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.