Home christian living God is in the Business of Upcycling

God is in the Business of Upcycling

by Kelly Crawford

Aren’t we just like them? Those Jesus taught. In need of stories, object lessons real-life explanations we can see and touch?

And if we look and listen with ready eyes and ears, we can still see the illustrations and hear the stories…

Beauty for ashes” has been a resounding theme in our lives for a while now.

Actually, my whole life.

To realize that nothing is too big of a mess for Him to make beautiful is one of our greatest comforts! Whether self-inflicted or out of our control, the Lord is always gathering up the pieces and rearranging them to create something more beautiful than we could have imagined.

It is His character. Has He done that for you?!

Our table, built from salvaged wood.

I’m reminded. I watched my husband, my sons, my daughters–I helped too–make something beautiful from a pile of discarded lumber, another house destroyed from the storm, another thing of beauty taken and left in a useless heap. We could leave the heaps, their ugly reminders of all that was lost.

But God doesn’t. He restores, redeems and heals.

My table adds yet one more reminder to my home of this constantly-redeeming Father. I run my hands the length of it, feel the age, marvel at the beauty extracted from its weathered back.

Yes, it’s more beautiful than before. It has been given new life!

We didn’t have to have perfect lumber to build a beautiful table. And neither does He–praise God–to build His Kingdom! He reaches into the heap and lifts us out and makes us beautiful….more beautiful than before.

Perhaps that’s why I love upcycling so much–it is a part of God’s image manifested in us to make things better…a visible reflection of part of who He is.

I tell my children of it. I point them to this object lesson of His power and redemptive grace. I smile at my oldest, born out of the ash heap of sin, and remind her to marvel as she spins on the Potter’s wheel.

Our Heavenly Father, the ultimate “Upcycler”.

More wood-redemption…built by my son, Ashton.

Coffee table from salvaged wood

Headboard from old door and salvaged wood–doubles as a side table since we don’t have room for those.

Porch bench made from pallet wood



I greatly appreciate your vote!

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Janet Kiessling July 25, 2012 - 12:12 am

And made by the ones that you love….even more amazing & will be cherished forever!
We, too, are upcycling around our house with old pieces of wooden fences. We are painting Bible verses on them & placing them all over the house………..the kids are having a ball doing this and memorizing the Bible, too! Our one son is going around to all of the bathroom mirrors & writing verses on them that he has looked up……:o)
Your treasures are awesome! Have a Blessed weekend! Janet

Word Warrior July 25, 2012 - 7:37 am

Janet–What a great/fun idea–I know you’re loving it!

LMC July 25, 2012 - 2:58 am

So very beautiful!


Dianne July 25, 2012 - 7:34 am

Kelly, you and your family are so talented. You remind me of my friend. I always say whatever she touches turns to gold. She can take something I think is ugly and would throw away, and arrange it just right and it looks beautiful. She is so gracious as to let me copy her ideas, since I have very little decorating talent of my own.

Word Warrior July 25, 2012 - 7:38 am

You’re sweet…just remember, He gifts us all in unique ways. I’m TERRIBLE at laundry and planning ahead 😉

Janet July 25, 2012 - 9:29 am

Very creative…. making beauty from the “ashes”. 🙂

May God continue to bless your family!

Janet…. mamachildress

Laura July 25, 2012 - 5:07 pm

Dear Kelly,
Since you have mostly finished rebuilding, have you felt that you have been able to keep things simpler? I really like your style of uncluttered, minimalist, Shaker simplicity. I really like it–it’s so restful and basic and beautiful in its–lack. How on earth do you keep it that way, though? I mean, piles of tacky plastic toys around on the floor, paper scraps from the latest school project, or even “tacky” homemade coloring projects that the kids are so proud of, but doesn’t exactly fit in with a style, or just looks messy…Can you give any tips on keeping up on clutter/orgaization?? My training was in painting and pottery. My artistic eye and soul sometimes want to scream under the ugliness…and I don’t have that knack (like Ann Voskamp) to take utilitarian things and make them lovely…because most of my utilitarian things are…ugly…

Ponder Woman July 26, 2012 - 9:44 am

I love that you are up-cycling the ruins! We have been slowly puttering away at renovations for about two years now and it is hard work! I can’t imagine starting from scratch, although in some ways that might be easier.

Amanda W July 26, 2012 - 4:07 pm

THANK YOU!! I really needed to read this today!


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