Just Write {50}

August 27, 2012

Our cupboards are bare. Not of food and pots and pans and a crock pot and vases. There is plenty on the shelves, but we’ve taken all the doors off and pulled all the drawers out.

We began a project that seems simple enough until you actually do all the things it takes to do the thing.

We need to sand first, but even before that, we’re marking each door and drawer so we remember where they came from. Otherwise it gets to be kind of a puzzle and you have to keep trying each space until the drawer slides in easily or the two doors close up with out banging together.

Miles was using the drill to unscrew the hardware and I was pulling the doors off when he’d get to the last screw. Asher was feeding us each one pretzel at a time, while Daddy wrote up a map and numbered each door and drawer.

Elsie wreaked havoc.

I ate a lot of licorice.

After the dust settled (literally), I stood back and looked at all of the much there is inside and couldn’t help but to feel much too blessed and also compelled to purge. So I started with the cereal cupboard and now it’s all tidy. Next, I’ll empty out drawers and wipe them clean.

When all is said and done, we’ll have a creamish-tanish sort of color on top and a gray-ish color on the bottom. Both are colors you can find in the back splash.

We dance around our kiddos to get these things done. It takes a long time and sometimes we just can’t get back to things. I’m learning how to live in the mess because that’s just life, it’s terribly messy. It isn’t so easy for me to leave things undone though. I like finished.

I like closed doors.

Unfinished is what it is to be here though, living this out, so I’m trying to learn that not landing for a while means you’re flying or floating and that’s why it’s okay sometimes to just wait. This isn’t just about painting cupboards though, is it? It’s about the things that take much more faith. That’s the trickiest part, believing that it’s perfectly fine to hang somewhere mid-air while you do or you don’t work on something, together. And when it’s not fine, it’s still okay because of all that sits wide open on the shelves, uncovered, exposed…getting thrown out because you flung things opened and said LOOK, here’s the truth! 

Elsie had to be put down for a nap and the boys needed lunch. We left the doors leaning up against the wall below the chalkboard in the kitchen. I left a drawer with a bunch of coffee grounds in it on the counter. The cleaning supplies are at the ready in a plastic bin on the floor and dog hair is sticking to my pants on account of crawling around on the tile with a boy and his drill. The day has gone on and we’re all hovering above and around the mess, together.


This is the 50th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page, and please don’t link to posts that are not written in the spirit of capturing moments–like lists or sponsored posts. Then please link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in. (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

Also. Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word?


Sarah @ Toddler Summer August 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm

We’re on week 15 of remodeling our house – almost the entire thing at once. I totally get your feelings here. And I’ve just had to realize that living in an unfinished state could be a lot worse. We don’t have much space, but we still have each other. Hope your project gets finished a lot faster than mine!
Sarah @ Toddler Summer recently posted..First Day Truth

Gianna August 28, 2012 at 7:10 am

I talked about this a little while ago, but not about having things finished physically. I was talking about relationally.

However, I am SO with you! Sometimes the physical stuffs drives me crazy.
sometimes? Did I just say sometimes? I mean ALWAYS!
Gianna recently posted..Fare Thee Well, My Dear Friend

Barb August 28, 2012 at 7:11 am

Tearing something down to make the old new. Developing work-arounds while the task is underway. Sticking with a job even when you can only do it a little at a time. Leaving things exposed that you’d rather cover up. These aren’t just phases of home improvement. They are living life.
Barb recently posted..not a bucket list exactly

April August 28, 2012 at 8:52 am

“It’s about the things that take much more faith. That’s the trickiest part, believing that it’s perfectly fine to hang somewhere mid-air while you do or you don’t work on something, together.”

— This is something I learn and relearn on a regular basis. Sometimes I’m convinced that I will constantly suspend in mid-air until I learn to be okay with it and since I am slow to learn, I have been hanging for quite a long time. Believe it or not, this weekly project has helped with that. I’m new to the scene but I have been moved by the exercise of not trying to shape the moment, but absorb it. I had been missing that.

Thank you.
April recently posted..Questions about dreams: Just Write

Kate August 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

That exposure is not easy, to rip open doors of your life, and heart and say ‘Look at this MESS!’. It shows parts of ourselves, blown apart, that make others uncomfortable, turning their eyes away from the reflections of their own messes that they see in ours.

I admire you taking on a project around small children, as any project with little people requires so much more time and focus and showing tiny hands how it all works and ends up. It’s a blessing, no doubt, but also makes me grit my teeth against the flow that disrupts life, and tidyness. And then there’s that mess.
Kate recently posted..instagram friday

Carolyn August 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hanging mid-air, well said. It’s so hard not to just want it done, but to find the balance.

We’ve got some ideas for projects, but I’m not sure I want to start them. The mess that might be kind of scares me.
Carolyn recently posted..My Girl

erin from swonderland August 28, 2012 at 9:53 am

Oh, I so know. I don’t handle this well AT ALL. I like to see progress to motivate further progress. We are in a blow-it-all-up-now-what situation (house has been on the market for more than two months) and I need the change NOW, or I think I do and maybe I am supposed to be learning to wade through. I love how you see the bigger picture in everything my friend. Our brains are the same in that way.
erin from swonderland recently posted..I am trying.

Kathleen Basi August 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

I feel like we live in a mess, too, even though we haven’t undertaken a project like this. You are a brave family. But then, I guess your metaphor for life makes it clear that we all are.
Kathleen Basi recently posted..The Mellowing of Mama Kate

Marta August 28, 2012 at 10:15 am

I have no patience is my problem. The waiting is the hardest. I always need to be doing, actively feeling like I’m making change, progressing down a path. Floating. Floating is difficult for me. While I’m certain your subtext is so very different than mine I cannot help but take your second to last paragraph and completely apply it to my last post.
Marta recently posted..Balloon.

Ann August 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

All of these are fragments for a future book. I just know it. Incredible in its honest simplicity.
Ann recently posted..One Wine Glass

Julia August 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

we redid our cabinets once it was such a bigger project than I thought. I hate when things are unfinished I like to just get them done.
Julia recently posted..Ready For Fall

Denise August 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm

…trying to learn that not landing for a while means you’re flying or floating and that’s why it’s okay sometimes to just wait…

a lesson not easy to grasp but licorice always helps!
Denise recently posted..The Morning Sun

Emily Cook August 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

It is MESSY.
And I have a son who likes closed doors. I’m actually so weird (and hurried) that I will serve dinner and notice I left 4 of the cupboards open in the kitchen. But my son… he closes them for me. Same with the catsup lid. and the toothpaste. :)
Emily Cook recently posted..Will you read a book with me?

rebecca @ altared spaces August 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I like black licorice myself. Can I say that I’m mighty inspired by all that your team is willing to take on given the little ones under foot at your abode. It makes a family doing all those projects. I know it’s hard, but all those glue and nails? You’re also sticking yourselves together as well as the walls. That’s what I believe about altared spaces. Big Love to all of you.
rebecca @ altared spaces recently posted..blueberries and facebook groups

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