Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Fresh Coat of Paint

This past weekend I painted our bathroom.  It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a room...and to my spirit.

It's a tiny room.  I thought I could get it finished while my little ones were napping, but it turned into a much bigger project than I had expected.

The painted trim was peeling so I had to start with sanding.  We wanted to remove the towel bar, which left 4 large holes in the wall.  There were spots to patch and more sanding.  I started cutting in with a brush, but the room is too small for a ladder; so I stood on the counter top, then took a lunge of faith to the opposite wall.  As I reached across the room, my legs burning, I tried to keep a steady hand as I painted the line beneath the ceiling.  I was suspended in mid-air on only my fingertips and tip toes.  My 5 year old walking in was very impressed with my spiderman skills. 

Then I needed to contort myself into awkward angles to try and paint behind the toilet, wondering if anyone would really notice if I didn't.

About halfway through, a bit of panic set in.  Is this color too dark?  Did I make the right choice?

Change is hard.

The fears I am trying to conquer.
The hurts I want to let go of.
The bad habits I am trying to break.

It's all hard.  But maybe those days when I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, maybe that's all part of the prep work.  Those days when I'm filled with doubt and wonder if I made the right choice...I need to remember that change is hard.

It's easier to hold on to the familiar, even the ugly, stained walls.  It's easier to hold on to my ugly because change takes time and energy, it stretches me and sometimes puts me in awkward positions.  Change is hard...but it's beautiful.

Every time I walk into that bathroom I smile.  I love the beautiful coffee and cream color of the walls, I love the fresh feeling in that space, and I remember all the work it took to get there. 

I know that I am going to get there too. 

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."  ~Philippians 1:6

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Little Years

This week I held a friend's newborn baby.  All the beauty of new life wrapped up in pink.  Her tiny hands moved in slow motion and wrapped around my finger.  She slept in perfect peace.  Her newborn smell, the softest skin...there is nothing sweeter than a baby.

Then I looked over at my baby.  Walking and climbing and full of personality, he will turn one year old this month.  Where did my sweet newborn go?

Recently my husband and I made this growth chart for our children.


As I transferred their measurements to the new chart, I found myself holding back tears.  It was like watching them grow up all over again.

It was hard to remember my older ones when they only came up to my knee.  I looked at my little ones knowing that they are growing just as fast.

Every day the kids back up to the chart and measure each other to see how much they have grown in a day.  All I want to do is hold on tight and keep them little.

Yes, these days are long, but the years are flying by.

My husband and I do talk about the future.  We dream of the days when the children are independent and it's just us again.  But we also want to live fully in this moment.  These little years have been overflowing with joy and laughter.  They have kept us busy, running non-stop on little sleep.  But these years have taught us so much about ourselves and our love.

I know they will be over before we know it.  There is so much that I want to teach my children, so much I want for them.  I find myself scrambling, feeling like this precious time is slipping away.

But that's where I cling to grace.

I fail them.  I don't have the answers...or the patience.  I may run out of time before they fly.  But I'm holding on to God's promise that His grace is enough.

"All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."  ~Isaiah 54:13

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Our Everyday Fairy Tale

We don't celebrate Valentine's day.  We used to and I don't really remember when we stopped.  Our anniversary was always much more special to us.  It was a day to reminisce and remember why we chose each other.  A day that was just for us, that we didn't have to share with all the other couples in America.  And so, Valentine's day just became less and less important.

I honestly never thought about it until this year.  This year I threw myself a big ol' pity party.

My friends were sharing all their plans with me.  All the extravagant dates and romantic getaways.  I cringed at the thought of all the facebook statuses with photos of their gifts and nights out.

I complained to my husband. It didn't seem fair.  Everyone else was getting swept away to the ball and I was left at home to scrub the floor.  My night would be just like every other night: big, messy and loud with our half-dozen running around....

He cut me off.  "Do you hear yourself?!", my eyes grew wide, "Do you really want to be like them, do you really want their life?  Because this is our life and I love our life together.  I don't want what everyone else has.  I want you."

He always speaks the truth to me.  He has a way of holding up a mirror to my heart and showing me all the ugliness that doesn't belong.  He knows me.  He knows who I really am and he knows when I need to be put in my place.

The truth is he spoils me.  He spoils me so much that I have taken it for granted.

 He gives me flowers...just because.  He brings home little surprises all the time.  He tells me I'm beautiful every day and kisses me like he means it.  He writes me love letters, though words don't come easy for him.  He holds my hand every time we sit together, no matter where we are. He prays for me and cherishes me.

I was jealous of how others were spending one day and forgetting the beauty of my life that is full of love.

Our love story is so precious to me.  It may not always be pretty and over the top romantic, but it's ours.  It's an everyday fairy tale.
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