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The Architect & Me – Part 13: God of the Details

I’m not sure the first time the revelation struck and the phrase was coined. I think it was right after my divorce. Everything about God seemed to be operating on a technicolor spectrum. Magnified. Vibrant. Real. Divorce is not a scalpel cut. Divorce is a chainsaw maiming. So, I had prayed what I had learned from C. S. Lewis. God whispers to us in our pleasure. He speaks to us in our conscience. He shouts to us in our pain. I had asked God to shout because the pain was screaming, and I didn’t want to miss Him. Thankfully, He didn’t allow me to. It was in that season that He loved me so specifically. Individually. Detailed. That was the largest part of bringing my heart back to life and I coined the phrase, “God loves us in our details.” It was sealed for me when I read Psalm 37:23 in the New Living Translation, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of our lives.”

So, it is no surprise He would love me this way as I built this house with Him. It all started with the island. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the house that was only then on paper. An anxiety had captured me accompanied by a thousand images racing through my mind like the road runner fleeing Wile E. Coyote. My thoughts dashing, “Should I pick oil rubbed bronze hardware or the brushed gold? What about appliances or cabinet styles? What about paint colors or wallpapers?” It took me thirty minutes and 50 different iterations of “How many bad mistakes can I make,” until I finally let my mind catch the rhythm of my noise machine and fall back to sleep.  When I finally got up, I said this simple prayer, “Father, please make each detail clear. Each cabinet. Each fixture. Especially the island. Like a novel I write in my head, write this house on my heart. Play it out in scenes if you need to so I don’t miss what you want to do.”

From Southern Living magazine

Ever since I got the drawings back, I had been struggling over the island. Andrea had drawn the kitchen with two longer and slimmer islands. It looked beautiful, but it just wasn’t working in my head. The kitchen works in my head. Every time I envision the kitchen, I hear the laughter. I see people gathered around in stations as we prep a meal together as family or friends. I see the banquette with the large round table where we will sit over fried chicken and fresh butter beans. I see an island where grandbabies will hopefully one day sit with messy hair and footie pajamas as we make chocolate gravy and biscuits and memories. Oh yes, I see all the life and years that will be spent in that kitchen, but I cannot for the life of me see the island.

That afternoon my Southern Living came in the mail. For a southern girl this makes for as good an afternoon as surfing in the ocean does for a California girl. So, after a full day of work, I sat down to enjoy a coke and my new magazine. As I got to page 54 there it was. My island! It was perfect! It was everything I wanted in my heart but couldn’t see in my head. Perfect in every detailed way. One large island with a butcher block top and a cut out at one end that held three barstools. This was it! This was my island! And it had arrived right when I needed it, on the day I had asked. In that moment I felt so loved and so seen.

When God loving me in my detailed moments arrives, I always think of how far back God had been orchestrating that moment for me. For this moment it goes all the way back to when the magazine decided they wanted to feature that house with that island. To when the photoshoot was scheduled. To when this particular edition would be published with this island. To the day it would ship out to arrive at my house on the exact day I had prayed a specific prayer about the island. That is how much God loves me. Are there times I give Him credit when He didn’t love me in my details? I don’t know. Maybe. But I’d much rather thank Him and give Him credit even if He didn’t, than miss the times that He does. Because I know as a bonus-parent myself, when your kids thank you, it makes you want to do even more.

So, does the God of the universe care about kitchen islands when other people have much larger problems? Need food? Clothes? Healing? I’ve learned we cannot measure our stories by other people’s stories. There will always be need. There will always be wars. The only thing we can measure our lives by is what God has asked of us to do. Right now, in this moment. For me, right now, in this moment, He has asked me to build this house with Him and today He has answered my prayer in the most detailed of ways.  Don’t miss how He is moving in yours. Because trust me, He is always moving.

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Hi, I’m Denise!

I love Jesus, my family and friends, my sweet dog Sophie, SEC football and Coca-Cola.