Monday, August 2, 2010
Sometimes when you see the same thing every day, you stop noticing it anymore.
Like how sweet a boy looks conked out on a dog pillow.
Or how goofy a dog looks when he's trying to make you love him again after he's stolen the peanut butter off the counter, sneaked it out the dog door, and hidden out under the grapevines, licking out every last bit of goodness with his alarmingly long tongue.
Or how gorgeous muscadine grapes look as they get big and juicy in your backyard.
Wait a second.
Flip back to that first pic.
Yep, that's the one.
Talk about not noticing things anymore. How embarrassing!
See that couch? If you've been around here for a while, you may remember that I found it two and a half years ago at a yard sale. Back then it was all blue and flowery, but the moment I laid eyes on it, I heard the angels sing. See, we have an itsy bitsy television in our bedroom, and for some reason my kids always ended up in there to watch movies and plant popcorn kernels between our sheets. A comfy couch would get them out of our bed. Plus, it was only $25!
Two seconds after we lugged it through the door, I downed a pot of coffee for strength and began hopping all over it, measuring and sketching and calculating how I'd make the slipcover. Twenty-one yards would be enough. I sped to the fabric store and returned with red denim.
For the next day and a half, I turned my dining room into a sweat shop, hunched over my sewing machine, turning out pillow slipcovers. I'd done this before with the couch in the den, so I kind of knew what I was doing.
Finally it came time to tackle the couch itself, the reupholstery part. The part I dread.
The couch in the den had straight, easy arms. This one had rolled arms, arms that whispered I'm too hard. You can't do it. Who do you think you are, Martha Stewart?
I stared at the couch and drew things and measured some more.
I struggled and gave myself brain cramps and a Medusa hairdo, and finally decided just to sleep on it. Maybe the solution would come to me. Maybe I'd feel braver tomorrow.
When I woke the next morning, I took a long look at my couch.
Then I decided to start a blog.
It's two and a half years later and I'm still loving my blog. Unfortunately, however, the couch still looks like this.
I've grown so used to the look that I hardly even see it anymore.
Does this ever happen to you?
You get attracted by a new project, and you dive in full force. Then you get to the part that feels strange and scary, and you abandon it for something more comfortable. Something that looks easier or more fun. Like making a skirt for your dog or a dress for your daughter. Starting a blog or a novel. Or just rearranging your silverware drawer.
Pretty soon you forget about what you've left undone. That is, until your parents come to visit and you catch them looking funny at it, running their fingers along the cardboard strip that's stapled on the outside, wondering if you did that on purpose.
You meant to get back to the couch. You really did. It's just that there are always other things to tackle. Other things that seem more doable and fun.
Do you do this in your inner life too?
Maybe someone's hurt us or we've hurt someone else. Maybe there's a weakness we know we need to work on, something we've done or haven't done and we regret it. But instead of dealing with it head on, we move on to other things, things that are easier and suck out less emotional energy. We'll get back to it another day. We'll tackle it when we're not so tired, when we have more time.
Soon, we don't even think about it anymore.
Today I'm praying that God will reveal to me all my unfinished business. (Not in one fell swoop, mind you! That vision would surely send me galloping back to bed, squeezing shut my eyeballs and burying myself under pillows for a week!)
One issue at a time, please, God!
I know that God will do it if I ask. After all,
He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
Daniel 2: 21 NIV
And God won't just leave me there, quaking at my mammoth To Do list.
He'll work with me all the way.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4: 13, New Living Translation
Thank goodness! Thank God!
What about you?
Do you have unfinished business, DIY and otherwise? What gives you strength to get back to the list?
I've found that sometimes accountability can help, so here goes:
I'm determined to fix that couch before school starts, so I hereby promise you a photo of a finished couch by August 16!
Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for me if I don't post it!
Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!