on July 6, 2007

I have lived in the same house my entire life. As long as I remember I have had the same bedroom. I was 10-years old the last time my dad painted my room. So for 31 years my bedroom has been pink with blue carpet. These pink walls show the marks of time passing, much like you would find in an old cave where an ancient dweller marked the phases of the moon. Faint residue of tape marks where I hung posters as a teenager and holes from the nails for every other decorating phase I’ve had, dot the walls.

I am finally redoing my bedroom from top to bottom. It’s needed to be done for years but I’ve procrastinated. I just never had “the time” and the task of moving a lifetime of crap out of my tiny room seemed overwhelming. When I got home from my mission about 20 years ago I assumed that soon I would marry and have my own house to decorate, then my mom could redo my bedroom any way she wanted. It seemed prudent to wait and not invest time and money in it. So I waited. The only problem is — my plan just never panned out. I am now 41 and this week I finally began the project I’ve officially called “my bedroom”. The 4th of July was a perfect starting day. I moved my mountain of stuff out and began with ripping the carpet out. I removed the carpet and disintegrated padding by myself revealing the old hardwood floor of my early childhood. My arms hurt after this task but I felt strong (and sweaty.) My brother did the patching and the drywalling and I did some of the scraping, sanding, and other clean up as directed by him.

Last night I was finally ready to put the primer on the walls. Before I started I gave the floor a good sweeping. There were little scraps and things that had somehow fallen behind the floorboards: Old carboard game pieces from a game I don’t even remember, a price tag circa 1975 from ZCMI, little scraps of paper, and of course – dust and dirt, were all exposed and ready to be swept into the garbage after being in hiding for several decades.

To my surprise, as I swept I had a little flashback to some childhood memories. Things that had happened that I had kept swept and hidden away like the game pieces behind the floorboards. At first I was a little angry. These things are in the past and have been dealt with — why now to come back to the forefront of my mind? Thankfully a kind God also helped me understand it.

When my dad remodeled the bedroom when I was 10 – he didn’t take up the baseboards when they carpeted. They just laid the carpet on top of the fingernail polish stained hardwood floor to the edge of the baseboards. I also discovered that when our neighbor did the ceiling (his business was to put that sparkely-cottage-cheese stuff on ceiling) there was a lot of damage around the lights. Instead of fixing it he simply put masking tape over it and sprayed it with the cottage-cheese-like goop. The damage wasn’t fixed — it was just covered. That is also how I dealt with my childhood memories. I just covered them up and lived.

Like my room it worked for me for years but the time came that eventually it simply needed to be fixed. My soul was full of the tiny little holes from living, as well as the bigger damage and trash that I’ve kept hidden in tiny little corners of my heart. It was time to open it all up and let the Savior sweep it clean. Like my hardwood floor that on Saturday I’ll cover with laminate – somethings will remain. But over the last few years the Lord has mended the damage – damage that I finally have come to realize I didn’t do. Someone else came into my room and did that damage. But He still fixed it. Now He’s sweeping the corners and even the small nail holes that I did put in myself, he’s filling and covering.

The pink paint and blue carpet that served me well for many years is gone. In a couple days, although the shape and structure will be the same, the room will still be new. It will be bright, fresh, and clean. Miraculously I realize — so am I.


3 responses to “Renewal

  1. Laurel says:

    this is a BEAUTIFUL life analogy, DeAnn…just for the record.
    You amaze me.

  2. Hollers says:

    I LOVE this, De! Love it! See? You ARE shiny, bright, new and wonderful! It’s been a really good year for you …

  3. Tiffany says:

    What a fantastic metaphor. You’re a wonderful person and an amazing writer!

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