Making All Things New

abandoned house

There is a show on television called Rehab Addict. It’s not what you may think from the title. It’s about a woman who takes old, dilapidated houses and rehabilitates them, makes them fresh and beautiful, ready to be lived in again. In her words, she is “addicted to rehab,” the kind of rehab that houses need.

The show is inspiring. She rarely uses anything new. She finds old cabinets and strips them, creating charm and style. She finds an antique door knob that isn’t working, takes it apart and fixes it. Polished up, it’s not only workable but catches the light from its shine. She makes all things new.

And that’s what I think about today as I get ready to face my 54th birthday. I normally love my birthday, even though wherever I live, whether Pakistan, Egypt, Phoenix, or Massachusetts it’s the coldest month of the year. I grew up the princess — one girl in a family of boys and my birthday was a day when even they had to acknowledge my princessshood. I held court that day, something I thought I did every day but only on my birthday was I allowed to flaunt it.

But this year, I’ve dreaded it.

The well-wishes began early from the other side of the world with my dear cousin Judi sending me love from Moscow and my friend Ruth from Shanghai, China. More were pouring in and it wasn’t even ‘the day’ yet.

And I was so glad to get these well wishes. Even as I dreaded my birthday I felt the love of others across the miles.

For the first time in years I don’t like my birthday. I’m 54 and I’m tired. Subconsciously I have realized for awhile that I am heading towards ‘burn out’. I have all the symptoms and then some. My birthday, usually a day I love, feels like a bleak reminder of this state of mind, this stage of my life. Apathy is so thick around my heart that if it were ice, my heart would be frozen.

And then I think of the Rehab Addict who makes all things new. I’m like one of her old houses, needing to be gutted and restored. My soul needs rehabilitation, my frozen heart warmed to a puddle. 

The book of Revelation is an unlikely source of comfort for a tired, middle-aged woman on her 54th birthday, but I’ve found that God delights in surprising us in unlikely ways from even less likely sources.

And it’s there that I find my promise as I begin to face today.

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’

He makes all things new. He takes this tired body and soul and rehabilitates it for his purpose, to his glory.This then is my birthday promise. I rest in this truth today.

What about you? Are there places of tired in your life? Where do you need a Rehab Addict to come in and refresh and restore? 

“.…and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost”. Revelation 21: 4-6

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Today’s Muffins: I look on these muffins from Stacy as my ‘special birthday muffins’. Here is what she says:

“Tomorrow’s muffin was inspired by the wonderful coffee with condensed milk served in various countries around the world, especially Vietnam.  So I am also sharing some random photos from our trips there”. Click here for the recipe.

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Image credit: pictureguy66 / 123RF Stock Photo

13 thoughts on “Making All Things New

  1. Happy Birthday! I wrote this yesterday as I sat in the pew waiting for church to start. I ached so much I could hardly stand the wood pew. It somehow seems apropos here:

    WINTER WOES

    Yesterday I fell on the ice–twice.
    I bounced, really,
    and at the time
    dignity seemed the only casualty.
    And I kept walking.

    Today, however, I am limited.
    The bruises and swelling arrived
    whilst I slept.
    Subsequently I’m stiff–
    youthful bounce
    transformed into middle aged hobble.

    When did this happen?

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  2. Happy Birthday, DEAR Marilyn! In so many ways throughout your life, you have been an instrument to make things new . . . you help others to think, to question, to understand, to pray. And then change happens, and the new begins. You have certainly done that for me! May that be a gift of this birthday, that your prayer to rest in His truth will sweep in the very new that He sees for you. And I so agree . . . Revelation a source of comfort??! Yet those very words, “I am making everything new!” have always been a comfort and an inspiration to me too. Most especially on those days when I question and wonder and lose heart and hope. You could not have chosen a more perfect passage than those words today. Rest in that truth. Much Love.

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  3. Dear Marilyn: Today I feel sadness for the loss in this life of our dear Kristine, while rejoicing that she is with her Lord Jesus forever. AND I rejoice in celebrating your birth.. Your thoughts stirred my “little grey cells” as I recall a verse seemingly designed for old folks like me. But then, I’ve been graciously spared so many of the ailments of the elderly. I can,and do, look forward to being “forever with the Lord”, but He also promises this: “though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day”. Isn’t this encouraging– “day by day” is not the future it is NOW. God bless your “day by day”, Lovingly, Aunt Ruth

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  4. Dear, dear Marilyn,

    If only I had known it was your birthday I would have made you something fabulously over the top and put a candle in each one! Wishing you rest and light and joy today. The first thing I noticed about this post is that your tags are aging and hope. And that made me smile.

    Happy birthday, princess! Never forget, you are a daughter of the King!

    Much love,

    Stacy

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  5. Dearest Marilyn, I have had birthdays where I was less than enthusiastic about the day (I remember my 30th as a “downer” when I left my 20’s behind – and I had only birthed one baby (of my three) at the time so I had much to look forward to). But my dear husband, 7 years my senior, has been my role model. He takes each birthday in-stride and moves ahead. I don’t want to minimize your tiredness, but I pray it will be something you work through and move ahead with. Each day is a ‘gift’ from God and one in 365 days happen to be our day-of-birth. So happy you are feeling the love you deserve!

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  6. Birthday blessings and may you find grace and restoration. We took my Katy to see the movie Frozen and the only thing that could restore a frozen heart was love. So may you feel love from around the world and from God.
    I need to be restored as our move and house challenges have sucked out joy. The overwhelming stress has really hurt Eric and I and it feels heavy and leaves us wondering why and how we will ever get out of the pit. We look for some rehab too.
    Thanks again for your honesty.

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    1. Oh my sweet Jill! I want to come and bring you a cup of tea and some joy. It hurts me to hear of your stress and grief… As I pray for Marilyn today I also pray for you….

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