While I’m on a blog break, please enjoy this post originally published in October of 2008.

Last week, we hired a company to do several things required for the exterior up-keep of a Florida home. If you’ve never lived down here, there are things that must be done that you’d never dream of having to do. For instance, we have to pressure-wash our roof to remove mold that accumulates up there and turns it black (lovely, I know). We also have to maintain our screened enclosure around the pool; the one that keeps not only mosquitoes and other flying insects away, but also the dreaded reptilian variety of pests (think “Crocodile Hunter” – crikey!). The company we hired to do these, and a number of other tasks, quoted us a great price and showed up, on time, to do the work. We were thrilled.

Now, this work was set to require about three days. The first day, all of our outdoor furniture was removed from the lanai, and the screened enclosure and pavers around the pool were pressure-washed. The second day, the furniture was moved back inside the lanai so they could wash the roof and not get the furniture dirty. However, they didn’t really take care to place it all back in its original, aesthetically-pleasing arrangement as they had promised. Since they were coming back to finish up on Saturday, we weren’t really concerned; they had, after all, said that everything would be returned to its previous location. We were excited to have our beautiful, sparkling clean lanai on which to enjoy a startlingly gorgeous, Florida fall Sunday.
Just one problem: They didn’t show up.
All weekend, even though our sliders and windows were flung wide open to embrace the cool, dry air, our lanai remained a hodge-podge of chairs and tables and plants, crammed in at one end at obvious haste. Could we have just moved everything back ourselves? Of course. But they had said they would do it when they were finished with everything out there, and we weren’t sure if they were ready for everything to be put back. Because of their lack of follow-through, we didn’t get to complete the plan we had for the weekend. Today finds me hoping that they will return and finish the job.
As I looked out there this morning, lamenting the situation with “Why, oh why, can’t contractors EVER do what they SAY they’ll do??”, I felt a conviction in my spirit. Like a disheartening home video, my half-baked obedience and started-but-not-finished promises played before me. When God convicts me about something, or requests something of me, I typically respond with deep sincerity. I truly mean to do what I say I will do, but “life” starts to worm its way in and I don’t always stick to the schedule, if you know what I mean.
I wonder if God looks at my life sometimes and sees disarray, like so much patio furniture tossed together, hodge-podge, on a lanai. He has very specific plans for me, and, even though He could certainly put things “right” Himself, I really think He wants me to finish what I’ve said I would do; He wants me to follow all the way through with my obedience so that He can complete His plan in me. He certainly doesn’t need my help, but He wants it so that I will be changed in the process.
When we finish the work we start with God, WE receive the fullness of the blessing. The God of the Universe wants to partner with us (!) to make our lives into something extraordinary. If my follow-through is the difference between disarray and dazzling, I’m thinking I need to make a to-finish list.
Then I’ll call my contractor and go over HIS.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all His people.

Psalm 116:14 NIV