Monday, October 14, 2013


I am a master of disguise.

There is not a flaw that has bested me yet.

If you're a perfectionist like me, you notice that just about everything has a flaw or two (or eighty).  Furniture, carpet, tile, cabinets, paint, clothing, collectibles, etc.

And flaws are my nemesis.

Armed with my arsenal of colored pencils, multi-colored Sharpie pens, various colors of wood putty, acrylic paint, a lead pencil, a black and a blue ballpoint pen – AND my *tools of the trade* – tweezers, scissors, glue, brushes, and two pairs of glassesI am a Fixer Extraordinaire.

If something has a chip or a stain or a snag or a scratch – I am your woman.

Some of my best work has included:

The dented nose of a cigar store Indian – (paint, colored pencils, brush).

A ripped and unraveled patch of carpet – (glue, tweezers, scissors).

An area of missing stain on a cabinet – (wood putty, colored pencils, lead pencil).

Actually, you might enjoy this little story about my absolute finest moment.

Several years ago, the sons and Marty (the grandbeagle) were staying downstairs with my parents while they were renovating their upstairs apartment.  Marty, The Beagle Who Cannot Be Trusted, was watched like an eagle.

However, Marty is also The Beagle Who Is Very Sneaky.  And one night, while everyone was watching television, Marty was busy.  Oh, it looked like he was just lying down in his little pen in the middle of the living room.  (I know – I was there).  But no, he was actually gnawing and nibbling away at my parents' carpet.

Yes, call him The Stealth Chewer.

Fortunately, my dad went to bed before the damage was discovered.

But when we saw Marty's carpet work, we were shocked.  A decent-sized piece had been completely destroyedright in the middle of the room!

Great, now what?

Well, I told the boys not to panic, we would figure it out.

So, step #1:  Look under all the furniture to see which carpet would be the best color match, roughly the same nap, and the least likely to be noticed missing.

Step #2:  Having determined that the best replacement candidate was underneath a very heavy coffee table, move said table.

Step #3:  Using boxcutters – (oh, I should have mentioned that in my above-cited arsenal) – remove patch of carpet.  Replace table.

Step #4:  Place new patch into old hole and glue down.  Evaluate.  Uh, not good.

Step #5:  Use various "tools" to work the edges into the surrounding nap. Push and pull and tamp down and pinch up.  Over and over again.  Not bad.

Except for the oh-so-obvious difference in the color.  Wow, carpet really, really darkens over time.  So, the three of us just stared at the carpet for the longest time.

(Mom was there too – but her *slightly-less-than-helpful* suggestions included putting a table or chair in the middle of the room or making sure that she was talking to Dad and pointing at the ceiling every time he entered).

What a dilemma.

Until Son #2 said this:

"You know how they use tea to make things look old?  I wonder if soda would work…"

Which is how Step #6 happened:  Pour cola on patch of carpet.  Soak up excess with paper towel.  Don't rinse and repeat.

I can't tell you how perfect the match was.  How much the new patch blended in with the darker surroundings.  How inspired this *fix* was.

How my dad never found out about it.

How Marty always seemed to prefer that particular area of the living room.

That old carpet has since been replaced – not because of our problem, mind you – and no one was the wiser.  Except, I've always wondered if the installers were puzzled by how easily that one area of the carpet came up, and why it was so sticky!  HA!

So, yes, flaws are my nemesis.

And that is why I found myself on my hands and knees in my parents' driveway a few days ago.

You see, the sons had a very important trade show to attend, and they needed to construct a booth for their company.  My dad has every tool you can imagine in his workshop, so the project happened at his house.

Wood, screws, saws, hammer, nails, paint – the finished product was a work of art. Finished in the nick of time, just before the sons left at 3 AM for a long trip to Phoenix.

Later that morning, I went out to inspect the clean-up effort.  Pretty good, but not up to the standards of my dad.

For one thing, there were black drips of paint on the garage floor and pink latex primer paint dripped all over the driveway.


So, I used a screwdriver to chip up the black paint.  That went pretty well. But the pink primer was another story altogether.

You might be wondering why I didn't use paint thinner or turpentine.

Well, my parents have kind of a special driveway.  Completely made up of little pebbles all cemented in.  And it's old.  So, besides the fact that there was no paint remover handy, I also didn't want to take the chance of wrecking the driveway with a harsh chemical.

That is why I labored with a screwdriver and a boxcutter to scrape and peel and strip up the pink primer paint.

Got most of it off.  

But good is not good enough for my dad's standards.

