Our current home–the one my sister and brother-in-law willingly shared with us these last 10 months, the one we’ll be leaving next week–is currently littered with unfolded clothing and boxes, like a war zone. We’ve all given ourselves over to this transition, holding our orderliness and typical routines loosely once again. I packed up most of our books and our part of the kitchen last week. Kristen and I laughed trying to remember what belonged to whom, “is this yours or mine?” Our habit of sharing things has lessened these possessive words, and they now feel awkward.
Our new home, the one now void of furniture and life, smells of fresh white paint. A bare canvas. An unwritten story. As we have peeled back old layers and discovered forgotten parts of this space the last few weeks, I could imagine the house stretching, thanking us. I collected hours and days brushing coats of white oil-based paint along the trim and doors last week. While my hands steadily moved back and forth, growing tired and blistered, I couldn’t help but feel its symbolism, the sense of promise, like Ancient Israel brushing lamb’s blood over their thresholds. As the white paint spread over the old, dingy brown cabinets and trim, I thought about the significance of this color white: new, pure, righteous. I noticed this same paint embedded under my nails, in my hair, on my shirt. I too am marked. It may seem dramatic to think of paint in this way. Maybe these thoughts spurred from the beginning of the Lent season last week, or maybe I had simply been breathing paint fumes too long. Regardless, it did feel significant. I didn’t choose white paint for its symbolism or because I wanted to make a spiritual declaration, I chose it because I like the aesthetic in my home. But I realized this week, God is always telling a story of redemption, and if I’ll pay attention, I’ll hear this story in all areas of my life, even in my paint.
This house marks a new beginning for us in so many significant ways, a new foundation both literally and figuratively, and I’m so grateful. My parents came this weekend to help with the kids and help Mark and my brother-in-law Tim repair broken floors and build bookshelves. One of my brothers, Josh, also drove in and joined a couple of our friends, who helped paint and scrape floors. The kids went home with my parents yesterday for the week, leaving Mark and I (who are on Spring break) an uninterrupted work week to finish a few more projects and (ideally) begin moving in. Eep! Thank you again, Mom and Dad. I’m hoping to share some more images of specific spaces this week. Until then, thank you all for your encouragement.