From Galvanized Gunk to Simply Overflowing…the costly joy of starting new.

Sometimes you can just take the thingamajig apart and clean it and voilà! A strong, high-pressured flow of water bursts from the faucet. (I’m told the thingamajig is an aerator, and you don’t “just” take it apart, but whatever. Compared to the cacophony and mess of ceiling tiles removed, pipes sawed into pieces, clamps harnessed with a power screw driver, water dripping, and the occasional grunting and groaning of my husband during the past week, cleaning the aerator seems like a pretty simple process to me.)


This was not a clean the aerator kind of fix. It was a major, replace the pipes overhaul.

In fact, we had been dancing around the idea for a couple of years. Or rather, my husband would start talking about it, and I would start dancing to distract him.  Because the whole idea seemed a bit daunting to me. Our house was built nearly six decades ago. And the builders used galvanized pipes throughout.

If you need a brief lesson on galvanized pipes, here’s the gist: Galvanized pipes were commonly installed in houses built in the US prior to 1960. They were an alternative to lead pipes, which were considered a health hazard. Galvanized pipes are made of steel and coated with zinc to prevent corrosion and rust. The problem, however, is decades later the these pipes corrode and rust on the inside.

Our pipes, my husband insisted, needed some attention. I preferred sticking my fingers in my ears and doing the Hokey Pokey. It worked for a while. I was still able to do laundry, wash dishes, and shower. For years. I didn’t even mind that I had to be careful not to lather too much shampoo in my hair or it would take five minutes to rinse it all out due to low water pressure. I was used to it.depositphotos_150256430-stock-video-water-drops-falling-from-an

But then we had some plumbing issues in the basement. At the same that time we (I use that pronoun in the broadest sense) were taking care of that issue, we were also thinking seriously about selling our house since we are empty-nesters. That’s when the husband decided no more dancing around the pipe issue. It had to be done.

I came home one day to discover coils of piping and the babel of power tools. The new pipe replacement project was in process. At one point during the week, my handyman pulled me aside and showed me two things. First, a pipe that was part of a main water line in the house. The pipe was nearly rusted through. Had he waited much longer on this project, the results would have been disastrous.

And then he showed me the inside of one of the pipes he had removed. It was so rusted and corroded on the inside, so full of gunk, that it is a miracle any water managed to snake its way through at all.


So yeah, that project? It was messy. It was noisy. It was time consuming. It was inconvenient. It was costly. It meant cutting out, and cutting apart the old, and installing the new.


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But man, when I turned on the shower for the first time once the work was complete, I jumped back in surprise. Then I reached in and turned down the faucets. The flow was incredibly strong, and I no longer needed the water on full blast. I quickly learned that I could no longer start my bath water and leisurely go fix a cup of tea, because with the new water pressure, the tub would overflow before I returned! Who knew such abundant water flow existed? Not me. I was used to the old.

Have you been feeling like you’ve lost some flow, some power or, for lack of a more glamorous word, oomph? Maybe you  just want more. More joy, more financial freedom, more healthy relationships, more romance, more purpose, more growth, more of JESUS flowing through you.

As my husband labored over swapping out piping, I realized that sometimes we lose flow in our lives because we’ve continued with the old, when we are being called to something new. Sometimes we continue with the same things, because, well, we’ve always done it that way, or thought that way, or because it’s easy and comfortable. But there are seasons when we need to cut away the old, if it is hindering us, and replace it with something new, something that allows new life and new ministry and new passion to flow through us. This can be uncomfortable and costly and messy.  I’m a safe, familiar kind of girl – meaning I don’t like to shake things up too much, step too far out of my comfort zone.  But my word for 2018 is NEW. I am praying that God will bring NEW life to a somewhat stagnant heart. That I will be open to NEW visions He has, and NEW adventures He calls me to, and NEW dreams He plants in my heart. That I will look at things from a NEW perspective. But it also means a willingness to let go of the old.

Old thoughtsI can’t. This is impossible. There’s no way. Nothing’s going to change. There simply isn’t room for these thoughts AND ones like Wherever You lead Lord, I’m ready.  I trust Your way. Let’s do this. 

No, the old thoughts have got to go, replaced by Truth and trust. Daily journaling will help me keep on track.

Old habits. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve spent way too much time watching Netflix this past year. Saying yes to things I should have said no to. Perusing social media.  Eating dinner in the living room instead of at the table, where we always ate when raising our kids. Procrastinating on things I’m afraid to attempt, risks I’m terrified to tackle. This first week of January, I’m seeking direction for what to rip out and what to replace it with.  He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to direct and complete. I’m sure of it.

Old dreams. Never give up on your dreams, I’ve heard. But sometimes old dreams have to go. Things don’t turn out the way we once thought they would, and that’s okay. If we hang on too tightly, we might miss out on something new. It is okay to pack away old dreams, to box them up and set them by the curb for Goodwill or pass them down to a dear one, or simply place them in a trash bag. Or place them on a shelf for a few years. This makes room for the something NEW that God wants to do right now.

There are a few verses God has given to me over and over these past few days, verses that seem to resonate with and confirm my word for 2018. The first comes from Isaiah 43, verses 18-19 (NIV) . Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness, and streams in the wasteland.

The second is Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)  But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, They will walk and not faint. 

I don’t know if I have any old readers left. Perhaps I’ll gain some NEW ONES this year 🙂  But whoever happens upon this little bit of rambling, I’m wishing you the happiest of NEW YEAR’S, 2018. May He put a NEW song in our mouths, as we seek the One who is making all things NEW.  (Psalm 40:3, Revelation 21:5)

Grateful for this wonderful life,

Marie with a 🙂

29 thoughts on “From Galvanized Gunk to Simply Overflowing…the costly joy of starting new.

