Saturday, June 23, 2012

it takes a village...

(Yes.  Another post on why you don't want to remodel your kitchen anytime when you "oooh" over the "after" pictures, you won't be tempted to follow suit...)

One day soon I WILL rejoice.   I know it.  I'll look at my brand new kitchen and think it was all worth it.

But it ain't today!

Because the stress that this total kitchen overhaul is wreaking upon me & upon our household is about to do me in some days.

When we returned home after our lovely, restful time at the beach, we literally walked into the overwhelming smell of DEATH and rotted food.  (how's that for a "welcome home"?)  As Marc & I had stayed up until 2am the night before vacation putting in the hardwood floor together, I forgot I had left a pile of dishes in the utility sink downstairs... uuuggghh...

So the smell hits us.  And then we walk in, trying not to trip as we stepped over this tool and over that stuff.  My house could have been on a "Hoarders" episode.  And I'm not even joking.

Then it's mealtime.  Search for a plastic cup.  Search for water.  Do we have any ice?  Search for a fork.  Search for a plate.  Search for a napkin.  Now figure out what in the world to eat in this place when there's not even a single space left to eat that's not completely blanketed in dust.

Ummm, it's safe to say I then hit my lowest point in this thing yet.

I'm looking around at the mess, and it's like my thoughts suddenly turned to MUSH!  Why bother cleaning?  It's pointless.  I don't even know where to BEGIN.  I can't do this.  I can't even do life right now.

Then enter...

...the body of Christ.  The Church.

Upon sending out an honest and desperate plea to some dear people in my life, I soon had a small army to help me.  Since Marc & I are somewhat similar to missionaries, we don't have any family nearby.  Thus, our church and our RUF students naturally become our family.  And lemme tell you, it took a village last week....

The precious hands of those three women pictured above (Holly, Terry, & Margaret) turned my chaotic life into this: a temporary "kitchen," set-up with a coffee station, a crockpot, and access to everything that I'll need to get through this remodel!  It has been a life-saver.  Everything else was organized in boxes and put into a back bedroom.  AND they brought lunch for us.  :)

Lindsay also came to organize, clean, help me with music stuff for worship, and basically help us survive a couple of days!  (Here you can see our almost completed wood floor, which we tied in from the dining room & hallway surrounding it.)

While the small army was in our house, Keverly watched Caroline for the day so that we could get things in order.

And what isn't pictured here is:

-my sweet, sweet best friend who came into the chaos of this house and spent 2 1/2 HOURS cleaning, scrubbing, and organizing the disastrous mess.  She also made dinner for us.  There are not enough words of gratitude to describe how thankful I was to have a place to sit and eat together as a family again that evening.  Thank you, Kelsey!

-other friends who have brought delicious (AND gluten-free) meals to us thus far-- Lindsey, Angie, Susan, and Nancy/Kirsten.  And there's more coming to us this week.  It's like tasting grace when someone brings you a meal.  It's amazing what a ministry meals have.  I hated asking for them, but I now see that it's TOTALLY a gift the Lord gives to particular people, and as a recipient of that gift?  Oh my goodness-- tasting the Lord's grace to you (through these meals) is unbelievably powerful and humbling.  So beautiful.

I could say it a million times, really, but I am so, so, so grateful to our church family & students for taking care of us.

Everything in me didn't want to admit the state I was in and ask for help.  I didn't want anyone to see the literal MESS in my life.

But the VERY Gospel is recognizing we are people who will ALWAYS need help!  We will never have it together, we are always and will always be needy and helpless.  If I can't believe the Gospel and admit my helplessness about my HOUSE?  How will I ever turn to Jesus for the helplessness in my SOUL?

Had I continued in my stubborn I'm-sure-I-can-do-this-on-my-own-and-I-won't-need-anyone's-help mindset, I would have robbed myself of the beauty of this past week.

The beauty of watching the Lord's bride come around me.
Serving with different gifts.
Ministering to me in very tangible ways.
Holding me up.

It takes a village.

SO... our cabinets arrived!

Caroline had to get her own picture of them as well.

One of our students, Kevin, dropped in because he had a few extra hours to come over to help us (who just shows up to do manual labor with their extra time??  Again, the body of Christ...)  So we now have a working microwave- praise the Lord.   This pic also gives you guys a little peek into the beginning of the cabinet install... before all the trim & details have been added.  (we'll show you the finished cabinets next time! They are sooo beautiful!!!)

So THANK YOU, sweet friends, for loving and serving us.  Thank you for responding so swiftly to my cry for help and coming to our rescue.  We couldn't make it without you.

You have saved much of our family's sanity.

Well, on second thought.....
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  1. amy. thank you for sharing this. first, i love before and after pics so your kitchen is fun to see! and thank you for being vulnerable and asking for help. and thank you for sharing it here. it is the gospel. it ministers to me when i read it here. i need to hear it. thank you for somehow bringing a kitchen remodel back to the good great news gospel of jesus. keep it up. i need it.

  2. Love this! Enjoying your adventures and precious girl from afar, but thought I should say hi so I'm not just a lurker!

    Christy Saenz

  3. Nanny & PapaJune 25, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    It's wonderful how God supplies our needs through those who love Him. It will get better. Love y'all.