I am in the midst of decidely chaotic turmoil in my Little Tin House here in sunny Florida. You see, my kitchen is being remodeled, fixed, upgraded and generally transformed into beautiful. I have been living with no hot water in it for a couple of months now; the plumbing was tired, the sink was a 70’s gold and generally the whole of it was just so very done with being the kitchen it started out as something like forty years ago. The process is almost painful at times. Full of surprises, redos, rethinks, and all manner and form of course corrections. It is a paraox in this life we have here on this earth that to make beautiful we most times need to make a fine mess. In order to make something so much better than what is there, we have to demolish what is there.
It sounds like the process of living to me. In order to improve, to go forward, to keep getting better and better we have to make a bit of a mess. It also reminds me of the passage in Genesis where God made order from chaos. It isn’t the stirring up, the removing that we use to build; it is the putting it back together. We use pieces from the old, we use new, shinny parts, we blend them together to create a new look, a new life.
I am sitting here at my sweet French desk, with Pepper snoozing on the couch and Yuri watching over the back of the house, listening to bumps and thumps and colorful words eminating from my kitchen. This process of rebuilding the material of the kitchen is fraught with unseen speed bumps that must be navigated. Just like life itself.
O the bumps I have crawled over! O the constant rebuilding I have done! I know that I will not be finished with this building and rebuilding until my last breath on this earth. Sometimes it is so very, very painful to see the life I thought was pretty well done and set demolished and redone. It is a one minute at a time sort of existance when one is the middle of a rebuilding project. Some things just cannot be hurried and pushed and proded into what you want. Sometimes the best move is not any movement at all.
Three years ago the remodel of my life began. Born from life mistakes, fed by taking the wrong path and ignoring the signposts, I faced the truth that I had to remove my self from the place where the temptation to attempt to force the path into my assumption of where it would lead. The only way to start the remodel was to leave where I had been for fifty-four years and start from scratch at some other terra firma. So, I prayed for God’s guidance and the ears to hear him, packed up my Flock of Boxes, my two small dogs, and set off for a new land.
He took me across this great country on a road trip with my Cousin Jan that I will never, ever forget. It was for the two of us the Great American Road Trip . With two small dogs, a car packed to gills, and a lose agenda we set off toward the rising sun. We have been talking about it ever since. Joys of seeing where our common ancestors touched down on their treck to the setting sun; peril with deer and Jeeps; silliness with two small dogs and covered bridges and Eiffel Towers. Memories that will forever be etched into my heart.
But that was not the end, not in the place I thought. God was not ready for me to set down roots again. Just like Abraham of old, I had more traveling and more lessons to be learned. From Ohio to Florida, where there was some remnents of roots of my own still hanging on. To a brand new town. To a brand new life, with some of the elements of the old life, those that were best and the most priceless. To a place where I could slowly and carefully put down roots and join with those waiting for my return to be nurtured once more.
The men have quite for the day; one to golf, one to great his girlfriend in from the west for a nice visit. There is a new dishwasher, a new sink (with hot water!!), a new counter top and a promise of more to come in the kitchen. Just like God does, the men do their work with care, with caution and course corrections where needed. The new kitchen will be a wondrous place for me to cook and bake and pass through and just look at.
And so will be this new life God is fashioning for me. I will always miss the best parts of the former life I had in California; missing my family and friends the most. I will still go back for visits every year or so, for their company is the best gift. At the same time I will continue to nurture, to support, to learn and to grow in this new place and the new life God is fashioning from pieces of the old and brand new shinning things.
From chaos comes beauty.