watching, reading, and writing stories

Refurbishing Yourself

For the past 8 weeks my church has been going through a series called Life’s Healing Choices. It’s a step study based on taking an honest look at yourself and seeing what needs to change and how to start that process. And then today, we just started work on refurbishing our kitchen. I can see several similarities about the two processes, so why not write a blog about it?

The Kitchen (Before)

Anyway, before you can do anything, the first step is always realizing there is a problem. For our kitchen it was things like moldy old cork board, a sliding door that was coming out of it’s rail and chipped tile. But for yourself, it could be a whole mess of personal issues. For me I recognized my tenancy to want to be in control and not admit my problems. I tend to listen to other people’s problems and not talk about my own. There’s definitely some pride in there as well.

Our broken door

But that’s just the first step, then I have to realize I can’t fix all of this on my own. For our kitchen, we realized we needed someone else to make new cabinets, take out the old stuff, raise the ceiling, and put in new tile… among other things. And for my own heart, and habits, I needed to realize I couldn’t change myself with my own will power. I can stop a bad habit for a little while, but then I give up. And I can remind myself not to be prideful and then fall right back into pride when I feel like I’m doing it well. What I need is God’s power to help me and His truth to guide me and fill me.

One of the steps in the kitchen process was cleaning out of the stuff in the kitchen: the dishes, storage containers, food, pots, pans, decorations, etc. And one of the important steps in Life’s Healing Choices is making an inventory and actually writing out the hard stuff, like who has hurt you in the past, and how you’ve hurt others, and things you feel guilty for and need to admit. But when you finally finish emptying the kitchen, there’s a big weight removed, and the same thing happens with the inventory.

The cleaned out kitchen

Then when you finally reveal your deepest darkest secrets to God and another person, (tell someone everything that is on your inventory) there is freedom in that. And it’s sort of like how my house looks now. All of the old junk has been ripped out and we’re getting ready to start building it back up again. It may not be easy, and it definitely isn’t pretty, but you can’t get the new kitchen without taking out the old one, and you can’t be the person you want to be without confessing what is wrong with you and admitting it honestly.

Kitchen after Demolition

And then it moves on to the slow change. It doesn’t happen overnight. Just like it will take at least a month to build up our new kitchen, it will take time to change your habits and ways of thinking. One way I’m trying to start that is by meditating on God’s word before I go to sleep. I’d found myself being anxious or restless and not being able to sleep well, so I’m reviewing verses I’m trying to memorize right before I turn off the light.

I’m sure that’s not the only change I’ll have to make, but everyone has to start somewhere. So anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and remember that no one can change on their own. We all need help from each other and from God. And it is a very long process, one that will continue throughout our lives. But in the end, it’ll be worth it.

Some of the guys helping us with the kitchen

Leave a comment »

Writing Tip: Have a Confidant

Girls, Whispering, Best Friends, Young, Teen, Secret

Image Source:

As I’ve continued to write, I’ve found how helpful it can be to have someone I can talk to about what I’m writing. It may just be my personality, but I’ve found that getting another person’s opinion on what I’m writing is very helpful and often times is the spark I need to get excited about writing again. I think that’s why writer circles and workshops exist. Using other’s feedback and questions helps the writing process go much faster, and also makes it more fun.

Not only do I have someone I can talk out my ideas to, but I am also the confidant for another friend who is writing. So if you’re interested in writing I would suggest finding someone who you can talk to about your ideas. It really helps to hear from someone else if what you’re planning makes sense and is interesting, or is boring and full of discrepancies. Because ultimately, you want your writing to be something that someone else will want to read, and if it’s only interesting to you, that purpose will not be achieved.

Here’s a few things I tell my confidant:

-I explain a portion of the plot and ask if it sounds interesting.

-I give a few possible scenarios and ask which one is the best.

-I let her read what I’ve written and see if there are any flaws or plot holes I missed.

-I share my inspirations and ask if they would work with what I’ve already written.

-I ask if what I’m planning for a character to do aligns with their personality.


Here’s a few ways I’ve helped another writer:

-I listen to story ideas, and make suggestions for what a character could do or say in a specific situation.

-I help come up with names for characters or places.

-I’ve read through books or short stories and corrected misspellings and grammar issues.


Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking your confidant:

-Make sure the person is someone you trust

-Make sure the person is honest and won’t just tell you want you want to hear

-Make sure the person is easily available (not someone you never see and rarely talk to)

-Make sure the person wants to and enjoys giving feedback (not everyone wants to be a sounding board)


Good Luck with your writing!

Leave a comment »