Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Yesterday, I was helping my husband paint our new chicken coop barn red (oh, how I ♥ a red barn!). The wood posts had white primer on them and as I began applying the dark paint, I quickly became discouraged at the streaky and uneven look my brush strokes were making. Some parts were dark, others light. No matter how hard I tried to transform this coop into the picture perfect image I held in my mind, the first coat of paint refused to look the way I envisioned it should. Much more of an experienced painter than myself (not to mention an all around the house project man who can build and fix any.thing.) Bobby told me not to worry about it. He said if I kept going, as I made my way around to applying the second coat I would see it even out. (As a good wife should ☺) I did as he said and found out he was right. The color started to take shape and become more uniform. With a little more time and effort, things were definitely looking up.

And still, as I stood near the coop examining my work, I could easily see the imperfections. The places I had gooped too much paint and let it drip. The spots that were thinner. The darker and lighter parts. Even when I was done, as I examined it closely, it didn't look as I had imagined it would.

I came in to make dinner while Bobby kept working. As I went to the door to call him in to eat, the sight of the coop took my breath away. It was gorgeous. Many an hour was spent poring over coops trying to decide how to house our hens before making a selection - a red barn with exterior nesting boxes and a red run on each side - and as I saw it in that moment, tools and scrap wood all around, still very much a work in progress, I could tell it would be just right. Exactly what we hoped for.

Stepping back and viewing it from a distance, allowing a little space which offered perspective, I no longer noticed every flaw and drip and thin spot. I saw breakthrough. I saw change. I saw imagery that was once only in our minds' eyes unfold turning what used to be a plain patch of prairie grass into a special home built buy the work of my husband's hands for our family's chickens that would serve to teach us all many lessons as they provide wholesome nourishment.

Strangely enough, this made me think of our children - Meadow and Flint.

One of my facebook friends is now in Ethiopia at the Guesthouse we stayed in when we picked them up. Her updates have reminded me of what it was like there. I wondered if we were to go now and stay in the same place with our adopted children, how different things would be.

Vastly. They would be vastly different.

Flint is no longer that scared little boy that darts away, literally running from us every chance he gets. Meadow no longer loudly wails, shedding tears of sorrow over the slightest upset. They make eye contact. They give hugs with open hands. They respond with "I love you too" when being tucked in at night. They read and write and do math and laugh out loud and speak English and swim and ride bikes and eat food without complaint and play with their siblings and make friends.

Last time we were at the Guesthouse, they were strangers, foreign to us in every way. If we were to go again, that wouldn't be the case at all. We would be able to predict their behavior with a level of accuracy, and they ours. They would not run away from us. They would not wail. They would look to us for guidance. We would offer it. No longer strangers, we are their parents. They are our children. I don't know about you, but that strikes me as pretty remarkable.

I'm sure that most of the time, just like with the coop, I'm looking at things too closely, too near to the scene to form a fair assessment. I can so easily see the challenge, the strain, the exerted effort, the repetition, the sowing and sowing and sowing taking place day by day when it feels as if very little reaping ever occurs. The confusion and bewilderment I experience as I try to figure out how to help them cope, grow, learn, make up for lost time, heal past hurts, is right at the surface. What they say is true, it's difficult to see the forest in the midst of the trees.

It's only if I take the time to really step back and look from afar that the imperfections fade from view. It is then that I can truly grasp the beauty of this experience.

Together, we have taken barren land and cultivated it through many hours of labor....turning it into a special home built by the work of our hands for our family that will serve to teach us all many lessons as we give and receive wholesome nourishment.

My heart rejoices.


monica said...

As I read this post tears are in my eyes. What a great expression of how we view things and how our perspective can be so different than Gods and how He sees it.
I love your heart Tisha. It makes me smile to know you have come so far. You have allowed God to mold you and change you during this time and because of that your kids are getting the best mom and dad. Thanks you for always being honest and speaking words that come straight from your heart.
Love you tons,

Courtney said...

yes and thank you.

Jennifer Isaac said...

So, so good, Tisha! I'm going to try to hang on to this image. : )

And, I love Meadow's hair by the way!!!

Alyssa said...

I love your pretty barn and your pretty Meadow! Her hair is GORGEOUS!

Erika said...

I want to check the "so great" box.

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