Thursday, February 23, 2017

fix it

A severe, moral wrong has recently swept our world, leaving many confused, conflicted, and searching for answers. This social catastrophe has impacted my life, my world, my home, and after much deliberation and thought I have decided to open up and share my thoughts and feelings on the matter. I anticipate some backlash, unfavorable comments, and loss of friendships, but I must do as I see right and call to repentance the group that has so insensitively hurt and harmed individuals, families, and homes.

Netflix, how dare you take Chip and Joanna Gaines from our lives.

Now that I have that off my chest, I can continue with some thoughts I've had stirring around in my brain since our big move out midwest. And yes, Fixer Upper is my key example in this post and all other aspects of my life.

In this HGTV hit show, a couple helps others turn homes that look like haunted sheds made of cardboard boxes and potato skins into luxurious, envy-inducing abodes. The show's impact has had a broad reach, resulting in every woman now wanting white shiplap somewhere in their home, pilgrimages to Waco, TX becoming more and more mandatory, and all young people having dreams of buying ugly, questionably safe homes. i fall into all of these stereotypes.

Most people are pretty enamored with the concept and content of the show. To see a building that, by all accounts should just be bulldozed over, actually turned into something beautiful is kind of inspiring. Maybe we love this show because we love to see second chances and changes.

Sometimes I think we feel a lot like that shed made of potato skins that has no purpose but to be bulldozed over in order to be replaced by something more grand, more useful, more beautiful. We try to paint over the water marked walls, or deep clean the orange and brown shag carpet. We sweep the very sloped front porch and patch up a foundations that look more like sand than cement. Meanwhile pushing help away saying "No, I can fix this myself. I know how I want it to look and if you get involved then it won't be just how I want it. I have my own vision," as the ceiling collapses behind us. 

But God is the Master Carpenter. He sees our little shacks and starts to make changes - changes that weren't ever part of our vision either. The boy or girl you like doesn't reciprocate, and there goes the carpet. You don't get into the school you were banking on and down comes the railing. Your car breaks down indefinitely and the pool gets filled in. You're a new or seasoned parent with difficult children and the jackhammer is taken to the driveway. You move to Minnesota, away from everyone you love, and all the walls start falling down.

Eventually, little by little, our shacks and lean-tos that we were so protective of, so proud of, become "dream homes" we could never have imagined for ourselves. Perfectly designed, with the best products, they are truly the most functional and beautiful homes we've ever seen. You'd never guess that at one point you wanted to bulldoze it over.

Let Him fix it.


Thursday, February 16, 2017


Today while I was walking to work, I thought to myself "I would be so much happier if I were single." It had been a rough morning with me getting after Harry to clean up the spilled orange juice, a puddle in the bathroom from our leaking shower, my hair being greasy but me not wanting to wash it oh woe is me!, carpet that hasn't been vacuumed in weeks and has bits of toast, cheese, and salt stuck in it, you know the crumbs you can feel with your bare feet when you walk? gross. and a desperate plea to the powers above that I somehow could stay home from work. It was a morning that was also compounded on a rough night, because that's just how life works right? 

So as I walked to work, realizing that I had forgotten to take the frozen chicken out of the freezer so we could actually eat something other than macaroni and cheese for dinner, I thought "I would be so much happier if..." which was followed by a long list consisting of things like:

...if I had long, beautiful hair 
...if I were single and only had to worry about feeding myself
...if I didn't have to clean up after anyone else
...if I could afford to have someone grocery shop for me
...if I had an actual home instead of renting an apartment
...if I lived within some vicinity of the mountains 
...if I could be paid to just frolic on the beach like everyone on Instagram seems to be able to do

I've begun to realize and be taught by my mother, who keeps me grounded that happiness is becoming less and less of a spontaneously occurring state, and more and more of a goal that I have to actively work for. And despite what everyone on your phone might show, sometimes being happy is hard. For some reason choosing to do the things that you know will make you happy seems impossible. Satan has made beds too comfortable and treadmills not enough so, just to keep us miserable. so we should all go exercise just to show the devil who's boss. and ohmygosh i'm suddenly having an epiphany about what exercise and the temptation to be lazy actually is. stay with me here. lucifer is all bummed out because we have bodies and he doesn't so he wants us to be lazy and sleep all day so essentially we aren't using our bodies and we're miserable and then he wins. i'm going to start a gym class based on this.

Back to the point. Although the point is morphing as I type because things are coming into my mind and I don't know how this is all going to wrap up. At some point in our lives, we will have to actively work on being happy. And I think that's ok. Whether it be hauling ourselves to the gym, committing ourselves to that class we're interested in, being brave and generous, reading a good book instead of watching crummy TV, exploring a new place, reading a conference talk instead of mean facebook posts, or blogging for the first time in years despite blogs basically being dead. If we are medically able to choose happiness, or at least choose to work on happiness, then we should. 

I mean, if you think about it, why not?

This is me on a frozen lake. Because that's the type of thing people do in Minnesota.

peace and brian kershisnik
i'm in love with this piece