Right now we are working on a major house renovation. When we first decided to do this, Derek would tell people that it was a major renovation, and I would wave my hand at that statement. It's not major. It's just new paint, new trim, and new floors. Not a big deal at all. So thinks someone who has never actually done a major house renovation. Because those three things are definitely major.
We are still stuck on the first stage of the process. There are piles of paint cans all over my downstairs living room. I have changed my mind on paint colors more times than I care to admit, as evidenced by several full cans that we never ended up using. I tell myself it is all part of the process, but to be honest, I feel guilty about the wasted time and money. I have repainted almost the entire house, and I am really just starting to despise latex paint. I hate the smell of it, I hate the texture of it. I want to finish already so I can throw out that pile of cans cluttering up my floor.
So on Easter morning, I woke up tired after a long, rough project day on Saturday, and our morning was a little grumpier than I would have liked as we got ready to go to church. We enjoyed the service, and met up with Derek's parents for lunch out. The kids were adorably cute in their Easter clothes, and loudly proclaimed that "Jesus rose again!" when we asked them what happened on Easter.
"I am just so excited about hunting for Easter eggs after nap, Mama," Wyatt told me several times from the back seat. And we did have a lovely time opening Easter baskets at home. The kids loved all the simple goodies I packed into that plastic green grass. Clarice grabbed onto her basket and seemed fascinated with it, even though she isn't even sitting on her own yet, and Gwen didn't want to change out of her Easter dress. Watt ran around our house with happy eyes and dimpled cheeks, spotting all the eggs. Clyde threw hard boiled eggs into the basket every time he found one, breaking several in the process but also making us laugh.
I should have let the good day flow into a relaxed evening, but I am pretty much the world's fastest painter (ask anyone in my family), and I was pretty sure I could get that last room painted in the two hours before the kids' bedtimes. I talked Derek into moving Gwen's furniture, cracked open a lid of light mint paint, and even had Derek snap a couple pictures of our painting setup, which Clarice seemed to think was great fun. He taped the ceiling, and I started banishing that old dark beige.
"Oh no, Mama, the paint spilled."
I whipped around, with wide eyes. I rounded the corner and saw that nice light mint color spread out into a big, shiny dot on the carpet. Somehow it reminded me of some sort of Easter candy monster in that moment, the size of a car tire. Like a very large candy button that wasn't going to peel off.
An eruption ensued of which I will spare you the details, but it wasn't pretty. Derek and I were frantically running around the house trying to figure out how to fix this. What had just happened?! All I could think about was how we'd have to replace the carpet now and how our tight budget was going to get more messed up, when my temporary brain fog cleared enough for me to register that my four sweet ones were all crying. I was still too frantic to slow down much, until I heard Wyatt say through tears, "Easter is ruined!"
And my heart melted right then. It has always been oddly important to me to have holidays that are as perfect as possible, and I have a tendency to let hiccups in the perfection of a special day ruin the entire thing for me. It's not something I wanted to pass on to my children.
The truth is, all the big holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter, they aren't really about having the "perfect" day with family and friends. Thanksgiving is about thanking God for our blessings. Christmas is about celebrating that Jesus was born a man so He could die to save us. And Easter is about the hope that we have because He rose again. And all of things point to God's glorious grace in forgiving us and saving us when we ask Him. It's the thing that gives all those holidays the deepest meaning, and so those occasional disasters? Maybe we need to not let them ruin the day.
Maybe we need to remember to extend that forgiveness and hope we celebrate and let it cover the holiday disasters too.
So I stopped. And I asked my sweet kids to forgive me for freaking out at them. I pulled out their last Easter surprise, The Peanuts Movie, and we popped it in the DVD player while they ate Easter candy and boiled eggs for dinner. I painted most of the room with the half gallon of paint we had left, while Derek determined that he was going to get the paint out of the carpet.
I told him to just give up on it, it was beyond saving, but he pulled out every stain cleaner we had and scrubbed. By the time he was done a pile of our white towels lay limp on the floor, covered in paint, but you could barely see the stain anymore.
It wasn't the ideal way to spend our Easter evening, but on a day when we were celebrating being redeemed by the blood of Jesus, it seemed fitting that it wasn't perfect. I so don't have it all together. I get enough encouraging comments from people who think I do, but I don't at all. I'm a big ole mess. But that's why I need Him. Someday I'll stand faultless before His thrown not because of what I did, but because of what He did for me. He has saved me, He forgives me when I ask, and just like Derek stubbornly worked at that stain until it was clean, Jesus doesn't give up on me either. I am a work in progress, but He is sanctifying me, and sometimes He uses spilled paint and ruined holidays to do it.
I hope your Resurrection Day was a lot cleaner and more relaxing than mine, friends! But if it wasn't, do tell. It's always nice to know that you aren't the only one to have holiday disasters!