"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it... Yet." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
I don't deserve a fresh start. And yet I get one.
Every. Single. Sunrise.
Every morning–I get to start over.
That's the insane infatuation that God has with us. He forgives us before we even bite into the apple. He kisses our mouths with the juice of the forbidden fruit streaming down our chins. He pursues us while we are running in the other direction. He pulls us close when we arch our backs like infants during a midnight wail.
His mercies are new every morning. Even when we are failures. Which if we are human, we are. We fail. All the time. And even when we've let him down time and time again, He still chooses to write us as principal players into the greatest romance of life. The only romance that fulfills. The one between the Creator and His created.
Mercy is the magic.
What a miracle. In an age of criticism and chronic opinion, Jesus is a safe place. To know that the God of the universe–the one who knitted your bones together; bent over with furrowed brows; exercising the utmost concentration–knew we would fall apart at the seams.
He created us fully knowing we would throw ourselves to the ground. Shattering the art. Breaking the beauty. And he broke himself for that very fact.
And as I sit in my kitchen, where I've written every word since I've been a parent, I realize I will soon be saying goodbye to this place.
We are selling our house.
Soon this home–where I saw my babies take their first steps, throw their first temper tantrums, witness a bubble for the first time, utter their first words and take their first falls–will be someone else's address. Soon, this home will be a memory. A yesterday that I can't redo. A fuzzy recollection that will keep me company when my son is off to college and my daughter is studying for her high school finals.
And as I look back on the first four years I have been a parent: It's bittersweet.
I spoke too harshly too often. And yet, I exchanged I'm sorry's and I forgive you's richly. I cried too much over things that inconvenienced me, and yet I embraced the unexpected. I complained over the stains on the carpet, but really I was just discontent with imperfection. And still, there's a side of me that loved watching my daughter eat tomato soup with gusto while splattering the walls and staining her dress. I loved having uncooked spaghetti fights in the kitchen with my baby boy even when I surveyed the damage; dozens of snapped sticks of imagination scattered to high heaven all across the floor.
I am a contradiction. My wills are at war within me. I loved chaos as much as I loathed it.
All in all, we became a family here. In this place. The one that I wasn't sure I even wanted when we bought it. And as we prepare to plop a 'for sale' sign in the front lawn, it reminds me of early parenthood: it wasn't what I thought I was looking for but it was exactly what I needed.
As we look for a new home, I won't be looking for something perfect. I will be looking for a place big enough to invite strangers, new friends, old friends, the lost, the found, the happy and the despaired from all walks of life to drink wine and smell my favorite candles over a large table.
I want a place that will symobilize the growth we've experienced as we have become a family of four. I want a place that will be a safe haven and yet an open door for anyone who knocks. I am excited to recreate our new normal. I suspect it will be something we won't expect; but it will be place to shape the formative years; where we emerge from the thicket and begin the ascent.
This new house won't be the change we seek. Because the change has already happened. We are different. Not better. Just better at starting over. Better at admitting we need a fresh start.
And so as we embark on the process of finding a new place to lay our heads, I am tired in the best way possible. With heart muscles sore from use and mind muscles sore from faith.
I have no idea where we are going, but we're going together-as a family. Be looking for the house warming invite. I'll be pouring Sauvignon Blanc. Naturally.
We're in this together,