I would like to lie and tell people I am and have always been an immaculate, no competent housekeeper. I can’t. I am a mess. We live in a big, sprawling old house with lots of old wood and lovely fixtures. It, like me, is a mess.
It, unlike me, is getting a makeover.
We have spent the last few weeks painting like mad. I do not need tattoos, I have a permanent patina of paint splatter. I miss writing and going to the pool, but the house has never looked this lovely. It’s walls have been transformed from early childhood scrawl to a warm cream color. Old carpet has been pulled up and is gradually being replaced with the miracle of click flooring. Our back room is a riot of sawdust. I cringe at the cleaning jobs ahead. But I like the transformation.
The day we cleared out the old master bedroom it was a war zone of random objects, now it is clean, painted and airy. We call it the beautiful room.
Last night I drove at dusk to the recycling bins. Not usually a romantic journey. But last night the sky was awash with splendor. I looked up at the picture that Titian would have envied and I wanted to exclaim aloud, how can you not see Him? His skies are so purposefully beautiful.
I would have been very happy to pay someone to paint my house. I am very grateful for those who have helped us with the work, especially the kids. But ultimately I have to acknowledge that God has called me to this–a lot of time to meditate on what it means for a baby to be born to a carpenter and even though he could have been an emperor, a scientist or a king, he spent his days building ordinary things with his hands, each strike of the iron nail into the wide beam a reminder of His real job, the cost of love.
The beautiful room.