Thursday, April 24, 2008

Scribble and Scrambles - In Progress

I've decided that my in-progress house reflects me far more than I ever realized.

For starters, the direction you point your gaze is going to give you very different facets of me. You've by now read some of my remodeling stories. One corner of my house holds massive, beautiful oak bookcases full of books. If you look that direction you're going to think the house is pulled together. Of course, to fully see the bookcases, you'll be standing on the unfinished stairs next to the huge one floor drop-off with the two by four safety railing.

This is me. Catch me on a good day and you might think I've got life, God, marriage, and parenting all figured out. That is if you only spend a few minutes with me. : ). Underneath the polished, sturdy surface with multiple eclectic statements, like my bookshelves, are the raw two by four building blocks that just might offer up a sliver.

Come further into my home and you will find the party studs with party globes in happy colors. In the next room is the ceiling with a hole from an unfortunate friend's leg plunge through the drywall the day he came over to help with the second floor. Most of my house contains construction dust that occasionally gets wiped down, and each room, with the exception of one, holds at least one small or large project that is unfinished. Just like me. Except I'm pretty sure I don't even have the one area that is nailed down and presentable.

The part I like best. No, the part I love best is the fingerprints. My house is full of fingerprints. From the generous Christmas gifts from parents and grandparents that have gone into the purchase of windows and flooring and insulation and a furnace, to the hours of investment from friends and family as they come over to lend a hand on a project, I can't turn around in a room without a memory attached to why it looks the way it does. My parents plugging away late into the night when my husband decided to start a project at eleven p.m. makes me smile. My father-in-law inspecting and helping with plumbing joints, especially when the resident carpenter had reached plumbing overload. Before we put the sheetrock (drywall) up, I couldn't help but remember all the hours that our kids spent playing among the rafters. With permanent markers they decorated the studs in their rooms and even penned spiritual blessings. How many people in my life have shaped me, left their marks and been exactly who I needed at exactly that moment? Too many to count. I love the idea that I'm covered in the fingerprints of others.

Finally, this house is a labor of love. My husband has built me a home. Not only has he built me a home, but he has made sure that he has invested the best of himself into it. Has it always come first? He'd be the first to laugh. Often it comes last. But it's always from his core. Who he is and how much he loves his family is reflected in the artistry, the time, the sturdiness of this home. What a picture of God. He has given the most precious parts of Himself to me. He has invested His blood, sweat and tears into my life.

Thank you, God, for building projects and for grace.

Thanks to you, too, since you have scribbled on my walls and left fingerprints on my life.