Angel Knees

You’ve heard the stories.  They most commonly appear in flowing white robes and dazzling light.  Angels.  Who doesn’t love the thought of catching a glimpse?  Of receiving a blessing from heaven?

Saturday, the Lord sent us four.

Last week, I was asking for a miracle.  You see, when it comes to do-it-yourself projects, I dream big.  Beginning a 4-year contract on our rental house in Atenas, I long for every bit of the 1,050 square feet to feel like home.   To me, color plays a big part in achieving “cozy.”  The well-loved walls were beyond the help of a magic eraser intervention, so we made friends with the rep at the paint store.  And Phase 1 was born: the 3 bedrooms, the living room, the dinette, and I just couldn’t leave out the hallway and the laundry space.  Bringing home 12 gallons of liquid latex in dreamy colors made me feel like I won the lottery.  The feeling of “home” was just brushstrokes away. A lot of brushstrokes.

Painting became the ultimate focus of the two open weekends before June 7th, the day our furniture crosses the threshold.  The first weekend went great.  Only who knew how much primer it takes to cover up royal blue trim stripes?  Two full days of prepping, taping, and priming gained us a lot of ground, but not much change in ambiance.   Coming into the second weekend, we had 11 gallons to go.  I knew we weren’t going to make it.  Priority and strategy were rumbling around my mind all week.  Which rooms were going to be filled with the most furniture?  Which walls would speak the most to our hearts?

Then, hope sprung up, in a message from a friend.  She was hosting a team of  volunteers connected with College of the Ozarks.  Hard Work U, where students have the opportunity to serve in lieu of paying tuition, room, and board—how fantastic is that?  Our friend offered to share these 4 young women with us for a whole day of house transformation.  We didn’t have to pray very long to know we should leap to accept the huge blessing.

Matt and I spent Friday working all-out to get first-coats up in the 3 bedrooms, but Saturday dawned with a mountain left to scale.  Amanda, Morgan, Ashley, and Hannah arrived bright and early to dig in.  With 6 different colors in play and 5 painters, Matt spent the whole day coordinating everyone’s effort, as well as cleaning brushes and paint pans.  The girls and I trimmed, rolled, and shared our stories as the house received its new look.  Together, we did it all.  The 3 bedrooms, living room, dinette, hallway, and laundry space are now all fresh and bright, ready to welcome in our family and friends.

Bird of ParadiseOur angels didn’t bother with robes, but looked dearly beautiful splattered with paint.  Their knees were blackened with newsprint from the papers protecting the floor, but that didn’t stop them from sharing joy and their hard work.  We will always remember the blessing that the Lord sent to us through them, as we savor the colors of our new life in Atenas.

Whether sporting robes and wings, or dirty knees, God’s grace to us is truly incredible.

Making Angels

After a small saga of delays, our new carpet is finally installed, and the house is one giant step closer to being ready for the market.  Considering their future on unyielding tile, the kids took some time to enjoy soft poly fibers on the floor.  In the absence of snow, they made carpet angels.

All that exuberant appreciation got me thinking.  I’ve been spending time clearing away the old (thank you Craigslist, Goodwill, sanitation engineers, etc.) and working to lay the new (contact lists full of amazing people who want to keep in touch, applications for language school, gatherings and letters to share the vision) of our ministry in Costa Rica.  But it was high time to pause for a moment and count the blessings of our calling.  So I swirled my thoughts over the goodness of God’s plans for us, and made an angel of gratitude.  The wings and wisps are formed by:

  • The opportunity to make friends from around the world and to share the Lord’s work in their lives as they serve at the Home of Life.
  • The richness of becoming a bilingual family–although Matt and I will have to come up with a new way to talk “over the kids’ heads.”
  • The adventure of learning Costa Rican culture and a new way of doing life.  Rainy seasons, rambutan fruit, pace of life redefined.
  • Getting to care for at-risk children and speak blessing over them.  I love Matt’s brown eyes, but all our children got my blues.  Now I’ll have a host of bright dark eyes to love.
  • The tremendous gift it is that the Lord wants to use us in this way.  Here we are, Lord.  Send us.
  • The support of so many awesome people joining with us in this kingdom work.  Kisses to the side of the cheek for all of you.
  • The chance to trust God for what seems impossible and to see Him provide.  He is doing it.
  • Seeing the talents that He gave us fit like puzzle pieces into a whole new future of walking with Him.