Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Transitional phases are never easy. Whether it's remodeling a kitchen, rearranging the furniture or cleaning out a closet, the transitional phase is always a bit messy. This past month, we had our children's bathroom remodeled. We put it off for as long as we could. The shower has leaked for years, so our two children have been using our master bathroom for showers. The water in the sink only ran out in a trickle, barely enough for brushing teeth, and always cold. When the toilet quit working in December, that was it. We had to press forward with a bathroom renovation.

Since we knew that this renovation was inevitable, we had thought and talked about what we would do. The blue-on-blue tile was to be stripped, the blue tub pulled out, all plumbing redone (as it was leaking). All in all, a major overhaul. The new tile would be black and white basket weave on the floor and white subway tile on the walls and surrounding the tub, as it fits in with the traditional feel of our home. We chose black antique rubbed cabinets and classic chrome fixtures. A classic look, nothing fancy.

Demolition began while we were in Iowa for the caucuses. We returned home to a bathroom torn down to the studs. Plastic was taped around the bathroom doors and over the hallway pictures to keep out the dust. Plastic was rolled out over the hall carpet to keep the carpet clean. It was clear for anyone walking into the house that construction was underway.

While I was in South Carolina, the bathtub went in, the tile went up, and the cabinet and lights were put in. After I returned, the painting was completed, the towel racks hung, only the mirror was missing.

As often happens, while we had people working in the house, we decided to do a bit more and paint the children's rooms. So between campaigning in states, we moved out all the clothes, knickknacks, books, etc. from their rooms into the living room.

The new colors on the walls are refreshing and clean. The furniture has been moved back, the books put back on the bookshelves, only the pictures and mirrors are yet to be hung. The new look is worth the work.

This process is true for more than renovations, painting or housework. Whether a room is transitioning through remodeling or repainting, or you are transitioning to a new job, a new ministry, a new school or a new project, the transition is always a bit messy. That's because the point of transition is to change. What was there at the beginning, by definition, will not be the same at the end.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.