It’s early. The house is quiet; my men are still asleep. But soon the walls will be ringing with the sounds of deconstruction. Of the taking things down and off and out. Removal. Ruthlessly getting rid of the old.

It’s beginning. While we toyed with The Renovation over the Christmas holidays, today we begin in earnest. Yesterday, while the older boys and I were away for dentist appointments, the Foreman and his young apprentice began tearing out the basement bathroom. A trailer sits outside the front door, receiving the garbage. The broken, the no-longer-useful, the old.

There’s a plan for today. After pancakes and prayer, it will be Dad in the basement bathroom, continuing to dismantle and re-plumb and prepare for new, and the boys and I in an upstairs room, putting down new flooring. A new surface on which to walk.

It’s a new year, and it’s all about removing old and replacing with new.

And there is some cost and work and effort involved. This new is not free or easy. There will be sore muscles and weariness at the end of the day. But there will also be joy and success and accomplishment. There will be photographs taken and stories remembered and memories made. It will happen.

At church the young man gives us each two pieces of paper. One on which to write the old and one on which to write the new. And I sit with my papers on my lap and think of all the old I need to renovate in my life. The dirty and stained and no-longer-useful that needs to be torn down and thrown away to make way for the new. And I think of the clean and the pure and the useful that I want Him to build.

I sit with my family around me and watch my husband write his old and my youngest write his old, and I write mine, too. Worry about change. And I fold my paper and I line up with the others to throw that old away.

And on the other, the new, I write a prayer and I tuck it into my Bible.

And it begins.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Jesus – the sermon on the mount