It’s been 6 months since we moved to the farm:) What we call the farm anyway. Little by little–we are making this place our home. It’s not easy making updates with homeschooling and 5 children under 10, but each time we put our mark on something–it feels a little more like home…like it fits us.
Oh the lessons.
Bit by bit we can do updates–and this next month, it will be the carpet upstairs. Removing 10 years of someone else’s stuff and replacing it with clean, new carpet. I decided to help the cost a bit by ripping up the carpet on the stairs. Only–my projects never, ever seem to help the cost. Some times, just add to it.
So on Thursday I decided to just rip it up. It was no easy task. And I’ve got battle wounds to prove that. Scraps all over my arm from those staples left in the carpet as I twisted and pulled and pulled some more. On Friday–I started sanding. Then that night–I stained. And uh oh. Applied Minwax. NEVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. apply Minwax stain to stairs or floor or furniture until you have every speck of stain completely removed. Or else. You are left with a sticky mess. That must be paint thinned off. Washed and scrubbed and sanded AGAIN.
Then you just grab a can of paint and say, “Forget it!” and paint the stairs grey. And you aren’t sure how it will look–but at this point you don’t even care because you just need them to not be sticky and send little feet all over the house with traces of stain all over them.
Don’t get me wrong–seeing little footprints throughout the house this weekend has been sweet…even mine:) BUT–that’s just not what I was going for.
It. Has. Been. A. MESS!
Richard assures me that in the end–it will be beautiful. And the perfect fit…because it has our stamp and hand all over it. But right now…it’s quite a mess.
And last night. I sat in my driveway as the sunset and cried for the first time in a very, very, VERY long time. But not about the stain. Or the stairs. Or wishing I could go back to 3 days ago and just let the carpet folks to it as we had once planned. Instead…it was over the hard in the now of helping little ones heal…
I’ve missed every soccer game for my oldest this season because my littlest ones either need naps or they aren’t able to sit and watch without running on the field…or having a tantrum because of sensory overstimulation. On Friday we missed a Nutcracker ballet session because of dealing with lots and lots of layers…and in the mess of trying to talk through the layers and why who did what and how that hurt someone else…something important was missed by another child.
Some times I hear those awful lines that only mean commenters or the enemy himself would say…you shouldn’t have grown your family again and again if you couldn’t handle it…didn’t you know adoption was going to be full of healing–you knew what you were getting into. The list goes on to the things we can hear–but none of them truth, encouragement, love or even reality. Because the reality is that the Lord did call us to this…it is more than we can handle…but it isn’t more than He wants to handle and plans to handle for us.
I sat there–stripping off layer after layer of stain.
It’s so hard. The layers.
It looked better being that old scuffed up carpet runner. But that was taken away. And the layers could begin to come off. I wanted it to look new. But it won’t ever look that way. So paint. And it will be beautiful–but not until all those layers come off.
And Richard comes in and hears me complaining as I paint the first layer…”Look how awful this looks on the side…I’m making such a mess. This is harder than I thought it was going to be. I just want to quit.”
“Why do you want everything to be perfect when you know you are in the middle of it? It won’t be until–you’re done. It will be–we just gotta get there,” he said.
The paint brush stopped.
And I thought of my children.
“Why do I want everything to be perfect when I know we are in the middle of it? It won’t be until–we’re done. It will be–we just gotta get there.”
The layers…the peeling away…the healing…the working through the effects of past trauma…IS NOT GOING TO BE EASY…or pretty or look perfect.
I know this is true about my stairs–but why can’t I grasp and believe it about something as grand as my family and children?
Then…I stopped to get ready for a Bible study with my Laney girl tomorrow. We shared our hearts and wishes and our wants.
Her wishes…my wishes…they might never be–but still we wished them…and my heart melted when she shared hers…and it was mine too. I tucked her in and went downstairs to put together scripture memory cards for the girls in our group–and this month…focusing on His faithfulness and perseverance.
Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock. His works are perfect and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.”
Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.”
Psalm 18:25 “To the faithful, You show Yourself faithful…”
Psalm 145:13 “The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.”
Psalm 57:10 “For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”
Proverbs 3:3-4 “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the table of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good beam in the sight of God and man.”
Isaiah 40:28-29 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired and weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Romans 5:3-4 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
Those scriptures–I know are for the girls. But…tonight–how much they felt FOR ME. I sat there typing them away feeling as if I was having a little revival myself.
I can’t worry about tomorrow. Or what things might look like when our kids are teenagers or after. Will healing come? Will things be easier? Will they get who they are in Him? With us? Will I remember any of this myself because oh my…some days I’d just like to be normal–not homeschooling because of a special need or staying up late to learn attachment ideas or taking off the layers and layers and layers of stuff that we just aren’t promised a clear picture of what it will look like. BUT we are given in His Word a clear picture of what it is FOR.
For His glory.
For us to know Him.
To be shaped to be like Him.
To learn to trust in His faithfulness.
To keep going because He is in us and has gone before us.
Because healing is in HIS hands and not mine…and for that I am ever so thankful.
Even in the middle of the layers—when I want it to look beautiful but it’s hard—I can step back and see the beauty even in the hard. (Although tonight the word beauty wouldn’t be my first word to use). BUT…I know I will see it. And I’m starting to. Because it’s also MY layers that must be stripped away. The first layer–giving up wanting it to not be hard…or to look pretty in between the hard…and to just learn to embrace the ashes and the beauty all together while the transforming is actually happening.
Oh how I’m learning.
And instead of throwing my hands up in the air the next time the tantrum happens on the field or sewing needle is stuck in a brother’s back (ouch!)–I want to remember these are just layers. The taking time to bend down to look in their eyes…or rock them before–and even after nap time…it’s the new paint going on. When layers and layers come off–one layer of paint won’t fully cover it. Layers and layers and layers must go back on. It will take days. Years. Maybe even forever.
But He is faithful and good–and has a plan…and I trust Him.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Andrea is a stay-at-home momma of five. who loves homeschooling her kiddos. She’s also a photographer and orphan/widow advocate giving of her time to Wiphan Ministries and ministering to adoptive mommas through Created 4 Care. She truly believes the Lord can use us all right where we ALREADY are to make a big difference in this world. You can read more of her writing at Babe of My Heart.