Engaging Faith Instead of Playing It Safe


In April of 2013 I talked about our plans to renovate our 1930’s kitchen in desperate need of flow for a modern family. The project scope included a redo of the bathrooms, original to the house, whose plumbing frequently clogs and spits when used. The projected completion date: December 2013

Despite already having a set of architectural drawings and high hopes of holiday entertaining, I wasn’t convinced the plan was a home run. Even though the project promised a beautiful new space, the plan was missing the functionality we wanted. I went back to the drawing board and drew lines that reflected my heart’s desire - an open concept with a kitchen island where people could gather, break bread, and hang out into the long hours of the evening enjoying one another’s company.

Aside from my bathrooms, my kitchen is the smallest room in the house. It’s tucked away in the back corner, with a number of doors that keep it closed off from the rest of the home. Despite it’s size, it includes a back stair to both the upper floors and basement, I am assuming, designed this way to hide the hired help.  The floor plan worked for the original owners of the home 80 years ago, but it doesn’t work so well for us. I do most of the cooking and cleaning and often find myself stuck in the “servant’s quarters.”

So walls needed to be removed and boundaries pushed out. Once the plan took its final shape I showed it my husband. Immediately we knew, deep down inside, that this was THE plan. We talked about it, prayed about it, and lamented the time and money we’d already spent on the original plan. But once we got a glimpse or what our house could be, it was hard to go back to our original idea that would only amount to a facelift, beauty without the function we wanted. We consulted our realtor, family members, and friends.

The first plan we could do in our own strength, with our own resources, but the second…we would have to trust God. When faced with the decision to change our course, I found that I didn’t want to walk in faith; I didn’t want to trust God. I also didn’t want to wait any longer. The project completion date would be pushed out and I wanted my new kitchen now.

In the book, Good to Great, James C. Collins says that “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.”

Plan A was good. It required minimal disruption to our lives, our bank account, and our self-imposed schedule.

Plan B was great. However, every part of this plan would cause us to depend on God in so many ways. It would cost more money, which God would have to provide. It would take longer to build, so I’d have to lay my desires for a quick fix at the cross. It would require us to live out of boxes and in close proximity to each other; causing us to practice patience and grace for one another we were not used to. Not only that, God’s favor would be needed to receive approvals from the town’s Historical Committee and Planning Board.

My husband and I chose Plan B. We chose to push the limits of our faith, and believe that if God placed this idea, this desire, this plan, in our hearts that He must have something special in mind for our home and those that walked through its doors.

We chose to engage our faith instead of playing it safe.

Maybe we had to go through the time and expense of creating the first plan to realize the significance of the second. God used this decision making process to show me that I often choose easy and the comfortable.

I truly believe that when God places a vision in our heart it is one that cannot be accomplished without Him.

7 weeks ago, a little over 2 years after changing our course (and a total of 3 years in the planning), we finally broke ground. The diggers showed up early on a Friday morning in June and scooped up the patio, our bushes, and surrounding earth.

I am excited about the work that God is going to do as we push out the limits of both our house and our faith.