Before and After

There is not a momma on this earth who could love her two boys more than I love mine, but let’s just be plain about this. I need a granddaughter! I’ve been quite explicit in letting my boys know… whoever gives me the first granddaughter gets the inheritance. Seems fair enough to me. I’ve been outnumbered for the past 22-1/2 years, so it’s time we add another girl to the equation.

Of course, there are just a few small hiccups in this whole thing. Neither of my boys have girlfriends, much less wives, so the probability I’m going to have a grandbaby girl anytime soon is slim and none. Oh, well. A girl can dream. And this momma does!

Remember this picture? I took it back in April (when things were really green!) and shared it in another blog post.

This is one of the largest live oak trees on our property. Hidden deep in the tree, after you get past all the briars, grapevine, and cedar trees growing around the base, is an old treehouse. When I first discovered it, I had instant inspiration… a treehouse for my would be grandbaby girl. This brilliant idea was birthed almost two years ago, and that’s all it has been until yesterday. 
Yesterday Logan and I tackled my dream with a vengeance. I was the chainsaw master, and Logan was the brush hauler. After almost five… yes, five!… hours of slaving in the hot July sun, we had two enormous brush piles that look like this:

The first part of the mission was accomplished. We’d cleared the base of the tree enough that we could actually climb up in the tree and tear down the old treehouse. Now I should probably clarify here… it wasn’t actually a “we” as I had no intention of climbing up in the tree given the current state of missing steps and rotting wood. Any smart woman would do exactly what I did. Send up the man!
So, up Logan went! He didn’t hesitate. This kid loves risk like this momma loves Oreos. Of course, before I sent him up, we did some strategizing about which boards and limbs would need to be cut, and I put the chainsaw blade break on. I am nothing if not cautious.
So this was our strategy: One cut should do it. All Logan needed to do was cut the horizontal board underneath the treehouse. 
And he did. And nothing happened. Hmmmm. Time for more strategizing and a trickier cut. Logan and I are two smart cookies, so we figured it out fast – the limb underneath the treehouse! Although it was clearly an older, dead limb, it appeared to be the hold up… literally.
Yep! That did it. TIMBER! The treehouse came down with a very loud crash. Immediately Brad (who was up near the house and couldn’t see us) hollers out, “What have y’all torn up now?” Can you believe that? Oh, he of little faith. Little did he know, Logan and I are demolition experts. With our careful strategizing, the treehouse had the good sense to break completely apart so there was no disassembly to do. We just hauled the pieces to the brush pile. 
Ta da! The perfect spot for a treehouse for my grandbaby girl! (But, that’s a project for another day… or more likely another year as it will take me that long to recuperate from this adventure!)
(Now, before y’all are too harsh on Brad and Cam for not being out there working with us, I should note here that they were working on a separate project, and their project DID involve a LOUD crash and their crash was NOT planned… just sayin’. If you want details, you’ll have to ask them. I’d never be one to tell…)
Anyway, despite the manual labor and ensuing exhaustion, all this got me to thinking…
Look back again at the before and after pictures of this tree. Big difference. Huge difference.
That’s exactly what our lives should look like as followers of Christ. Big difference. Huge difference. 
Before Christ, the excess of our lifestyles, the distractions of this world, our own selfish pride, and our personal agendas threaten to choke Christ out. They take up so much space in our hearts that there is little, if any, room left for Him. But, after choosing to follow Christ, our lives should look very different. Gone is the excess, the distractions, the pride, the selfishness, the personal wants and desires, and what remains is a well-tended heart that is fully His.
There’s just one small problem. The hard work and sacrifice that takes place in between the before and after pictures is not easy. In fact, it’s just downright hard and painful. 
But, it’s completely necessary. And it’s eternally rewarding.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God 
because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—
the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you
into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know 
God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 NLT

1 thought on “Before and After”

  1. I would have a better way to implode the tree
    house, Dynomite!! mucuh quicker if you know how to place it so it will not harm the tree.
    Looks like the tree will be much healther now
    that all the under brush is gone. Good job Trea
    and logan It looks like Cam installed the chain
    on your saw it came off while I was cutting a
    ceadar limb. Did Brad git the shack moved
    see ya Bob

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