So, I proceeded to hand-pencil every single pebble that had any pink residue left over.  Fortunately, there were some black shiny pebbles, so I could use a Sharpie on them.  At first I noticed that the pencil (or Sharpie) ended up looking a little too shiny.  So, I perfected a technique of applying pencil or pen, and then rubbing with my finger.  Repeat to give a more natural finish.

I know.


It took me a few hours.

And so, I had plenty of time to ponder.

I got to thinking about God.  

About God and His very perfect world that He created.  About God and how His very perfect world got all messed up.

He had to have looked on in dismay at all the drips and dribbles of sin that had spilled on His perfection.

It had to make Him feel frustrated, knowing that He had clean-up work to do.

Frustrated, yes, but His love propelled Him to do it.

I felt frustrated that I had clean-up work to do.  It was disheartening to be left with the aftermath.  But I also knew that I was the only one who could do it.  And I did it because I love my boys.

God is the same.  

No, God is better…

As I belabored over every single paint-stained pebble, I thought of how God works in me.

He inspects me closely, and sees even the tiniest remnants of sin.

He takes His time, inordinate amounts of time, to fix my mistakes and work on my flaws.

He scrapes away my false hypocrisy, and peels away my layers of selfishness, and strips away the sins that so easily trip me up.

And, even then, He is not finished.

For good is not good enough for my Heavenly Father's standards.

So, He painstakingly pencils in the empty spots with His righteousness. He covers my stains with His blood.  He rubs my spirit with His finger, until I am made like new.

He works and toils and labors over me.


Because He loves me…

…and flaws are His nemesis.

But He has never met a flaw that has bested Him.  For He died on a Cross for every flaw that ever did or ever will happen.

He possesses the ultimate tools in His arsenal to fix the mistakes, to redeem the flaws, to restore the blemished, to fill up the cracks, and to make it all right againto make it all RIGHT again.

I know.


I was reminded of that while on my knees on a pebbled driveway a few days ago.

And it brought tears to my eyes.

God weaves His perfection in me. 

"May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation--the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ--for this will bring much glory and praise to God." (Philippians 1:11, NLT)

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." 
(1 Corinthians 1:30, NIV)

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, NIV)

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB)

What does God’s attention to detail mean to you?

Linked today with:

Jen at UNITE
Darlene at TITUS 2SDAY
Gail at TGIF

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Sharon,
    Oh.My.Goodness. What a PERFECT comparison your experiences that you write about here is to what God does in our lives! Like you, I also do these very things...if there is a way to fix or cover up something, I can and will fix it. I have used all of the sames tools you have listed....Sharpies, pencil, colored pencils, putty, craft paint, tea, etc., etc. In fact, I pride myself as this being one of my hidden talents! Cover it up, I one will be the wiser! Except God. Not only does He "fix" me up when I need it the most, He also knows when am covering up something! What a wise woman you are too use this comparison in your wonderful devotional post today...somthing I needed to hear!

    Have a great week :)

  2. I had to laugh, Sharon, at your creativity with the carpet. Very nicely done with the fix! I would have probably just left it and had to confess to the undertakings of the dog, but WTG that you guys were able to rejuvenate it so to speak.

    Same too with the driveway; that does sound like a painstaking project to fix, but as a mom, I can myself doing the same thing.

    Love the analogy of how God fixes our flaws too. I'm so glad he has every tool in his tool box so to speak in order to do so and the best "tool" of all with the cross and what Jesus did for us.

    have a great fall day! should be a gorgeous weather one.


  3. Oh Lord Sharon, are we related? I am such a perfectionist too. I drive myself absolutely insane. But I loved your stories about Marty the wonder dog and the chewed rug, and your do-it-better projects.

    What better thing to do than to ponder God while you scrub each pebble? You could have been mad, irritated, sweaty and tired, but instead you thought about how God does this for you (and me). You are one inspiring gal, sister.

    God's attention to detail in my life is his way of showing me that he's interested in all of me. Good, bad, stupid and smart. No one loves me quite like that. What a gift it is.

    Monday blessings!

  4. Sharon, you my friend are a master story teller. Although I do consider myself a recovering perfectionist I often miss small details. It's myself that gets the worst scrutiny.

    Reading your post makes me think just how much God done for us. And oh my did He ever have much to clean up on my part. Have a great week!

  5. I was right there with you and my repair kit looks a lot like yours. You did a cigar store indian... I repaired a gesso antique frame with indian bows and arrows. I used a peppercorn, cut it in half and glued it on the frame to match some of the arrow trim. It was awesome!! The other wonderful fix I did was when the kids were young and rambunctious (sp??) and had some friends over. One of the boys fell INTO the wall and there was a HUUUUGE hole in the wall. Like you, dad was not home, but that hole had to go before he got there! I ran to the store and got some huge thing of white putty and cut cardboard to fit the hold and started filling it and re-filling it until we got to the wall surface, then painted. We never told hubby till we moved away from that house. :)

    As to the spiritual lessons in all of this... they have hit home here too. I love the picture of you on your knees with tears in the driveway. I think God loved it too.
    Amazing love, how can it be?

