So, you ask, what is happening with the plans to bring Stu home?
Well, we obviously didn't meet our goal of a Christmas homecoming------but the work is being accomplished, one bit at a time. There is now a sturdy roof, the walls are finished and painted, there are doors front and back. We have only to install the wood laminate floors throughout, finish the counters in the bathroom, install the sink and toilet, and do some finish work around the doors. We, I say-----I should say Jerome, my intrepid Super Son (pictured is my Happy New Year card to him), and the men he has gathered to help him-----John Lingafelter, Tim Kasdorf, Jim Chandler. These guys have volunteered valuable time and skill, and there's no way to thank them enough. I will leave the rewards to God, I know he'll bless them in ways I couldn't imagine. Once the work on the cottage is completed, it will be time to move furniture in and set up house-----I have told my transition coordinater, Eileen, that when the floors are in, I think we can start ordering the equipment that will be needed for Stu's care. I will also need to start interviewing caregivers for the help I'll be needing. It will be a big transition----I pray daily for strength and wisdom to navigate this next stage of the saga!
This morning I was reflecting on the on-again off-again struggle I have with a sense of urgency about the project. December was a rough month for me because I was so sure that it should be done before the end of the year. And I was absolutely wrong. That was hard. But I have to say, this recent wrestling match with God brought something into sharper focus for me. Here's what I wrote this morning:
"Lately, it's occuring to me that good things take time to develop. As I watch the skilled workmen do their jobs, I see that they have a deep respect for the principle of laying down a layer and giving it time to breathe and settle before adding the next layer. The mud-and-tape professional who came in to work on the walls was very particular about conditions, drying time, etc. He knew it doesn't pay to be in a hurry. I myself took a page out of his book when I laid some vinyl tile in the bathroom. I had to be scrupulous about removing all dirt and debris, and making sure the surface was level.
I can see that this time before Stu's homecoming is foundational----like a meticulous Craftsman, I see you clearing debris, smoothing the surface, preparing with great deliberation. You know what you are building; I can only guess. I spent all last month pleading my case with You, frustrated by your timing, sure that it should go faster. I am wrong. (I use the present tense because I know myself to be still impatient by nature. For now, thanks to You, the chastisement is fresh in my system. Grateful for that!)"
To finish up here, I stole the title of this blog from Eugene Peterson----who wrote a book with this title that has been very refreshing reading for me recently. So far, my favorite excerpt from that book is this one, from the chapter on Worship: "Faith is not a precarious affair of chance escape from satanic assaults. It is the solid, massive, secure experience of God, who keeps all evil from getting inside us, who guards our life, who guards us when we leave and when we return, who guards us now, who guards us always."
Until next time!