We did something at our new house that I have been wanting to share with you all. It has been in the plans longer than the important things. You know, things like walls and bathroom placement. This has been on our hearts ever since we started talking about building and we wanted to make sure it happened. Per our busy schedules, timing was everything to make this happen. We were leaving for a trip and we had a small window to get this done before the crew started drywalling in our absence. What we were about to do would be covered up until some young couple, many years from now, takes the house back down to the studs for the complete remodel project they have planned. Just have to say here, OUCH!
The point is we would know that this happened and it was the beginning of blessing our house and making it our home. So we took a sharpie and started above the back door.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”
For our staircase we chose to write the Fruits of the Spirit on them as a reminder to try and do life every step of the way with them. Emphasis on try. I tried to explain this to Little Landon and he wasn’t buying it.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
I’m not sharing this with you to say, “Look what we did!” I share this for one reason only. God is in our home. Yes, he’s here whether or not we write reminders on walls that are already covered up with drywall. Thus the confirmation of how God works in our lives. Even though we can’t see him, we can seem him in our lives when we carry out his plan. A plan that can be found in many of these verses.
When I walk past the spots where I know these verses are, something happens inside of me. I feel safe, taken care, peaceful, and most of all loved. I remind myself that God is in this place. I know this will fade as time goes by, but for now I am taking it all in every time I am there. It’s in teaching moments like when I try to explain to Landon what these words mean and in the end we decide it just says, “be nice” when I am reminded of how simple God’s instruction for us really is. Just be nice. Sometimes we have to take Scripture down to words that a child best understands. After all, we are all children of God.
The verse I chose for my office, “commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans” means way more to me than just the work I will do at my new desk. That verse gave me so much hope in the early days of sobriety. I had to trust with all my heart that God had a plan for me. I knew every time I fell back into addiction, that that was not his plan for me. I had to commit, surrender, and wait patiently for his plan to unfold in front of me to unwrap the gifts that would start to happen in Recovery.
I’m so grateful to be making these memories with Craig. I could not have ever imagined what “they” were talking about when “they” talked about what was coming. “They” being everyone who had quit drinking before me and would talk about the “gifts of sobriety.” I had no idea what they were talking about. To be honest, I thought they meant I would just feel so much better! That would be a gift as I felt like crap almost all of the time. I had no clue that every morning when I woke up hangover free it would become a gift for me to unwrap over the next 24 hours.
Every morning when I journal, I write down what my gift was the day before. Some call this gratitude and yes it is always something I am thankful for, but my approach is a little different. I try to find something that I chose to unwrap. Something that God was nudging me towards that I might have ignored if I wasn’t open to receiving it. Moments that when Landon and I sat on those steps I had the split second thought about how filthy we were going to get. Then I felt the nudge to just sit down. We had our little talk and it became a gift that I will always treasure.
You have to look hard sometimes for them. They are not brightly wrapped, all tied up with a bow, and with a card that explains why your receiving it. No, that’s on you to find. It is usually camouflaged in the busiest moments of the day, or when you are fearful, and most likely when you don’t think you could possibly stop for anything else today!
My list of gifts probably wouldn’t mean the same to you as they do me because you haven’t walked in my shoes. Consider this though, you don’t have to be in recovery to find these gifts. They are there for all of us every single day. In fact I know I am still not seeing some of them. Do yourself a favor this weekend. Try to find the gifts. How do you do this? Just be the gift for someone else to unwrap. No bow (or drywall) required.