  1. You give me hope. Now I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. My 2018 word is “change.” Don’t be afraid to take the chance. Get out of my comfort zone. Nothing will change if I don’t change it. It’s too easy to keep doing the same thing but I think something new will make me happier and more content. It is time!

  2. Encouraged as always!😁. You and Scott and the kids are in my prayers!

    Your friend in Thailand….

    On Wed, 3 Jan 2018 at 10:28 A MINIATURE CLAY POT wrote:

    > Marie with a 🙂 posted: “Sometimes you can just take the thingamajig apart > and clean it and voilà! A strong, high-pressured flow of water bursts from > the faucet. (I’m told the thingamajig is an aerator, and you don’t “just” > take it apart, but whatever. Compared to the cacophony a” >

    • Thanks, Friend! That one post you shared with me before Christmas was so timely and such a blessing. Been meaning to write and say thanks. Lifted some prayers for you and team too!

  3. Thank you for a very timely post. My husband is an Anglican priest currently in a search. I have recently finished my Masters in Fine Art at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. The word he’s been getting for a year or more is, “Everything is changing.” God has assured us that the place where we are going will bless both of us. He wants to bless both of us. Such a comfort when we don’t yet know where we are to go. I am 58, and it sometimes feels as though my most productive days are behind me, but thankfully, God has other plans. Thank you for reminding me to spend less time on Netflix and other distractions. I am currently trying to narrow my focus, so my artwork will be stronger and will have a positive effect on those who see it.

    • Your most productive days definitely aren’t behind you if you are seeking God’s face! Sounds like you are actually in a most exciting phase. Do you have a blog or anything where you share any of your artwork or is it only in person? Blessings to both you and your husband!

      • Thank you, Marie! I have some work up on Facebook under rebeccawebbfineart. I bought a new camera so I will be getting better photos for a website hopefully soon. I have a few pieces from my graduate thesis exhibit to photograph and put up in the near future.

      • Currently, my work can be seen on Facebook@RebeccaWebbFineArt. I still need to take some updated photos for a website in the near future.

  4. Thank you from an old time reader. You have always challenged me. I hadn’t thought about a word for 2018, but now I’ve decided NEW is it…. New thoughts, new dreams… New… I’m excited to see where He leads me.
    Thank you again and Happy and blessed 2018!

  5. I’m an “old” reader. And I miss you when you haven’t written in a while, so I’m thrilled to see you posting again! Happy New Year!

    • And a Happy New Year to you, too! The goal is to be posting more…getting rid of those OLD fears of sharing my writing and replacing them with some NEW courage 🙂 Thanks for leaving an encouraging word.

  6. Happy New Year! I was excited to read a new post from you~you always inspire me. I’m also an “old” reader. I am looking forward to what new adventures/callings the Lord brings this new year. I did start a Thankfulness journal where I am writing 3 things each day that I am thankful for. May our Lord Bless you with His Love, Joy and Peace each day.

    • It’s amazing how our how world changes when we practice gratitude – your Thankfulness journal will be something you will treasure forever! I’ve mostly made it a practice to speak at least one aloud each morning (which generally turns into more than one) but I like the idea of having them written down. I might have to do that too! Thanks for sharing and for your words of blessing. Happy New Year to you too, Judy 🙂

  7. Thanks, Marie. Good words, as always. I appreciate your honesty and your challenges. Have a great 2018. Love you lots. Marci

    From: A MINIATURE CLAY POT To: Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 8:27 PM Subject: [New post] From Galvanized Gunk to Simply Overflowing…the costly joy of starting new. #yiv5080075119 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5080075119 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5080075119 a.yiv5080075119primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5080075119 a.yiv5080075119primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5080075119 a.yiv5080075119primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5080075119 a.yiv5080075119primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5080075119 | Marie with a 🙂 posted: “Sometimes you can just take the thingamajig apart and clean it and voilà! A strong, high-pressured flow of water bursts from the faucet. (I’m told the thingamajig is an aerator, and you don’t “just” take it apart, but whatever. Compared to the cacophony a” | |

  8. Marie!!! I was so glad to find you in my inbox today! I’m still here. So yes. New. That’s a bit familiar to me. So is empty nest and selling house and fixing old stuff… all of it. I really do get this. My husband and I are at the stage where it would make perfectly good sense by worldly standards to just coast on out to Gloryland. But God! We are finally able to act on the Call we received from God 18 years ago and are about to liquidate our lifestyle and head to the foreign mission field. My word this year? Release. Scary? You bet. Worth it? Without a doubt. Hanging in there with you!

    • Loretta! So glad you are still here 🙂 I haven’t been on facebook much, and when I have been, I haven’t seen any postings from you…so just went to see what’s up. LOVED your post “Now What?” – definitely something for me to reflect on as I think about what’s next. I also love your word”’release.” Kinda goes along with letting go of the old to make room for the new (plans He has), right? Anyway, I was finally smart enough to sign up for e-mail notifications when you do post, so I can stay up with your new adventures! <3

  9. Well, you always manage to post at exactly the right time with exactly the words I need to hear most. I’m an “old” reader, always happy to see you appear in the inbox. It usually means I need a talking-to. 🙂 Keep writing, Marie. You’re a gift to many.

    • I would say that it usually means I have already been given a talking-to 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement…I never know if I’m talking to just myself (’cause I do that a lot…talk to myself…) or if others can relate. <3

  10. Amazing what you can do when you cutout Social Media and Netflix. 😉 Nice post just happened to stumble on it. Will add your site to the follow list.

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