personal renovation – like a garden

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Rebekah mulching, and leveling for the patio extension

t’s been another big weekend for gardening here at Maul Hall. Truth be told, we’ve been seriously behind with our yard work, but then the recent amazing weather pretty much took our last best excuse out of play.

However, once we got our hands dirty a couple of weeks back, it was simply a matter of time before Rebekah’s imagination kicked into overdrive and it was “game on.”

GAME ON: So I’ve been to Lowes and back for boat-loads of dirt, masses of manure, extra fertilizer, endless bags of patio-sand, tons of pea-gravel, forests of landscape timbers, and several cubic yards of mulch. On the good side, at least the ripe “wet dog” smell in the SUV has been replaced by earthier tones.

In the process, two facts have stood out:

  1. When Rebekah gets excited about something she has more imagination, ideas, energy, creativity and vision than most people in their 30’s.
  2. Regardless of Rebekah’s ageless spirit, my body is most definitely not in its 30’s anymore!
The new bed up against the golf course

IT’S ALL GOOD: Mostly, the fact that I’m not in my 30’s anymore is a good thing. Just because I can’t jog from my car to the back of the house with three bags of sand balanced on my shoulder like I used to doesn’t mean I don’t get the job done.

What it does mean is that the work takes a little longer, and – consequently – is done more carefully. Plus I get to deal with some considerable back, neck, shoulder and wrist pain during the evening and then wake up the next morning wondering who beat me up during the night.

Constantly remodeling

WORK in PROGRESS: Rebekah and I have been remodeling this house and digging up this garden a little over 16 years now. On the map, and even according to the original survey, the “footprint” looks exactly the same. However, with new features like a gourmet kitchen, completely remodeled bathrooms, re-imagined living areas, mature landscaping and constant re-invention, Rebekah and I have literally transformed this address.

In similar fashion, and over the same 16 years, both of us have also been remodeled from the insides out: Refurbished, refreshed, rejuvenated, restored, renovated and reequipped. We certainly appreciate everything that we had going for us when we moved here from Pensacola in 1996, but – just like our home – we are a work in progress and I’m thankful for the passage of the years.

There’s a lot to be said for chronological progression. I didn’t publish my first book until I was 51 because I wasn’t ready. I believe it took all five decades to prepare me to say what I said in “GET REAL.” Understanding that truth makes me especially excited about the next few years, because I am confident that God is still preparing me for more transformational experiences to come.

MOVING ON: I honestly don’t want anything to do with the 1996 version of the house and garden we first moved into. The ensuing 16 years have been an amazing shot of life to the property.

Likewise, I really don’t want my 40-year-old self back either.

I love how my life is constantly reinventing, replenishing, and moving forward. This journey is an amazing privilege and a most wonderful ride.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Life most definitely is, as our son Andrew would most likely say, “EPIC!”



  1. “I love how my life is constantly reinventing, replenishing, and moving forward.”

    I love this about life also. Great story and photos! Happy rennovation!


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