Happy Saturday, faithful blog followers. With the Super Bowl just around the corner, many of you are preparing to don the colors of your favorite team and get together with friends over chili and hot wings to cheer or curse your pick for Sunday’s game on to victory. I imagine you in your pre-game bliss, thinking about touchdowns and field goals, and the intricacies of defensive strategy. I, on the other hand, am thinking about…linoleum. Boxes and boxes of linoleum.
This week has been a challenge. Not a bad challenge, necessarily, but this week has definitely pushed the bounds of physics and human decency that ordinarily govern how many things can happen simultaneously in one small condo. First– we have kitchen remodeling. Currently we have doors from our kitchen cabinets scattered and propped up all over the house as we let them dry from their recent paint job. These doors seem to have developed their own natural migration pattern– like wildebeest or arctic birds– travelling from our living room couch to the hallway to our bed with daily regularity. Lately it has seemed that no matter where you would like to sit, stand, walk, or lie down in our house– it first requires moving several pieces of kitchen cabinetry. This is in addition, of course, to the aforementioned linoleum–stacked in boxes in front of our bedroom closet in a display that rivals the great Leaning Tower of Pisa in both it’s grandeur and structural instability.
Add to this chaos, the fact that we are in the process of packing for our impending move to the mission house at our church. As I look to my left, I see what is quickly becoming the world’s largest collection of Schnuck’s grocery store egg boxes. These boxes are gradually being filled and stacked around the house, filled to the brim with the various and sundry items that we have collected over the years. In addition to taking up lots of room, these boxes also continue to tell me with their forceful, black, block letters that I must “KEEP CONTENTS REFRIGERATED.” Despite my better judgment, that knows full well I don’t need to refrigerate the linens or books that I just placed in these boxes, I still can’t help but feel a little guilty for not doing it. It’s like those “Do Not Remove” tags on your mattress. You know it’s not illegal to cut them off, but you still look over your shoulder while you’re doing it, just to make sure no one’s watching.
Lastly, we add to this Polk Family Circus a little 9 1/2 month old boy, who has been fussy from a cold all week, and has made a new past-time out of scurrying across the floor to find various pieces of lint, plastic, and other inedible things that he can pop into his mouth with lightening speed. Combine all of those things with a liberal sprinkling of Nathan’s baby toys and children’s books all over the floor, and we have what Liz and I have begun to affectionately call, “The Death Trap.” As I sit here on the couch, I can visualize in my mind the twists and maneuvers that would be required of me should I decide to get up and go to the bathroom. With elegance, power, and grace rivaling any ballet dancer or NBA star, I would twist, turn, pirouette, and “shake-n-bake” my way past 14 children’s books, a baby blanket, two cabinet doors, several stuffed animals, a dining table chair, my infant son, a cantaloupe box from Honduras, and a plastic duck who, despite being dressed up like a kind and helpful fireman complete with hat, ladder, and firehose, never the less seems to be mocking my efforts through his unblinking eyes and smiling duck bill. Maybe I’m wrong– but I don’t remember the Home Depot commercials that assured me of my ability to “do it all myself with a little help from the orange aprons” ever mentioning the physical dexterity that would suddenly be required to navigate my home without breaking a hip. So much for truth in advertising.
So, what to do? What else is there to do– but laugh, pray, and try not to take it all so seriously. We are in transition, and we are going to be in transition for a long time to come. This is the path that we have chosen, and which we believe God has called us to follow. And so, we embrace it and walk through it as a family by God’s grace. As a good friend once told us prior to having kids, “You have to embrace the crazy!” Good words. Life is crazy right now–there is no doubt about it! But we are in this crazy transition together, and even in the midst of the minor frustrations and tensions, God is at work shaping and refining us more and more into his image. So much of Scripture speaks of our Christian life through the metaphor of a journey. We are called to travel God’s narrow path, and walk as children of light before Him. And every Christian journey comes with transitions and potholes. That is just the way it works. So please pray for us in the upcoming weeks as we complete our move and finish our remodeling projects, that we would handle the frustration and chaos in a way which honors God and loves one another well. We know that eventually the chaos will begin to settle out again. In the meantime, I’ll keep practicing my ninja-like moves as I leap over furniture and linoleum boxes to get from one room to the other. Oh, and by the way– if you come over for a visit. Don’t leave too quickly if we don’t answer the doorbell. We might just be busy climbing a mountain of linoleum or trying to refrigerate our office supplies. Be patient– good things often come to those who wait. It’s a good reminder for all of us. ~Jason