Dealing with the storm

Published 4:08 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Weathering the storm


Upon awakening these days, I don’t pad into the kitchen to start coffee with my sweet puppy by my side. Instead, I quickly dress, rake a comb through the bedhead, and point my Camry in the direction of the local coffee shop. Every morning, I am greeted by the same group of men — mostly retired, but some on their way to the office or job site.

“Good morning, Jan. How is the house coming along?”

“Hey guys. It’s coming slow. Now they tell me possibly six or eight more weeks. How are you all this morning?”

I stop to chat for a few minutes, but don’t want to interrupt their male bonding so I’m soon on my way.

Next stop is the house, to check on renovation progress and chat with the workers. I’m learning to question things that don’t look quite right, and have caught a few things that really needed attention. This is not something I enjoy. The contractor hardly ever stops by, so this task has fallen on my shoulders.

I understand that multiple jobs are going simultaneously, but every time I have to call the boss to correct a problem I’m a little less thrilled. Fortunately, things are progressing, and I feel quite certain that the end product will be beautiful.

In contemplating the correct way to handle this situation, I am reminded of a scripture that tells us to speak the truth in love. I’ve actually tried to be very kind, but a few problems have yet to be corrected. Now comes the more difficult part. What to do now?

The apostle Paul in Thessalonians speaks about correcting people. He goes further than just telling us to be kind when we do. He speaks, “We encouraged you, then we exhorted you, then we urged you.” In other words each correction became a little more insistent. Ugh! This is absolutely NOT what I want to do, but I will.

I twice have called attention to the fact that the trailers in my yard holding my belongings have not been secured properly. Twice I was told it would be done, but as yet they are unlocked. This time a photo of the trailers with no padlocks will be sent to the contractor directly. I think that is probably moving up to the urging category.

I’m afraid speaking the truth in love has always been a weak area for me. It’s not that I didn’t tell the truth or speak in love — I tried to. And I had no problem correcting my children, but correcting grown people who should know better? Now, that was and is out of my comfort zone.

The house flood and renovation is giving me a chance to work on moving from being a people pleaser to speaking the truth even if it upsets people. So far, though it’s been uncomfortable, I have accepted the challenge. In the end, I think the renovation will be beautiful; the contractor more attentive to detail; and I will have grown as well.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at