Happy summer to you! An entire season has passed since I last sat down to write. At my kids’ ages, our spring gets extraordinarily busy. Couple my husband’s regular work craziness with the end of school activities of my preschool and my kids’ elementary & middle schools, then add in soccer and gymnastics and church and — VOILÀ — people like me tend to say they’ll write later when things aren’t so crazy busy. So, see ya later, Spring. It was nice seeing you. Moving right along….
And here we are at the first day of July already. Before I blink, summer break will be half over. I can say that I’m pleasantly surprised at and actually kinda proud of myself. June was pretty productive. We had our lazy days of tent forts and living room picnics watching movies from Redbox, sure. But I also managed to clean out and organize my laundry room and pantry/craft closet…no easy tasks. I am somewhat packrat-ish and neither of those spaces has had a good, deep clean out in the five years since we’ve moved in. I’m still somewhat (embarrassingly) amazed by the number of trash bags I filled with stuff to be given or thrown away. When I finished that purge, I then moved on to my kitchen/dining area. A fresh new color of paint in a finish that was suitable for a high traffic area (seriously–who in their right mind puts flat paint in a kitchen?) was next on my to-do list.
This painting thing was also something I’d wanted to do for quite some time but had never got around to doing. First of all, painting is inconvenient anytime, anywhere…but especially inconvenient in the main activity hub of your house. I had wanted new paint but not more that I wanted to avoid inconvenience. But second, and probably most of all, it meant I had to take down my beloved grape themed wall border. And I had not been ready to do that. I’m a pretty sentimental person. And I think we’ve discussed before how much I abhor change. So as silly as it sounds, that border was pretty special to me.
God was just showing off with that one
When we found out five years ago that we were moving to Bentonville, we had a very small window of opportunity to make our new living arrangements. We were starting to get disheartened about halfway through because we just hadn’t found what we were looking for and we knew we were running out of time. School was starting soon and we wanted our son to start school here instead of having to switch schools three weeks into the year. Then our realtor told us he thought he knew just what we were looking for. He took us to a place on the edge of town that looks like it’s in the country (important to Micah), was in the school district we wanted, was move-in ready (a necessity), and was bigger than we’d thought was an option for us but was a heck of a deal due to the housing market. To top it off, it had a grape wall border in the kitchen-dining area. And I love grapes…it was the decor theme I already had in my then current kitchen. It was everything we could have dreamed…and it scared me to think that big. As Micah & I were talking through whether this house was the one for us, he went over our bullet points that we’d prayed for in regards to housing. God had met every single one with this place. Then Micah mentioned that border and said, “God was just showing off with that one.” Long story short, we got it. They even let us rent it until our house sold–for less money than every other rental we’d looked at that was half this size! Supernatural favor anyway we looked at it.
So fast-forward almost five years to the present in 2017. As much as I had loved that die-cut decoration pasted at the top of my walls, I knew it was time for it to go. And surprisingly enough, I didn’t mourn its impending removal like I thought I would. It’s taken me almost four decades, but maybe, just maybe, I’m starting to get this whole ‘seasons’ concept. Something in me knew I could keep the knowledge I’d received about God’s faithfulness, provision and blessings without having to forever keep the paper token He used on my wall to reveal it to me. It was time to move on.
So we did. We took decorations and outlet covers off the walls. We took small appliances off the countertops. Then I got to work. I was ecstatic when I was able to take down 75% of that grape paper in a matter of minutes. It literally peeled off without any remover solution applied at all. Never have I ever, ever experienced wallpaper or border removal that fast or easy. I was totally amazed. And then I hit the remaining 25% that did not want to let go for ANYTHING. I used the little scoring tool that allows the remover spray to soak in better. I’d use the spray and let it soak for 15 minutes just like the directions said…over and over and over. If I used a scraper, it would then proceed to take off not just the border goo, but also the finish underneath all the way to the sheetrock. It was a mess. At the end of my patience, I just went for it. There was no other way around it. I scraped as carefully as I could but I still butchered the wall in a few places. Thankfully, my handy-dandy husband is like a certain builder in the old movies Kendrick used to watch as a kid. Can he fix it? Yes he can!! And he did. At the end of a five day ordeal, I had a new beautiful shade called “skinny latte” coloring my kitchen and dining room walls and you can’t even tell where I messed up the walls.
My epiphany throughout this process was that moving on most definitely IS a process, even (or maybe especially) when it’s God-ordained. When it’s time to let go, you will have the peace and strength inside to know it’s ok to start. There will be stuff to get out of the way. You might have to reach and stretch. You might have to climb up the ladder, step back down, move the ladder, and climb up again…multiple times. You might have certain anticipations or expectations that get blown out of the water. You might be cruising right along when — screech — all momentum seems lost as you suddenly have to deal with some things that just. don’t. want. to. let. go. Then when you’re at the end of yourself, it might look like the removal of what was once God’s plan but has now served its purpose is going to leave scars that you won’t be able to hide with a fresh coat of paint. And just then, God, your heavenly husband, your Divine Covenant Love, will come to you, see your (probably messy) progress and reassure you that He makes all things new. He’ll partner with you to restore the breaches in your walls and then enable you continue moving on in His purposes for you.
My friend, whatever it is you’re walking into and subsequently away from, please know that your process and progress is God-ordained. He will faithfully be with you the whole way…when you’re cruising though smoothly…when you’ve had to slam on the brakes…when you’re inching forward by way of repetitive motions that don’t appear very fruitful…when you have no other choice but to painfully separate the old from the new…every single step, He’ll never leave you nor forsake you. Even if you are left wondering what sort of mess you’re staring at and you start wondering how this could possibly be called progress, remember He can make all things new. And also remember that just because it’s time to move on from relationships or situations, it doesn’t mean you can’t cherish the season you were able to spend with those people God put there. Our journey is from glory to glory, grace to grace…so keep moving right along.