  6. Great story - we can now see how God works in us - making us to perfection - someday.
    Following you from The Beauty in His Grip.

  7. I am thinking he is like the ocean waves that always tide and wash over us - never ending.

  8. Sharon you and my husband must be related...You sounds just like him....having to fix every little thing....It's nice for me because I don't have to do it....You wrote a great post with a wonderful comparison to our wonderful Father...I find His grace is sufficient....

  9. Loved what you shared (and your sneaky talents!). I am so thankful that He makes all things new. :)

  10. I loved your story and the illustration of God taking care of our flaws - all of them.
    My husband repaired my precious statue of "Ruth gleaning" when my grandson broke it in pieces. I can tell you where flaws are, but not so good at fixing them.
    Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

  11. I really enjoyed this!! The carpet story is amazing!! Linking up right after and before you over at Time Warp Wife.

  12. Oh what a perfect story to parallel our desire to fix the blemishes and imperfections in the things we see around us and among us, and how God invests the same attention to detail in our flaws and failures. We don't always take the time to clean up our own messes, but we are blessed that He patiently works in us and through us to define and restore us! Great reading this morning; visiting from UNITE!

    Blessings and love,

  13. Dear Sharon
    I think our Pappa only stops His "cleaning" process when He sees His own image reflected in us. I am so grateful for His patience for I can assure you I have years and years of stains and dirt that need removing!
    Blessings XX

  14. I really enjoyed reading this, because I am also a fixer I grew up in a very chaotic environment so I wanted to fix things constantly. I am encouraged to know that God is constantly working in me and that he cares about the details in my life. I am reminded that I no longer have to cover up those flaws in my character that I am made right through the blood of my Lord. So grateful! thank you!!!

  15. I'm a middle child so that perfectionist deal just passed right over me. Love the carpet story. Most of all, I love that God continues to work His best in my life.

  16. God usually speaks to me when I am down on my knees busy fixing something too!
    I posted about one of those lessons too:
    The more I read your post, the more I thought about the day coming when God will say, it is all beyond repair...time for a new one! (heaven and earth)
    Blessings and love~ Lisa

  17. Awe...some! I loved this. I actually laughed my way through it all the way to the lesson because I had a visual image of you, especially the part about the driveway.
    I literally did say (aloud) "Oh no, she didn't!"

    As for the lesson, my favorite part of all was when you point out that there wasn't a single repair that had bested our God. I needed reminding of that lately.

  18. Oh, and when can you get here to work on a patch of carpet I 'plugged". It's not so perfect. In fact, I pulled a trick from your mom's bag and put something over it.

  19. Thank you for linking up with Woman to Woman’s Word Filled Wednesday!


  20. He leaves no stone unturned. I think until my very last breath He will be showing me more details of how His great sacrifice paid for all my sins. Have a great week.

  21. Sharon, I'm a perfectionist, too. But you take the cake!! Unfortunately, I don't have your painstaking patience. And you do it all for love! I know I'd be grumbling all the way through.
    Praise God He loves us so much that He removes every flaw with love! What an image I now have in my mind of how He cares for me and changes me. Beautiful heart as you shed tears over His love!!
    Blessings, Jaus

  22. Oh I can relate to this in so many ways...first because I am this type of mom and my son's have done the same...and I too have repaired carpet...etc.
    Thanks for the reminder..sometimes I forget and just look at the damage left behind. He is still working on me..Praise God!!

  23. Loved this post, friend! You had me "lol" a few times!
    Thanks so much for the insight into your mind and thoughts and how we can see God in all the little things!
    Love you!

  24. Oh, YES! You are amazing! I love your stories and this had me from the outset because I so identify with the "details" thingy. Gotta get those details just right! Love the arsenal of crafty tools to fix the flaws with - all Master Artist have them, you know. Your metaphor works perfectly!! Ah - Perfection!

  25. Wow!!! What a story! And praise God for how He works His perfection in all of us!

  26. Sharon, it's my first time here (The Weekend Brew) and I laughed so loud I startled people. Very funny stuff, yet sobering at the same time. And aren't you glad God doesn't expect perfection from us, just obedience?

    As soon as I leave this comment box, I will become your newest follower. You blessed my socks off.

  27. I really enjoyed reading your story - your ingenuity is awesome! I'm so thankful for God's grace that He fixes all my messes too.
    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions & Connect With God


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)