Who are these guys and what are they doing with this china cabinet?
Well, the young man in the red t-shirt is my nephew Jacob and the unseen man on the other end is Josh. These strong men are moving my full china cabinet from my front room to my kitchen. That hutch is filled with crystal, silver and china and they picked it up, walked up a step around a corner and into the kitchen, without so much as rattling a dish. They are my heroes!
Actually, they are just two of a team of heroes that descended upon our house this past Saturday.
It all began a few weeks ago, over iced tea with some friends. I was bemoaning the state of our front room, formerly our living room, now functioning as our home office. It had become completely disorganized and was an impossible space to work in on a daily basis, made worse by the fact that our precious pup had ruined the carpet in there. No amount of carpet cleaning, Febreze or candle burning could mask the odor.
This is a before shot of the room as we attempted to assess the situation. Trust me, this picture does not show the mountain of madness lurking behind the camera. We evaluated the amount of storage (virtually none) and the overabundance of desks (four – why, I’m not sure). A plan of attack was set for September 18 and last Saturday, the crowd descended on our home.
Following the furniture removal, the next item on the agenda was carpet removal. This was the moment I had been waiting for. That carpet was rolled up and out the door in no time at all. What a relief! My dear friends had volunteered themselves and their husbands for a Saturday work day at the Rutledge home. I don’t know what their husbands said when they were first volunteered, but they showed up Saturday with work gloves, shop vacs, tools and smiles.
Time for primer.
I had a border running around the perimeter of the room that I had written with Sharpie. I love the sentiment, “faith, hope, love“, but I’m done with the script border and the color, which I loved when I painted years ago, seems muddy and dark to me now. On to cleaner and brighter days!
I am loving it more already, and this is just the primer! These guys got two coats of primer on the walls in no time flat! Now I have to head to the store and choose just the perfect wall color.
This little front hall almost broke us. Even though it is a fraction of the size of the living room, it was wallpapered by ‘yours truly’ with sheet music. It took every bit of wetting, scraping, clawing, sanding and sheer grit and determination to remove that paper off the wall.
These three are smiling on the outside, but on the inside they’re thinking, “why didn’t she just leave the wallpaper alone?” Are those weapons they’re holding?
I have to give a special thanks to my daughter Rachel. None of this would have been possible without the ‘Child Whisperer’. She allowed moms and dads to work away while her adoring fans followed her around for the day. Rachel, you rock!
Within a few hours the team cleared the furniture from the room, removed the carpet, gave the room two coats of paint and stripped the wallpaper from the front hall. I can’t even imagine how long it would have taken Steve and I to manage all of that on our own.
Our front room isn’t done yet, but it is well on the way, thanks to our fearless volunteers. We will continue to post pictures, as work progresses.
And…as if the work on the room wasn’t enough, this bed has been hanging out on my back porch for months, badly in need of sanding and a coat of paint.
Here is the beautiful finished product, ready for Rachel’s room.
At our church, we talk a lot about living a life of community and what that really is.
Well, I’ve shown you what it can be. It can be getting dirty. It can be holding a paint brush or a hammer. It can be showing up for each other. It can be meeting practical needs. It can be eating together, laughing together, hanging out together.
I have one last picture to show you. It’s a picture of angels. I took it at my house last Saturday.
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG)