If you are any type of photographer who reads this blog, you already know I am not one. You might be amused at my photo word for the year. I started to edit it a bit more, but then I decided it is already such an accurate picture to express my word that I left it as is.
When I decided on my one word for 2016 late last month, I had no idea how early I would need to apply it. We woke two days after Christmas and found two feet of water in our basement. Over the next week, we replaced a furnace, hot water heater, futon and gaming system. We threw away a curb full of things and dried out many more.
Though it was not the way I wanted to start building this year, literally from the ground up, I found that our basement rebuilding project is a good metaphor for how I want to rebuild my life this year.
1. It’s inconvenient.
Right when I wanted to be putting away Christmas decorations and reorganizing the house for the new year, I had a living room full of items in various stages of drying and every article of clothing in the house had to be rewashed. The Christmas decorations stayed in boxes in the corner for a week, and the futon is still on end in my living room since it can’t be moved downstairs until all the flooring is ready.
Building is like that. In order to build up my relationships, health, work, ministry, soul and spirit this year, things might not happen at the right time. Already in these first two weeks, I’ve had to invest some late nights to chat with a child and I’ve had to alter plans to prioritize better things.
2. It’s messy.
If you look really close at my photo, you might see traces of mud on the Legos. My daughter and I painstakingly picked up each Lego from the basement floor, washed them in a bucket of cleaner and dried them on towels and in the dehydrator. That was just a little of the muddy mess we all vacuumed and scrubbed for two weeks.
Life doesn’t happen in a neat, clean manner. This building is going to be messy sometimes. There are misunderstandings, sickness, and plans going awry. And it’s all part of the process.
3. It’s imperfect.
I didn’t go out and buy new Legos to create my word photo for you. They are old and scuffed, and the artistry isn’t color-coordinated. We worked with what we had to create it.
I can buy a bunch of new exercise equipment and read a lot of books on how to enrich my marriage or my home. However, the real test is to look around at my possessions, my people and my life and build on the foundations I’ve already laid.
4. It’s teamwork.
You might have already guessed I am not a Lego expert. I called in a resident builder to help me with the design, my son. He graciously agreed to create the word build from Legos for me. The boys also chipped in with the basement cleanup.
As I build this year, I will need support. I’ve tried to go it alone so many times. Of course, I need Jesus every day. Every hour. Every minute. I need my family and friends around me. And, I’ve already consulted a few experts including my doctor and a partner in my career. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day nor was it built by one person.
I’ll be updating you on my building project. And I may even give you a final shot of the basement
if when we ever get it finished.
What’s your one word for the year?