Do it yourself

DIY. “Do it yourself.” Whether landscaping, plumbing, electrical, or painting, my husband (the Yard Boy) and I have done just about all of it.

Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. Having spent the bulk of our adult lives in the full-time service of various churches, we have never had enough funds to have professional work done on our house. We have learned how to do most repairs ourselves, because there was usually no other choice.

When it became apparent that the septic tank was a hazard to anyone walking over it, since it could never be adequately covered with soil, we decided that a patio with loose stones would be a good remedy for the uneven ground it presented near the back porch.

Those patio pavers weren’t cheap, though! And since the project was already underway when I was laid off at my job because of a broken ankle, funds were even more of a challenge. What about molded concrete stones? A local handyman could do it! He gave us a quote that was roughly five times the cost of the materials alone.

You guessed it. The Yard Boy and I set about mixing, pouring, and smoothing our own concrete from the comfort of an overturned milk crate. My cast was semi-elevated in this position, after all; and the Yard Boy didn’t mind doing all the heavy lifting.

Four years later, we still sit on that patio in the evenings and enjoy the result of our “do-it-yourself” project. And nobody has since twisted her ankle on the drop-off from the tank, as had happened many times previously. (The broken ankle was from another low spot in the yard, long since repaired, as well.)

We could have waited. There were plenty of reasons to delay in getting this project finished, since we couldn’t afford to get it done by a professional and it wasn’t exactly a good time for us. I do see some flaws in the workmanship; it’s far from perfect. It’s not even finished, really.

But the point is, some things just take a DIY approach. We might complain about the lack of youth programs in the church. How about if we “do it ourselves?” Do we think the preacher doesn’t visit people in the hospital enough? Do it yourself! Is there a lack of good Bible class teachers? Do it yourself! Are visitors to your services not being greeted warmly? Another DIY project.

You get the picture. If we are not ready to pick up our tools and pitch in with the work, it shows that we are not serious about solutions.

It’s the difference between renters and owners. If we were renting, we would have a good reason to complain about the dangerous dip in the ground just off that septic tank. When the grass is a little overgrown, it presented a treacherous situation that could be a lawsuit in the making if the responsible party wouldn’t fix it.

As members of a church, WE are that responsible party!

It’s time we took ownership of the Lord’s body by recognizing that we all work together to accomplish what Christ, as the head, asks us to do (1 Corinthians 12). If we leave it to a nebulous “them,” as if we are just useless appendages, we are not fulfilling our roles as parts of the body, the church.

See a problem or a need? Do it yourself!

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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