The Project That Began 28 Years Ago And Is Ongoing With No End In Sight

8 10 2016

Dear Michael

Right from the “get go” you and I have taken on projects. Almost always, these have begun with the phrase, now legendary in our family, “How Hard Can It Be?” The answer to this becomes clear between “It is too late to turn around” and “there is no end in sight.”

Our current self-inflicted project looks like this:

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It began with, “We should put a bathroom in downstairs…how hard could it be? The drain is there, the lines are there,…” to the current conversation, “We need to replace all the water pipes in our entire house.” Why do we do this to ourselves? We take on a project (usually late in the evening) and before you know it, it’s Frankenstein.

As I sit here this morning, reflecting on October 8 — our anniversary — I am seeing a parallel between the trench in our foundation, shards of drywall, open studs, fingers of pipe and what life has been like for us.

Twenty-eight years ago we began this thing and since then we have been in constant construction mode. We started with “How Hard Can It Be” with our dream life in mind. We didn’t know anything about  anything. Maintenance and repairs weren’t on our radar. Within the first year of actually BEING married though, we realized “two becoming one” was not not going to build itself.

So we have been at this thing for 28 years. You’d think at 28 years there wouldn’t be much to do. It isn’t like we have been sitting around letting the house fall apart. We have been diligently at it, yet here we find ourselves constantly addressing new challenges. Is it easier, now that we have all this experience under our belts?

Not easier, but more equipped. Over the years we have accumulated a garage full of tools and each new challenge has some similarity to old challenges. We know where to begin with them. We know the kind of energy it is going to take to resolve them. We know what we want to see in the end.

What you and I have here and today isn’t a stack of Hallmark cards but a collection dusty blueprints, rolled and unrolled a thousand times with markings all around the edges, ideas that made it or didn’t make it, material lists and measurements…all the things we have done and redone together. We have been working side-by-side “day after day after day after day” and as I think about all this…I have a happy tiredness. It’s the thing you feel after a long day when you have accomplished much and what you have put your hand to is actually not that bad. The lines might not be perfectly straight, there are some holes we missed, I can see some of the old paint through the new here and there…but we have done this together. It’s what we have made and it suits us.

Thanks for never shying away from the ugly projects, Michael. Thanks for always leading our marriage back to Jesus, and back to Jesus again. Let’s keep going…sawdust in our shoes. Dirt under our nails.

You are my one and only, and I love you TNT.

Trees

P.S. I leave you with this old SNL bit because I think it is what we have always done and what every marriage that makes it, just needs to keep doing:

 

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