For we are God’s masterpiece.

He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesian 2:10

Dear girls,

Today I thought I’d give you an update on the house we’re remodeling.  We had hoped to be in by Christmas but, like all remodels, this one is taking longer than we’d planned. And maybe it has something to do with the fact that I keep changing the plan. Every time I say, “I have an idea…” I see Phil shudder a little and sigh.

Because it’s nestled in a grove of fir trees and because the name of the street is Firwood, I’ve fallen into calling this house Firwood Cottage.

Which is really much too poetic a name for what is still a pitifully plain 1960’s box. But it encapsulates my dreams for what this home will someday be: a darling little cottage on the edge of a clearing down a bumpy lane from the village called Lake Grove.

(Still ugly on the outside.)

(Wood floors and new windows, moved walls and rewiring, pipes and panels and can lights… our little house is getting a complete make-over.)

Just as my name for the fixer-upper we’re remodeling is a bit grander than reality, it would seem that God’s name for me is almost embarrassingly boastful.

He calls me His masterpiece. 

And you, too! Just because He’s taken ownership of our lives and He knows the beauty He has planned.

In the same way that I see what my ugly little house will someday be, God sees who you are becoming. He can overlook the ugliness because He’s sketched out a plan and He’s crafting and carving and recreating the way He wants you to be.

That, my dear friends, is what redemption is all about. Beauty.

God taking my sorry mess and revisioning, recreating, reimagining who He knows I really am.

Sometimes the process is painful— ripping out the old wiring hurts.

Sometimes the process is messy— sweeping away the debris we’ve accumulated isn’t pretty.

Sometimes the process of creating beauty in our lives seems to stall— that’s when He’s doing a deeper work, down underneath where no one sees.

He knows all about the pain and the messiness and the delays and He isn’t in the least bit worried.

He loves you.

He loves working with you, loves coming close, loves who He knows you are becoming.

He’s not comparing you to the big house down the street because He loves cozy cottages where He is welcome and brought in, where He is wanted.

And He sees you.

He sees the nooks and crannies that add character, delights in the way you’re made. He knows how it all fits together and how you will turn out in the end.

And I think He just can’t stop smiling your way. I think He’s surrounded by that great crowd of witnesses and He’s pointing you out and telling all those redeemed ones exactly how you’ll look when He’s done.

I think He’s proud of you.

And that He’s got a new name just for you. A name that tells the truth about who you are.

From my heart,


Read about who you are and how He feels about you in the first 3 chapters of Ephesians. And about your name in Revelation 2:17 and 22:4.