This “growth opportunity” was one for the books!


I had put my heart and soul into it.

I had saved my college allowance for months so I could do it.

I thought carefully how I wanted to execute my well-thought-out plan and I just knew he would love and appreciate it.

My (then) boyfriend-(now) husband-had just moved into his new apartment.  He had graduated from college and was living in Charlotte, trying his best to make ends meet.  He was super excited to have his own space so the bland, white walls and very minimal and sterile feel of his new home didn’t bother him one bit.

He had a bed, a sofa and TV for watching his favorite sporting events.  What more could he possibly need or want?

I looked at it and immediately knew it could be more.  There was such untapped potential.

Perhaps, just perhaps, my ginormous desire to be a homemaker was kicking in a bit prematurely.

Not that I have a tendency to rush things…

As I sought out bargains, I dreamed of making this cold, unwelcoming space into a home he could be proud of.

It took me a while to gather all the necessary items that (in my mind) were literally going to change his world.  I could barely contain my excitement as I planned to sneak over there the following day while he was at work and transform his boring apartment into a warm home.

 **See….I am partially responsible for the Extreme Makeover craze and really should be receiving royalties. I need to check on that.**

The day was finally here.  I packed my car with all the treasures I had found and headed over.  I opened the door and let the magic begin.

I could already see his face when he returned to a warm, cozy home instead of a generic, white box.

I hung curtains. Placed decorative pillows. Put down bath mats and hung a shower curtain. I hung dish towels in the kitchen and placed a rug in front of the sink.  I had no doubt these things would last a looooong time because there would be very little cooking and therefore, few dirty dishes to get cleaned!

As I left, I carefully placed the WELCOME mat outside the door. I couldn’t wait for him to walk into his new home. He was going to be thrilled!  Appreciative!  Surprised!

I snuck out for a few hours and gave him enough time to get home and settled and then I headed back over.  The anticipation was killing me!


I flung open the door…


There he was with his feet propped up on the coffee table and on top of the new decorative pillow, eating pasta straight out of the pot with the new kitchen towel draped across his legs like a napkin.

My heart sank.  My temperature soared.

 Ok…. I tend to block out the rest of that night.  It was not pretty.  At all.  

Let’s just say, it involved two very strong personalities having a huge life lesson in unmet expectations, selfishness, love languages and the differences between a male and female.  (Women…don’t waste your time wrapping a man’s gift in pretty wrapping.  THEY DON’T CARE!)

I smile today, 20 years later, as I realize that we are still learning what the other one truly desires.  And yes, we are still learning daily about unmet expectations.

This morning, however, I find myself wondering if God ever feels the same about the way I treat him.  I can be so casual about all the gifts He has given me.  Surely, it must hurt his heart a little.

Take the Bible, for instance.  What an amazingly beautiful and carefully thought out gift He has given us in His word.  How many times do I stop and really take in the beauty that it adds to my life?  It is full of hundreds of years of life lessons.  A book of wisdom to help us navigate through this challenging life.  It contains beautiful perspective that can take our lives from bland and lifeless….to unbelievable color and dimension.

The Bible is a perfect collection of strength, courage, unconditional love, purpose, direction, truth, discipline and rules for living that can transform any empty life into one with layers of rich, intense color.  Colors like we’ve never even imagined.

What great lengths He goes to, to give us such larger-than-life gifts.


What are our reactions?


Lord, please help us to be noticers of life.

Help us resist the urge to settle when You have so much more to offer.

Help us to give over our blank, white canvas and allow You to create a beautiful picture with our life.  Your creativity is so much more colorful than anything we could ask or imagine!

Thank you for loving us so much that You want us to live life…and live it to the FULL!

We were not meant for blank, white surroundings.

Our lives are meant for so much more!




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