“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” Paulo Coclho
Saturday mornings around my house for years for my husband Phil and I have consisted of sleeping in, enjoying several cups of coffee and having “catch up” conversation as he and I work opposite shifts. Besides this much-needed and fun routine, our favourite activity is watching renovation shows like Zombie House Flippers, Fixer Upper and Property Brothers together. We absolutely LOVE these shows! It never ceases to amaze me the potential these creative geniuses see in the most run down, disgusting, and often downright creepy properties. They take them on with gusto and through a lot of elbow grease, patience and ingenuity turn them into absolute masterpieces of real estate, that are truly unrecognizable! The old homes are no more, and the new, modern, beautiful versions are here to stay! It is so inspiring and exciting to see what the finished products become, and I have so much respect for those who see potential in what others would deem write-offs or absolute garbage.
Getting an upgrade is very exciting, no matter what area of your life it may be in. Ever since I was a child, I have been a HUGE Donny and Marie Osmond fan. A proud member of their fan club, I was overjoyed to tell anyone that would listen that I was totally obsessed with them and of course “a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll" as well, depending on the day. Friday nights were a very big deal in the Lear home as we were glued to our black and white TV set watching the Ice Angels perform, and Donny and Marie doing their crazy skits and wonderful songs. Every time I would feel so sad as the closing song would begin. I could not WAIT until next week. With no YouTube, streaming services or VCRs back then, it seemed like an eternity between shows.
As an adult I made it my mission to ONE DAY see them live. My first attempt was when Phil and I went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Detroit. Practicing and memorizing every song for months, we were so, so pumped! Imagine our disappointment when we arrived to learn that my main man Donny, had ruptured his vocal cords and was replaced by his understudy. How dare he? Just joking, but I am sure you feel my pain.
Last Christmas, our family was going through a lengthy and difficult time supporting my father-in-law when he was in hospice, dying from brain and lung cancer. He lingered for quite some time, and it was very emotionally difficult and heart breaking for all of us. During that sad time, I became aware that Marie Osmond was scheduled to perform at Caesars Windsor. Immediately I wanted to go and asked my daughter, Shannon, if she would accompany me. When the time came, however, I was unsure if we should go though as we had been camped around my father-in-law’s bedside in vigil. After some soul searching, I knew my father-in-law, a HUGE Osmond fan himself, would have wanted me to go. So, we went.
Arriving at the Colosseum seating, we kept climbing higher and higher. My daughter said ““No offense Mom, but we truly have THE worst seats in the house.” I reassured her that it was not about the “seats but the experience.” As we were proceeding to our nosebleed spots a friendly gentleman approached us and asked us where we were sitting. As I showed him, he said “I am Marie Osmond’s stage manager, and I am pleased to offer you two front row seats.” Shocked, I hugged him, practically knocking him off his feet, blubbering as I told him how much his kind gesture meant to me. He appeared a bit taken aback by my exuberance, but I didn’t care. My childhood dream was coming true in front row style! I couldn’t believe it! The concert was amazing! I could practically shake Marie’s hand and I felt so grateful for the front row seats that we got that night, not to mention that the title of her album featured was “Unexpected.” This was very unexpected indeed! I couldn’t help thanking God for the major upgrade we got at that concert. We were so broken and discouraged that evening and He saw to it that we were handpicked for that perk and some much-needed encouragement. Wow!
God has given me so many upgrades as I walk with Him daily and seek to know Him better. In fact, we serve a God who specializes in "major upgrades." The Bible tells us in Isaiah 61:3 that He gives us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Talk about upgrades! We come to Him broken and He makes us beautiful. We come to Him grieving and He gives us joy we can’t contain. Do you see a pattern here? It is incredible, and what a beautiful exchange.
So many people want to work on self-improvement. There are countless books, podcasts and celebrities dominating the internet trying to offer their best advice. While their intentions are good and suggestions often valid, true transformation can only come through Christ. He takes us as-is and transforms us through His redeeming love. Just like the delipidated, old property when God steps in we become something new and incredibly beautiful to behold.
If you do not know of Christ’s transforming power, it is available to all who ask. Believe me, I am no one special. I am simply a sinner saved by grace. I am someone who just took God at His word and pursued this offer of an upgraded life with the promise of the ultimate upgrade of Heaven one day as my home. I encourage you to do the same my friend. If you do, you will experience change like you have never known. As always, I am available at email@example.com should you want to continue this conversation or receive prayer.
Well, that’s all for now and in true Donny and Marie style I leave you with this heartfelt wish:
“May tomorrow be a perfect day. May you find love and laughter along the way. May God keep you in His tender care, ‘til He brings us together again! Good night, everybody” (Donny and Marie’s closing song)
Until next time,
Isaiah 61: 3 ~ He will bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Little Lesson Learned: God is the author of true and lasting transformations.
Copyright © 2024 littlelessonslearnedbydana
Dana Romualdi, the copyright holder reserves all rights to the content on the blog and website Little Lessons Learned by Dana, including the right to reproduce, distribute, and display the content. No content or photographs may be reproduced or modified. Blogs may be shared on social media platforms in their entirety only with full credit given to the owner. Any photographs used by other photographers are used with permission and are also protected. All Rights Reserved.
Tags: life lessons, Donny and Marie Osmond, upgrades, renovations, self improvement, spiritual guidance, growth mindset, encouragement, Christian blog, life advice, Christian blogger, spiritual growth
Dana Romualdi is a Canadian elementary teacher, social worker, blogger, author, motivational speaker and recording artist. She has a passion for helping others and spreading much-needed encouragement. She lives in Canada with her husband and two grown children. When she is not working in the classroom or blogging, she enjoys drinking coffee, watching Netflix and reading great books..
Click here for blog: Everybody Know Dat!