I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I needed to wash that kitchen window. Actually all of them, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This kitchen window bothers me. It collects spider webs and all kinds of other insect activity on the outside. Right now it’s a collection of dead leaves, spider webs (some hanging on since last summer) and insect carcasses. It’s not pretty. That’s just the sill and the side of the house around the window. The glass is just as horrible. And it’s been something that’s bothered me ever since we moved into this little rental in the country.
I hate that window. I hate the bugs. And when I look out of it, it makes me hate this house more and it’s a slippery slope from there into “why hasn’t God given us a house yet?” “How come they could buy a house?” “Why can’t we make more headway on paying off our debt?” And then if I don’t catch this runaway train, we’re headed into dangerous territory when I hear “speaking of the house, there’s that other prayer you’ve been praying for 16 years and it hasn’t been answered yet either?” Like I hadn’t noticed.
This quickly leads to me being really pissed off with my life and then I do what every disciplined Christian does. I open my phone to escape and see all the house remodel pics, pregnancy announcements and “look at this great house we just bought” pics. And I want to throw up. Seriously. But I don’t recognize it yet. I just sink deeper into disgust with my life and then I hear my son scream outside and because I’m in this mode of being completely upset about this life God has given me, I snap at my kids because their audacity to play and have fun in that little treehouse outside the dirty window is thoroughly ruining my pity party.
Today, I’m cleaning that window. I’m taking back it’s power over my life. THIS IS ONE PRECIOUS LIFE I HAVE. That’s not a Pinterest quote. I know this is true. I have unanswered prayers. That’s true too. But one is not more true than the other and one does not cancel the other out. Gosh, I am so fickle to believe that they do. Just because Jesus hasn’t answered all my prayers doesn’t cancel out the goodness of the ones He has. That is a lie straight from the enemy. The enemy of my soul who wants to keep me busted and broken and knee-deep in despair and envy. That is a lie from the one who wants me to miss my kids playing outside and miss the complete blessing that is this little crooked rental in the country.
This rental- the one with the pond my kids try to fish in and the one with the rust-colored cat that my son carries around like a baby. The little rental where we watch cyclists give it their all as they ride by our house for the IronMan or EagleMan or whatever those races are that serious athletes compete in. The one with the twinkle lights over the fire pit in the backyard. The one with the basketball hoop in the driveway where my daughter and husband have played for hours. The one where Toby learned to ride his bike and Alivea became fearless on hers. It’s all happened here. This house has also been a haven for two family members who needed shelter from the storm in their life. It’s hosted small groups and birthday parties and even a wedding shower. It’s hosted moms’ book clubs and spy meetings. These walls have heard me encourage families in adoption and in homeschooling. These walls have heard my prayers and have heard Alivea start to read and Toby learn how to spell his name. They’ve heard me cry and rejoice when I found my voice and shared my passion and built a business.
This little rental. The one with the dirty window that almost made me hate my life. It’s all here. The beauty and the mess. In one space. They are not separate. Their boundaries are blurred and if I’m not careful I’ll interpret all of it as dirty when all I’m really doing is looking out of a dirty window.
People. Precious people. We have got to stop throwing the baby out with the bath water. We, I, do this all the time. One thing stinks or sucks or didn’t go our way and all of a sudden- it’s all bad. We’re not immature enough to say it out loud but gosh we think it. And that is a runaway train. Trust me. Take the control back. Clean the window. And you’ll get some perspective and see the blessing. You’ll see clearer. Trust me. And trust Him.