Monday, July 29, 2013
Walls, Writing,and What You were Made For
It's the original walls. This home, built thirteen years ago by Russian hands. This home in which we're the third owners, third occupants. (Photos above not of my home. See credits below)
Foreclosed and bank-owned when we found it, knee high in thistles and clover, we know very little about this house's past owners. Intriguing clues surface at unexpected moments: the splatter of dusty rice pellets in crevices behind the stove and a solitary chopstick (giving us instant kinship with them-- us with our curries and African sauces, and at-least-weekly rice meals); mail addressed to Vietnamese or Thai names; and rumors of Russian families with lots of young men who liked bonfires under the moated stone tree.
A year into living here now, the house feels like home; the yard is brimming with rhubarb, flowers and produce; and lawn mower patterns trace square mazes of olive green grass clippings. Several walls have original paintwork still, though--a concession to time limits and energy. Sitting in Daniel's room this evening, I stare at the walls, seeing old staples high up in the wall from holding another family's posters.
Who lived here, I wonder? What was on these walls? Where did they put their bed, their dresser? Was it a child like our Lego-tinkling boy beside me, or someone else? Relatively clean, the walls still boast the plaster I swiped on some months ago to flatten and hide chips and dents on the surface. Original paintwork looks back at me, as I stare silently at the walls, picturing the clamoring sounds, stories, relationships, and lives of the two families here before us.
It feels surreal yet intimate, and I fall quiet. Plastic Legos shuffle and clank beside me, and stories fill my mind.
I've been reading books on writing this month, and just turned the last page on a book tonight that leaves me eager to buy my own copy so I can mark it up with pencil underlinings and notes. (Two books are making their way to me already through warehouses and book fulfillment lists.) The authors speak of hard work, and daily determination to sit down at a desk and simply write. It recharges and inspires me, so I request a turn at the family computer, brew a pot of decaf coffee, and wrestle my five year old to bed. An hour later, the keyboard is mine, the coffee is just slightly scalded, and silence descends on my dimly-lit dining room. Black computer keys clatter inside as semi trucks rev by outside, and a small boy drifts off to sleep.
I don't know about you. I don't know what passions and skills God has grown deep inside of you, but for me, words --both spoken and written-- are music to me. Others' words weave me in, pull me along, slip me away, and inspire me. And mine? They form, haltingly, awkwardly, but unceasingly and I desire to have them reflect truth, reflect Him, and be for his glory.
So, for you tonight, my friend? Be encouraged. God has placed skills, passions, and dreams inside you, on purpose. He crafted and created you. Don't doubt it. Don't give up, and DO "fan into flame" the gifts he put inside you. You were made to bring glory to him. Practice your art. Persist at and hone that skill. Then run to hang it on his huge, cosmic fridge. "Abba, Daddy, look what I made for you!" in childlike naivety and wonder.
Linking with Ann tonight whose writing and love for her Abba make me thankful too.
What are your passions or art? How are you honing it this week?
Photo credit #1 and photo credit #2. "Finestre Sulla Valle" 1969 by Contini Emilio.