Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Chimney

Up until recently, I would not have realized it was possible to have a chimney fire and totally not notice.  I suppose I thought that if you were that oblivious, your house would burn to the ground.  But the chimney sweep told me it wasn't unusual for a chimney fire to happen without anyone the wiser...until the damage inside the chimney caused problems.  Like smoke belching back inside the house.  Nothing is so fun as opening all the windows to dispel smoke when it's 20 below ouside and the wind is howling. 8-/

But I digress.  Anyway... so we had a chimney fire and the liner of our chimney needed replacing.  (The good news is that insurance covers it!)  We couldn't have a fire in the woodstove until that was done, and truthishly, that pretty much sucked.  The woodstove is our main heat source, and it's been cold!  We had to use the electric heaters, which made me grouchy(er than usual ;-) ) simply because I'd seen the last electric bill and it almost gave me a stroke. o.O

Last week the chimney was repaired - and ironically, on a truly beautiful day.  As in - no jacket required.  When Mr Chimney was leaving, he told me that we needed to build a rip-roaring fire in the woodstove that evening to set the cement he'd used, and to burn off the last of the creosote buildup.  Okay... the basement was still pretty chilly, but not a day that really inspired us to want a bonfire.  But we did it.  The house actually felt warm - comfortable warm! - for the first time in probably a month.  And it doesn't smell smoky and nasty.

Apparently, when it comes to effective fires, it's just as important to allow the "waste" to escape as it to have the fuel.  Which makes me wonder - how many times do we not properly get rid of the junk that's left over when the Holy Spirit's fire is doing its work in us?  The ashes need to be swept out of the fireplace or stove and taken outside.  The creosote needs to be cleaned out of the chimney regularly.  Those things have to happen or eventually the fire just won't burn right.  God tells us He will give us a "crown of beauty instead of ashes" (Isaiah 61:3) and why wouldn't we want the bling instead of the burnt stuff we already know is no good to us?  Why wouldn't we want the fire to burn effectively instead of stunting it with built-up ashes and dirt?


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