Sherry approached her customer with a smile who was scanning the rainbow of colors in the spray paint section. Sherry tied on her work apron as she commented, “Beautiful choices, aren’t they? What project are you working on?”

“I’m changing the color of my outdoor chairs,” Customer Dottie told her. “It’s just a matter of what shade to pick.” After a time, the customer held up a can of aqua spray paint that would transform everything from rubber duckies to fire engines to a stunning new color.

“Wow!” Sherry responded appreciatively. “ That’s gorgeous! How big is your patio set you’re painting?”

“It’s a table and six chairs.”

“You’ll need about seven cans of spray to change the color and paint it evenly.”

“No, I’ll just take one. I want to try it and see how it looks,” Dottie decided.

One can of spray paint didn’t go far, especially when the wind came up.  Dottie succeeded in painting her sandal-clad feet, legs, plus the seat and three legs of one chair.  My granddaughter could have done better Dottie thought as she headed back to the store for paint thinner for her aqua-colored feet and more spray paint for chairs.  This time, she bought seven cans.   

Another  DIY (do-it-yourself) color enthusiast was painting the outside of her house before the weather got cold.  She had picked the color and asked Sherry to mix up the soft butter yellow paint.

“How big is your house? We can figure out how many gallons you need from the size.”

“It’s four bedrooms, two baths and a half bath.”

Sherry helped her figure the square footage and needs, “You’ll need six gallons of the base color. How about the trim? What color do you want for that?”

“Oh, I’m not doing the trim right now, and I’ll just have you mix up a gallon. I want to try it out and see how it looks.”

The one gallon painted two outside walls of the garage. The soft yellow over the dark gray house stood out like an elephant wearing bunny slippers in the middle of a shopping mall.

Neighbors couldn’t help but notice. The homeowners association even left her a note.

Did either of these DIY dreamers count the cost of their color transformation?

Jesus teaches about cost from examples all builders and DIY painters all understand.  “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’” [Luke 14:28-30]

Jesus examples point to the cost of following him. Giving one’s all in spirit and mind; loving God and following his commands; becoming willing to follow his nudges in all areas of our lives and relationships—even before family.

The Cowboy  10 Commandments summarizes it this way: “Put nothin’ before God.”

What level of commitment to Jesus’ way do you have right now? Where do you want to be? Count the cost. Recommit to the God of creation everything that you are and where he takes you.

Ahead is a life of trust, faith, and DIY projects.  Only God helps you along the way. He never leaves you short of paint, either.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women available where print books and e-books are sold.  Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now released on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website,]









About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

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