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I am now officially weary of our construction project. Superman has nothing on me because I’ve become an expert at jumping over hurdles with a single bound. Have you ever felt like this? Running behind on everything, half done tasks, watered down commitments, little mountains of clutter everywhere, turbulence! Blame it on the upheaval of construction – it’s just been going on too long now.  But I know that’s not it, not entirely. The chaotic surroundings contribute, but sometimes I think it’s the symptom of something much deeper. Avoiding has become easy and it gives me a way out of doing things I don’t want to do.  Still, I struggle with the collision of avoidance and busyness in my life and I don’t like what it’s done to the landscape. Someone wiser than me said, “When the map and terrain don’t agree, always believe the terrain.” I can’t remember when I heard that or even the context, but the map I’ve been following is deceptively representing the terrain in this picture. The terrain is real, it consists of all the important things that make up my life. God first, then family and friends, work, and after that, everything else. Clearly my map and the terrain don’t match. Time to download a new map.  Colossians 2:6-7 says “Go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.”
It’s been months now since I was in a Sunday School class taught by Scott Steiner, but I remember learning about inviting God to do an Extreme Makeover in our lives. There was just one requirement.  Show up!  Right around that time I committed to spend time with God and write notes in my journal to further cement what I learned from reading His word that day. My extreme spiritual makeover was not going to be a watered down ‘when-I-can-fit-it-in’ hopeful, but time centered on Him. Out of that commitment I started transcribing into my blog what was on my heart early in the morning.  I don’t remember exactly when I started, but I know God has given my put layers of protection around  my attitude and built a stronger foundation for my faith. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’m irritated with the never-ending construction at home; my heart is Christ’s home – hmmmm – how many times has God had to fix me? How many adjustments on my personal blueprint because I strayed so far off track, it took major renovation to make redraw the lines. Extreme makeover anyone? I’m glad God doesn’t have mood swings.
It struck me while reading Daniel a few weeks ago, that he must have had really positive attitude. I want that! I need that … chaos, upheaval, and avoidance chip away at the order in our lives and we crave the outcome of a positive attitude.  I don’t know how busy Daniel was, but if he was serving the king who was in conflict with his beliefs, he had to be under an overwhelming burden of stress. Daniel was standing firm against the king – because he knew in his heart he was doing the right thing. Daniel 6:10 recounts “Daniel went home to his upstairs room and three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God.” Daniels heart was right with the Lord.  Giving thanks – even in adversity – 3 times a day, in front of an open window. I want to be like Daniel. My three favorite words are integrity, discernment, and wisdom. I want to be busy – busy living a life of integrity. I want my life to be a continual Extreme Makeover! Excuse me now …. There are a few 2 X 4s to jump over.
Ask me how I’m doing. I will tell you the truth from a heart of integrity. Stronger by Mandisa
I posted this blog 2 years ago today.  If you read it back then, I hope you enjoyed the repeat. If you didn’t read it then, I hope it sparked inspiration for you today.

Refining Grace