Our Home Sweet Home.
Today we went and flea bombed the house for the second time to try and get rid of fleas from the previous owners dog. We finally succeeded, got in all armed with cleaning supplies filled with hope and anticipation, ready to tackle what was ahead. It took all of about 5 minutes for me to assess the situation and feel completely overwhelmed. The first time I walked through the house I wasn't looking at the dirt and the details. I was looking at the overall potential of the house. I sat on the floor with Clorox wipes and cleaning supplies, face to face with the layers of dirt that had come from years of neglect. I suddenly was upset, angry that people had let it get this point. I was frustrated that I was having to deal with the effects of a situation I did not cause. As I looked from floor to ceiling, room to room, the dust and dirty walls seems to be all I could see. It was bad....it was nasty. That's when I told myself to snap out of it and remember WHY we were doing the cleaning and started to imagine the rooms filled with people, love and laughter. The perspective of potential returned. However, after only cleaning one room for an hour and a half and only getting half of it done, I realized there was no way it would happen with no help. So...I will be scheduling a work day because if several people or groups will come together for a few hours and divide and conquer, it will happen faster and it will be a community project that everyone is invested in.
I decided that I needed to call it a day and create a team approach. As soon as I got in the car my eyes started to fill with tears. I was overwhelmed with joy in all God was doing. I was overwhelmed with exhaustion. I was overwhelmed with all that was ahead on this journey but I couldn't shake the thought of potential.
I said to Glenn....."Getting this house ready, makes me think of the kids we will work with."
We do what we do working with at-risk youth because many of them don't see their own potential and sometimes the people around them don't see it either. Just as a potential renter could walk in our house, turn around and walk out because of the work to be done, there are many youth out there who experience that same scenario with people in their life. Maybe they do it to themselves. Maybe the amount of work to repair a relationship, try harder in school or even have hopes or dreams for their future feels overwhelming. Maybe some of it isn't their fault. Bad decisions of others may affect their current circumstance and they may be angry that they are having to deal with the stuff that comes from it. There could be situations where the odds just seem to be against them so why even try? The problem....the lack of the "potential" perspective. That's where we come in.
We want to try and help youth and individuals in the community re-frame their perspective. We want to ask the questions of "What If? How? Why?" We need help people understand that sometimes if you put in the work and the effort and slowly clean off the obstacles and fear layer by layer...there just may be a sparkling baseboard underneath. Just as I have to choose to see our house with a certain potential perspective, individuals need to learn the power of choice. We all have one. We may not be able to change yesterday, but we can choose which perspective with which to view tomorrow. It helps to have a team of people around you telling you that and standing with you on the days when it all just feels a little overwhelming.
I'm praying that God will continue to speak to me through dirty base boards and cobwebs in the days ahead. I made a mental snap shot today of the perspective I had on a dirty floor so I would appreciate even more the joy that would come when everything was clean, painted and filled with warmth. Those walls hold so much potential on so many levels...but we need a team to make it possible.