Opening Up

Last weekend we tore up the floor in an upper bedroom.  Truthfully, I didn’t actually do the tearing up… I just did the odd jobs, clean-up, took pictures and kept the coffee going.

We’ve owned that house for 23 years.  For 23 years my husband said “I will tear up that floor and find out why it’s so spongy”.  And for 23 years there have been other priorities.

I wouldn’t dare speak for him, but from my perspective I think the delay had more to do with fear.  I mean, the house is well over 100 years old.  I don’t know who lived there before us, but during our time it was filled with lots of boys and all their toys and the occasional car part.  And after they left it was filled with everything that didn’t fit somewhere else in the house.  The house survived an earthquake and we know the electrical system is old.

We started vacating the house five months ago to prepare it to rent.  The moment of truth finally arrived.

I was fearful we would find broken beams… and strange indescribable things lurking about… and diabolical-looking wires shooting sparks.

We didn’t see a single indescribable thing lurking.

The old knob and tube wiring was neatly tucked in place.

We didn’t find any broken beams.

The wood we uncovered was solid and strong… the beams had simply been placed too far apart.

There will be expense.  It will take more time.  The floor has been opened up, problems exposed, a plan made.

The house will go on… another 100 years, maybe?

Since the new roof/attic rebuild two summers ago….

….every household project we’ve undertaken has opened me up too.  It’s been painful.

This kind of opening up is like childbirth… you can’t stop halfway thru and change your mind… you have to go all the way to the end.

And that is the place I’ve been stuck the last few months… half way thru and wanting to quit. But can’t.

So this morning I got to thinking about those strong, sturdy beams.  And it’s causing a little hope to rise in me.

I decided to name what it is I think I’m so afraid of…

….becoming irrelevant

….becoming fat(ter)

….becoming like the person I provide care for

….loosing touch with family and friends

….never getting to travel again

….not finishing the book that lives in scattered pages and word documents and my head

….not leaving a legacy of hope for my children and grandchildren

It occurs to me the only way any of those things will happen is if I quit halfway thru…

… but sturdy beams are in place…

… so I keep standing.

“God has chosen me and will not throw me away.  He will strengthen me and help me.  He will hold me up….”  Isaiah 41:9,10

6 thoughts on “Opening Up

  1. I feel the sadness but at the same time I also feel the hope and the faith in your heart.23 years in such a lovely home is amazing….so much memories. It made me remember the house I grew up, the saddest day was leaving it by age 31… but your words are so comforting…thank you. ““God has chosen me and will not throw me away. He will strengthen me and help me. He will hold me up….” Wishing you and your family all life’s blessings….


  2. Hi Brooke,
    You may not believe this…but I am envious of the fact you have spent 23 years in a beautiful home! I have never owned my own home, and in my 54 years on earth I have probably moved 23 times, hating every rental apartment I ever set foot in 😉

    I find your list of fears very moving (pardon the pun!), you say you take care of someone else…what a wonderful gift that is! I cannot imagine you not leaving a legacy for your children and grandchildren because in every post about them you have expressed so much love.
    Wish I could give you a big bee {hug} right now!
    You have a great talent for writing and photography…very inspirational.
    I will keep you in my prayers!


    1. Thank you, Bee. The more I write the more I realize how blessed I am. The caregiving experience that is my life at the moment is hard. I truly hope I can look at this time as a gift someday – – not quite there yet 🙂

      I love the garden you’ve made around your home – – apartment or house – -it’s a beautiful home. Thanks so much for your encouraging words.


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