There’s this house…
…not too far from ours that is sitting on 3 acres of land. Six bedrooms, seven-and-a-half bathrooms, 5-car garage, pool cabana with a fireplace and built-in kitchen… All for only $264,000. You read that correctly.
You just said to yourself, “There has to be a catch…”
The catch is pretty massive, actually.
For starters, the home was never finished. You know the story all too well these days… the folks who were building it went bankrupt. I hear they’ve even left the country. So now it’s bank-owned. And it’s been sitting unfinished for something like 7 years. Maybe more.
Because it’s been incomplete, thus uninhabited, it’s been vandalized. A lot. Much of what was finished now needs to be repaired or completely replaced/redone.
There are no electrical wires in the whole place anymore.
No a/c ducts either.
The drywall has holes.
The ceilings and concrete slab have been damaged by fires set by vagrants to stay warm.
Much of the window casing facia has been destroyed all the way down to the styrofoam core form.
Borer bees are living in the exterior and interior framework. Every day, they eat away more of the wooden frame and insulation as they build their home and create toxic honey.
As much as I adore this house for what it should be … all it’s glorious potential (because that’s how I see things and sometimes it’s heartbreaking … and poor Stinker Bell sees the same possible majesty…) … I couldn’t possibly complete it without entirely gutting it first. Like, down to the studs. Even more so! I’d have to strip the entire thing down to it’s very foundation. And even then, there’d be foundation to dig out and restore. For that matter, the wisest and most cost effective thing to do would probably be to just raze it and start all over again.
…isn’t like that stripped-bare house that I adore. It’s a completed building structure. It’s well-lived-in. And we are happy. But I have those undone tasks that will take this place from feeling like a house to being a home.
This being my “Year of Completion“, I’ve set myself toward finishing those tasks. As we have been going through the house inch by inch, I am coming to the realization that the unseen places in my home have to be purged, repaired, cleaned, and organized in order for the house itself to be complete. I really hate that part.
I hide my messes behind closed doors.
You see, I’m the kind of girl who likes the doors that can close so you can throw your crap in that confined space and then you don’t see your crap because the doors are closed. This is absolutely my philosophy in home neatness. I see it in just about every drawer, cabinet, closet, and bookcase door I open. Shoot. I’ve told already told you about how half the garage floor is taken up with stuff that was “purged” from the house … and it now sits where I can’t see it all the time.
That way, I’m only overwhelmed in the off chance that I have to open that door to find something. And then when I do have to open the door, I sit there and stare at it all and nothing gets completed … and then I shut the door again and it no longer exists…
My reason for not letting go of the mountains of clothes I don’t even like and so will never wear is because I have been afraid of not having anything in my closet. Afraid of not having clothes! Isn’t that ridiculous??
I don’t throw away boxes of year-old cereal from my pantry because I don’t want a bare cupboard. How dumb! RIGHT??
My reason for not sorting through the crap in the garage… I don’t know where to start. And I think I’m just lazy.
Don’t get me started about my “work space”…
I’m really in denial. And, to be honest, I’m flat out lazy. I’m even candid about unseen messes for the sake of “full-disclosure” … and then somehow my candor makes me feel better about not doing anything about it. Sound familiar?
To make matters worse, I will shuffle the piles from one room to another. That way, I can feel great about ridding that one particular room of my mess and then I shut the door of the newly piled room so I still don’t have to deal with it and I have given myself a false sense of accomplishment. It’s terrible. Only now, with Stinker Relly having his own bedroom, I don’t have anymore rooms in which I can hide my crap. It’s now all out in the open… If it doesn’t fit in a closet, of course.
So recently, a Facebook friend shared this really great, honest, and inspiring post. I, in turn, shared it. Mr. Old School read it. And then we set out to purging our wardrobes. I probably purged half of my wardrobe. It felt intoxicatingly awesome! I was actually bummed because I wished I had purged more.
Way better. Right?
While I was sorting and cleaning and feeling great about all this relinquishing of my clothes, I felt the Holy Spirit tap me on the shoulder and remind me of the importance of the completion of the unseen in the completion of the whole.
So why am I telling you about this…
It’s pretty simple.
You can’t have absolute completion without first properly completing the things that can’t be seen.
If you know me, you know I’m an HGTV and DIY Network junkie. I totally am. In a few of these fix-it shows, our heroic “pro” is telling a “client” about some underlying issue (like water or electrical or foundational damage…) and the client gets all mad and says something like, “you’re not giving the space you promised”. But the thing is, the law (or “code”) requires these pros to stop all progress until these sorts of issues are corrected “to code”. The “stupid home owners” don’t see that. They see spending thousands of dollars for something they can’t see. Which I can totally understand! That’s a tough pill to swallow, to be sure! But those unseen things are the most important elements!
Those unseen things are so much more important that the “finishing flourishes”.
Maybe you’re trying to go through life vandalized and broken or even without wiring. Perhaps your foundations have been burned by others who improperly used you to take care of themselves first or your framework is being eaten away by parasites.
Maybe you’re “not that bad”. Maybe you’re like me and you can hide your unseen things while your seen things appear to have reached completion, but your incompletion is always looming, causing stress you can’t understand…
So as part of my year of completion, I’m resolved to go through — little by little — those closets… those deepest, darkest hidden places in my home… in myself.
Because as much as “completion” is about my house, it’s really about the completion of me.
And with all of this explorative deep-thinking I’m doing, I’m reminded that the graciousness of God means that, as I allow Him, the completion of me happens out of the eyes of others. The completion of me is unseen like roots under the ground that spread and grow and deepen long before the flower buds.
The sweet, sweet graciousness of God…
What are the unseen things you’re purging/sorting/cleaning/repairing this year?
Tell me about it.