We’ve really been enjoying our new house. And by “new”, I mean new to US. According to the deed, it was built in 1889. That was a loooong time ago. It’s obviously been renovated a time or two, not a whole lot of the original character remains. But that’s ok with us. We have a vision for this place. It’s going to be a slow “go” getting there, but we have nothing but time, right?
I was thinking about that yesterday as I was painting the baby’s room. Yes, Rage’s room is still not done…[sigh]. I was thinking about years past, about the other families and little people that called this old farmhouse home. How many times have these walls been made fresh with new paint? Did the mom have to keep stopping to hold a baby or help find a wooden train piece or yell at the top of her lungs for her kids to quit fighting…all the while standing on a toddler play chair to reach the high spots? Oh, if these walls could talk, right? Maybe this Momma would learn a thing or two from the stories that once lived here.
|all 3 babes…playing in the crib
as momma paints chevrons galore
I don’t know if it was the praise music that got my heart deep thinking or maybe I was high on fumes, but I was really having a moment up there in that room. Until that point I had been feeling the weight [like i always do in some way] of getting things done. Needing to get that room painted so I could move on to my next slew of projects. You know, like painting the kitchen, updating some lamps, making a few beaded chandeliers for friends…[and the list goes on]. Not to mention just the normal chaos of dishes and laundry and starving kids and the never ending trickle of toys that make their way down the stairs. There are just so many things to get done and keep up with around here. Sometimes I get lost in the getting it done…or the desire to have it all picture perfect and put away.
As my brush stroked those walls, the words etched on my rubber bracelet echoed in my mind, the one our Pastor gave me while my husband was on life support…
“Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.” Jonathon Edwards 1722
to live with all my might… What does that really mean for me, for my life HERE in this house full of messes. Does it mean working away the moments so the picture perfect painting of our life, our home, is complete…and to what end? I don’t think I want to spend all of my might on meaningless tasks for nothing more than appearances. Not that taking care of my home and my life doesn’t need to be done [don’t worry babe, I’m not giving up on house cleaning]. And at that…done to the glory of God. It DOES…there’s no question about that. I’m thinking more about my heart and mind and my motives as I do these things. Like what really matters here…and why do I feel the need to get it all done. If I scream and yell and am irritated to the core as I rush to paint this life of mine…that is not to the glory of God. And it’s not getting it done, not really, not at all.
while I do live… One thing that occurred to me yesterday as I slung the paint on the walls is that these colors, really only last for a time. A very short time. Literally and figuratively. Someone else will live in this house one day. Someone else will repaint these walls for their child or play room or some grand design endeavor of their own. These chevrons that I’m tirelessly painting and perfecting…they’ll be painted over. Hmmm. This is just a house. These are just walls. Perspective.
“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place is remembered no more.” Psalm 103:15-16
And not to be morbid, but ME and mine…we will be long gone at some point. And everyone we know will pass too, eventually. New people will take our spots…new lives will be having their time in this world…living those days ordained…times written and seen before they came to be. It’s like my mind zoomed out for a few minutes to His vantage point and looked at the shortness of our time. I’ve read that we see things linear…on a timeline of minutes and days and years. But God sees the whole picture, our beginning, our end…all beginnings and all ends. What a perspective that is. To see life as He does. To keep my eyes on Him as I live this day. For those few minutes, I wasn’t drowning in my tasks…but finding contentment in the time I’ve been given to paint these walls…this canvas of my life.
I think when I see life thru the world’s view, I grasp for time, for things, for a perfect picture, and I hold them so close. I cling tight and I drown in them. But when I step back and remember that we are grass…I am grass…made of dust…made with a purpose…my heart shifts. Let’s go. And I don’t have to get it all done. I never will. There will always be more dishes to do, more projects to get done. But this one single day…with all it’s tasks…I can live fully, with all my might.
So for a few days, until I get lost in the mess again, I walk at a different pace, with a full heart…and I paint.
|a photo from earlier this year…after Derek got out of the hospital the first time
living the simple. driving dad’s truck thru our woods.
a MUST do today.
To live fully. With all our might. Great idea, Jonathon Edwards.