This I’ve learned—home improvement projects never end as small as they begin. Take for instance, the simple job I was supposed to conquer last week. Our in-sink garbage disposal was leaking, and I decided to replace it myself. Not having Bob Villa around to show me how the job should be done, and minus a set of Time Life home repair manuals, I visited the modern man’s resource for mechanical how-to reference, Youtube. There, I discovered that replacing a disposal was not inordinately difficult, and I resolved to do it myself.

The only problem was that in replacing the disposal, I learned that other parts of our under-sink plumbing needed replacing as well. Shut-off valves were corroded and non-functioning. When I replaced those, the old supply lines no longer fit. Thus, new lines became part of the project.

Now with the kitchen plumbing mostly disassembled, my wife and I discussed the dishwasher and faucet… two kitchen fixtures we had been planning on replacing for some time. It seemed such a shame to have everything pulled apart without including those other upgrades.

It started with a garbage disposer. By the time everything was put back together, the project included a disposer and disposer bracket, shut-off valves for both hot and cold water, new supply lines to the faucet and dishwasher, a new faucet, and a new dishwasher.

As I stood back and admired the finished product, I thought about the fact that this is typical of a home improvement job. You start with one thing, and by the time you’re finished, you’ve replaced, upgraded, or repaired many things. Yet in that moment, taking in and appreciating the feeling that comes with a big job well done, I found myself believing that’s the way it should be.

It’s true, it cost more time, money, and effort to tackle our kitchen project than I imagined it would when I started. And I was truly frustrated when a one-hour job turned into a one-day job. But every bit of that job was something that needed to be done. The disposer was simply the starting point. Sometimes we need just that… a launching point that propels us into the work that needs to be done.

Sometimes we need a launching point that propels us into the work that needs to be done. Click To Tweet

This is something I see a lot in the couples that I coach. Often, they have many issues they feel need to be resolved, and they don’t know where to begin. Their list of concerns and issues is overwhelming to them, because it’s so long, and the problems look so big. They do a lot of talking about what needs to be fixed or what needs to change, but they have yet to launch into a problem and begin working through it.

This is, of course, not limited just to the struggles of couples… many of us have mountains to climb in our lives… personal or professional challenges that seem too difficult to conquer. Because we’re so intimidated by the scope and magnitude of the big picture, we tend not to begin work at all… perhaps it’s because we don’t know where to start.

When we're intimidated by a big challenge, maybe it's because we don't know where to start. Click To Tweet

So what do you do when you find yourself in that place? Just remember you’ve got to start somewhere. Just as a leaky disposer finally pushed me into beginning kitchen renovations, let the most pressing issue you face inspire you to start working there. Then, as you begin tackling the most obvious issue, let that process lead you to the others. You may even be fortunate enough to discover easy to fix issues you weren’t yet aware of. Take each problem in its turn, and when you find yourself overwhelmed, remember God is bigger than the mountain you’re trying to climb. It’s been said many times: When it’s over your head, it’s under His feet. Ask God to help, roll up your sleeves, and start somewhere.

Isaiah 41:13 (NLT)
13 For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the LORD your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

Jonathan Hoover

Pastor, Speaker, Author, Life Coach

Hi, my name is Jonathan Hoover and I have the privilege of serving NewSpring Church as Associate Pastor and Couples pastor.  One of my greatest passions in life is coaching struggling married couples, which led me in 2013 to release my first book “The Blindfolded Marriage.”  Here, at I blog about relationships, life challenges, and personal growth.  I’m glad you’ve come to visit my site.  If you liked what you read here, sign up to receive blog posts via email here.


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  • Julie Gawith says:

    It’s so funny how God puts funny little things in front of you at the most convenient moment. I signed up to receive emails from this blog and time after time I see the email and just pass it by without thinking twice. Today, for some reason it caught my eye, and I stopped and took a second to read it. The alarmingly crazy part is that I myself have found myself in this exact situation. After a crazy and daunting week of my husband and I, whom both worked for the same clinic, getting laid off we have been searching for what God has planned next in our lives. I am a physical therapist with enough drive and determination to make someone completely crazy, especially my husband. God really laid it on my heart a couple months ago, through a couple random instances, that maybe what I should be looking into is starting my own clinic. And I thought “me? what?,” coming up with all the excuses like “but I’m only 32, that’s pretty young” and “don’t you know that I have a 2 and a 4 year old at home that I adore with all my heart?” Well, with my feet dragging, I started talking about it more and more and I found myself in very convenient situations to pursue more information about opening a PT clinic. I prayed and prayed and talked and prayed some more and researched and prayed even more. Just asking for God to send me that postcard that stated “Julie, do this.” And what happened next… I lost my job. Weird, some may say. I feel like God was closing a door so that I would have the guts to push open another one. So here I am. Doing everything I can, using every resource I have, praying with all my heart, hoping that this is indeed the direction that God wants me to go. But like the faucet, there is way more to this than what meets the eye. Just when I think things are going well, I hit another bump in the road. And wonder “is what I am doing right?” But for now I am going to fight through every hurdle and hope, like Jonathan, I can one day look at my work and think to myself “Job well done” and know every step was well worth it. God blesses us all with certain characteristics. I want to use what he has given me to the absolute fullest. So… that one day when he asks me what I did with what he gave me I can be proud of a fight well fought.

    • Julie, thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like you and your husband are on a very exciting journey! I pray God’s best for you as you work through these obstacles and fight for what sounds like a very exciting future.

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