Now that the house is mostly empty we can begin the work of renovating. We’ve never done this before so we’re learning as we go. I’ve learned how to pull up carpet and removed hundreds of staples from the subfloor. My favorite part is taking a crowbar to the tack strips along the sides of the rooms.

In one of the back bedrooms, my parents’ room when I was a girl, we found hardwood floors underneath the carpet.

I would love to restore them but half the floors have been drilled with screws every half inch across the entire length of the floor. We have one more room that may have fully restorable wood floors. We shall see.

What covered those beautiful hardwood floors in that back bedroom was the ugliest carpet I’ve ever seen. It may have been the trend at one time but I hope mauve carpeting never makes a comeback. Why would anyone want to cover those beautiful hardwood floors?

We do the same thing. With our hearts.

We are hurt in some way and without even thinking about it we put a layer of protection around our hearts. More hurt comes…….a criticism, a betrayal, or broken promises. Another layer of protection. Someone lies to us, leaves us out or ignores us. So another layer goes around our hearts. And another. And then another.

We don’t even realize how guarded we’ve become. Unable to receive the good because we’re always expecting the bad.

We guard ourselves from the very thing we need and want most.

Love. Authenticity. Real relationships.

The covering over our hearts….the one we cling to…..that we think will protect us from hurt….. also shields us from joy and love and true intimacy with others.

But what’s underneath can be beautiful if we will just be brave enough to peel away the layers.

And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart  

 Ezekiel 11:19 NLT