The Back Deck Chronicles

Last night, I was sanding the sticky primer off our project that seems to never end….I mean back deck. To be honest, I was asking God for forgiveness for every complaining, prideful, judgmental, haughty, murderous thought I was having and every cuss word I was mumbling (for there were MANY) begging for help really because my thoughts were threatening to drown me in a sea of self petty when I felt a flash of light to my left. It was the street light turning on as the last whispers of sunlight danced across the sky. I looked up and saw a beautiful purple sunset from our side yard. More beautiful then yesterday’s sunset which was pretty epic. I just kind of stopped and thought, I love the view from here. It actually gave me an idea for an art project Id like to do one day. That’s when I decided to love sanding that blessed back deck. In fact I’m going to smile the entire time it takes me to finish it tomorrow and I promise not to cuss once! I wish I had a camera to keep the moment forever. Even in the most mundane, exasperating situations there are beautiful things to see and experience, important lessons to learn and character to be developed. Don’t pray away the trials, ask God to show you the gems hidden within and the grace to grow up. You may even decide to love that particular trial and smile the whole way through it!


Fast forward to today….I lied…I cussed a lot and Im still not done!! Here is my DIY timeline. 1) dream of a beautiful backyard pergola 2) price it out to see how much it would cost someone else to build it 3) get the quote, laugh hysterically and decide you’ve watched enough HGTV, it doesn’t seem that hard you can do it yourself. 4) get started on the project noting that everything you read online states that an average person could do this project in roughly 10 days 5) pride yourself in not being the average person and five months later realize you and your husband are still working on the blessed project 6) wonder silently to yourself if Henry Nouwen, Mother Teresa or Dallas Willard cussed this much while they worked on something hard? At this point Ann Lamont can book me on her speaking tour….7) somewhere along the process have the epiphany that this is why pioneers died so early in life…. All this manual laborer is for the birds. 8) make a solemn vow to never do anything like this again until maybe next month 9) head to Home Depot again, with the vague thought that if anyone in that place even so much as looks at me cross eyed I will go postal all over them 10) realize the fastest way from point A to point B is a straight-line and that usually means right through the middle… The hardest yet most productive way to move forward!!!! I blame it all on Pinterest or maybe that damned HGTV channel. I swear by all that’s holy it makes you want to lick everything that you see on that channel and hate everything you currently own!!!! We don’t even have cable anymore but I watched enough of that HGTV during my pregnancy/nursing years that I still have residual flashbacks. Dear God, I promise to make my family eat dinner under this blessed Pergola every night even in inclement weather as if our very lives depended on it! Amen

The Abbess


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