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Everyday life goes on.

But sometimes, like yesterday, I barely limp along.  Here’s the countdown:  3 loads of laundry; 2 meals; 1 load of dishes.  And an everlasting research project on which gas logs to purchase for my sister’s soon-to-be-lovely house.

It makes me wonder where I would be without my sister’s house, where I’ve devoted so much of my time since Daddy died.  Her renovation project keeps me going; it provides me an a creative outlet for ‘making all things new.’  Today’s trip will make four for the week.

Much of the work is messy.  Stripping old wallpaper, that has hung around so long that its become part of the wall, is in the running for ‘least favored job’.  It certainly takes the most time…the most patience to subdue.

But worse still, is removing the popcorn texture from the ceiling.   More than half-finished, by now we have the process well-defined.   We wet.  We scrape.  Then instant gratification:  we are rewarded as the rejected popcorn rains down upon us.

It lands everywhere with a wet mournful thud.  Before it’s all said and gone, we are covered with parasitic popcorn.  Small consolation that it is, our hair is protected by shower caps that we sport while undertaking the messy chore.   But no matter how carefully we cover the floor — whether it be with newspaper or old sheets or plastic drop clothes  —  cleaning up the remains still takes as long as the stripping.

If the result weren’t so satisfying, I’m not sure we wouldn’t have stopped with the first room.   But oh… the difference the missing popcorn makes!  The rooms seem larger, the ceiling height more spacious.  Our popcorn removal has been the most dramatic transformation thus far.

My sister and I laugh about how anyone (in their right mind) could have once regarded popcorn as a lovely texture.  Was it just one of those things that didn’t receive much thought, because everyone was doing it?  I can almost hear my mother saying, “If Billy and Julie were to jump off a cliff, would you jump too?” But to give credit where credit is due, popcorn texture lasted much longer than its swinging sixties cousins — does anyone remember shag carpeting and mirror wall and ceiling tiles?

And my favorite job?  Well… that would be painting — tinting the walls whatever lovely shade my sister has selected.  And today, I’m applying my second coat of finish paint to the kitchen.

Today, with a paintbrush in my hand, life will not be limp.  With a paintbrush in my hand, the walls and ceilings will take on new life.  The old will pass away.  With paintbrush in hand, God will be uppermost in my mind.  Those words from Revelations 21 will come to life, as in the presence of God, I will be “making all things new.”

With no need of kneelers or candles, with no need of bowed head or closed eyes, today I will be praying with paint and popcorn.

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