O Vanity of Vanities

"O Vanity of Vanities" by Courtney Vallejo (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2017 Courtney Vallejo. All rights reserved.


Have you ever remodeled anything, a house, a backyard, maybe an office space? We’re in the process of remodeling our master bathroom.  We bought a 1960’s home with a shower that my 6”2 husband doesn’t fit in. The shower head hits his neck instead of the top of his head.  He’s a full head taller than the shower door, so water sprays out of the shower when he’s in it and if he swings his elbows out too wide, he knocks open the shower door.

Now of course, all this to point out, that first we have a home, second we have two bathrooms for 5 people and third, that we have hot running water. So the question arose about the need to remodel the master bathroom. The conversation, of course, centered around whether we could afford the remodel and secondly if it was necessary or if it was too vain. Once the decision was made to remodel, the next concern surfaced about what elements we really “needed” versus what we wanted. Would granite countertops be too vain? How about a walk-in shower? How much should a couple, trying not to be overly materialistic, spend on a vanity? And can I just ask why sinks are so expensive?

We began the remodel process realizing we needed a design layout for the new bathroom. Our contractor explored the area and gave ideas for the best use of space. What we quickly realized was that in order to accomplish the remodel we had planned, we had to tear out everything, all the way down to the wood beams of the wall frames. I was only slightly panicked when I went in one day and could see into the attic from inside the bathroom.

So what does remodeling have to do with our faith? In order to attain beauty, we have to be willing to remodel ourselves. There have been countless seasons in my life when I felt the Lord calling me to dig deeper with him and “remodel myself.” He has a blueprint of how he desires me to be; it’s up to me to decide if I’ll follow the contractor’s orders. Some seasons, it’s just a matter of me cleaning myself up, maybe just changing out the countertop or vanity, but in other seasons, he calls me to a total gut job. He takes me down to the beams, empties out all the old and fills me entirely with new life.

St. Joseph was a carpenter. He took wood and made it into useable items. Christ, his adopted son, took the same wood and used the cross to offer us the ultimate salvation.

Our lives can be messy and our sinks are can be covered in sticky blue kid toothpaste. In the moment, it’s just a matter of deciding if we should just relish in the joy of our children and their eagerness to brush their teeth or if we need some deep Clorox cleaning instead. Either way, we have the perfect architect. He designs us, builds us up, supports us and even has his own decoration team to polish us up. In this personal remodel process, he calls us to be faithful to him. He calls us to follow his design because ultimately his design is a glorious walk in shower and not the shower that my husband doesn’t fit in.

Are you in need of a remodel? Are there just a few things that could be updated, like new towels, or do you need to tear out the bathtub and start from the ground up?

Copyright 2017 Courtney Vallejo


About Author

Courtney Vallejo is a Catholic wife and mother who lives in California. She and her husband are raising and homeschooling, their three adopted children. She is the cofounder of www.amomrevolution.com, whose mission is to inspire, encourage and reclaim joy in motherhood. She holds a Master's degree in Film Production and a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She also writes for her own blog, courtneyvallejo.com.

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