There are days that are productive, but the result doesn’t feel fruitful. Maybe like a farmer preparing the soil for the seed. There’s little satisfaction for me until the seed sprouts. I’ve been preparing for the crop to harvest since August 23rd. There have huge been steps along the way that have given me hope. Like my friends who got the big TV on the wall. But there it sat, without a connection for another several weeks. The same friend hung a huge mirror. Another friend recently hung shelves, hooks and mirrors. In the midst of that sat stacks of boxes that need to go up into the attic, which requires the big ladder, which is difficult for me to carry. The furniture in the garage that is taking up space and prevents me from unloading other things that need a home. All this soil preparation is necessary and good, but I want to see a sprout! Well, today I got to see a good little bud from that preparation, and it was darn satisfying. For the first time today I was able to see my house look like a home.
For a couple of days I’d had some home décor boxes sitting in the kitchen area to be unloaded and assessed. Today was the day to do that, yet right away I wondered if I would get through the boxes, because interruptions were occurring almost as soon as I got up this morning. All good interruptions, but still, interruptions that could compromise my hopes for seeing that sprout for which I anticipated. I had three furniture items that were getting some action today either on Craig’s List or by a neighbor who was going to take my blue and white (sniff sniff) Toile couch.
In the mean time, a couple of friends and I were going to go to the Sunset High School play, and we’d talked about getting together at one of our houses beforehand. Since I live closest to the school, it made sense that we would meet here. I hadn’t had anyone over since we moved in because the house just hasn’t felt prepared. But today I decided, it was going to be prepared, enough.
In Shauna Niequist’s book, Bread and Wine, she urges us to share ourselves and our homes without the concern that our homes (or our lives) are perfect. I wasn’t necessarily looking for perfection, but there is a definite level of settlement that I need before I can enjoy entertaining people in my home. But having read Bread and Wine, I was reminded that today was the day, and that no amount of interruption was going to deter me from having my friends over. I would scramble and make due with whatever was created by the time the clock struck 5:30.
At 4:30, this is what my kitchen looked like.
I don’t have a picture of the state of things at 5:30, but things felt pretty and I got to have my first couple of friends over in our new home. With a couple cheeses, crackers, pate, and wine for the adults, and some over cooked cheese pizza and corn dogs for my friend’s kids, we enjoyed a quick bite to eat before we were off to see the play.
It’s amazing what a deadline can do when you’re within reach. It’s also interesting what the waiting process creates. For example, the guy who ultimately got our TVs up and running is a gem. He’s someone I hope to stay connected with and before he left the last time, I told him, “Gabe, I want to be your friend.” I hope in some way God will allow that. Yesterday I discovered another advantage to the long waits. The furniture and ski equipment about which I felt nostalgia and sadness became a thorn in my side with the space they took up and the inconvenience they created. By the time the couch left me, I announced an “Adios.” The void in my heart was small compared to the void in the garage which was gleefully large. Those long steps lead to the satisfaction of seeing that bud of a sprout today. I’ll remind myself. One branch at a time; one branch at a time.
After I returned home from the play I noticed this partially scratched off Ross sticker. No perfection here. But I enjoyed my home and my friends and that is the sprout I was looking for.