style perfection, but to get that we would have needed a sealed paint booth. You can't get that in a garage, and the paint booths around here went out of business. is what it is and that is a pretty fine looking car! :) I'll post pictures soon - our son confiscated the camera today for a day trip he's taking so I can't upload them yet.

Michal Dutch versionOther news this week came in the form of a box I found on my front porch. I opened it up and discovered three copies of Michal in Dutch! The first line reads: Michal dook omlaag toen een scherf aardewerk langs haar hoofd suisde. What that says in English is: Michal ducked as a shard of pottery soared past her head. One I can read, the other just pretend. :) But seeing the book is cool! I took a picture, though it's not super clear. Hopefully, you get the idea. They don't translate the names, just the rest of the words.

I had a deadline this week to finish a timeline for Bathsheba for my editor, who is planning to start line edits on the book this week. I should receive her comments near the end of August. I'm looking forward to her suggestions as I know a books is always better when it's seen an editor's sharp eye. Jessica has been great to work with and made many helpful suggestions to Michal and especially Abigail. I know Abigail is a better book because of her input.

In other thoughts...I've been pondering lately why we sometimes think God's will must be scary or awful or depressing - certainly not pleasing and enjoyable. It's part of that idea that we fear as kids growing up in church, thinking God might lead us to be a missionary to Africa when we have no desire or interest in Africa. (Maybe we do, but that's another thought.)

The point is - if we hate the idea of living somewhere or working at some job, why would we assume that something we don't like must be exactly what God wants us to do? If we don't want to work somewhere, why would we apply to do so? If we don't want to visit Africa, why do we think we must? Where is it written that sacrifice means hating our life's work?

Psalm 37:4 tells us, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." In context, the verse tells us to trust in the Lord, to commit your way to Him. So the delighting comes as part of a loving relationship between us and God, not a formula for getting our own way.

Other passages talk about God delighting in us and in doing so has been known to give rich blessings on those he delights in. Now that is not to say there is not a place for sacrifice. Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him. And there are times He may lead us to places we do not wish to go - as Peter was told would happen at the end of his life.

But does that mean we should always assume that if it's unpleasant, if I don't want to do it, it must be God's will? God is not a killjoy. He told us to ask, "that your joy might be full."

It concerns me when I hear Christians talk as though God is one who delights in their misery. Have we asked Him for good things? Then why would He give us bad? "If your son asks you for a fish, will you give him a stone?" God is greater than we are so "if we know how to give good gifts to our children" how much more does He know how to give us His Spirit, His life, His joy - and skills and a work to do what will delight us and Him. It seems to me that God is pleased when his children recognize the gifts He's given and then use them to honor Him.

Of course, there are chores we all must do that we don't necessarily like...some of mine are nagging at me to be done right now - like washing the kitchen floor and vacuuming the carpets. I'd rather vacuum carpets than cement garage floors. :)

Whatever the project though - be it hobbies, repair jobs, daily chores, or lifelong work, there is joy to be found in it and delight to be had. Perhaps it comes down to attitude and a right perspective.