Martin Luther King Jr. inspired the world by saÿing, ‘I have a dream.’
All it takes to strike fear in my beloved’s heart is for me to wave my hand across the landscape of our home and the words ‘I have an idea’ cross the threshold of my lips.
His eyes bug, and he vows for the 50 zillionth time to block HGTV.
He knows what’s coming. Or maybe that’s the rub–he has no idea what to expect. Of course, when it comes home improvement we make decisions together, but sometimes a wild hair sneaks up…
Like that first coat of my dream color ‘Red Hot’ for the kitchen. It looked Pepto Bismol pink. Cliff’s eyebrow raised questionably. “Trust me.”I spouted confidently, ‘it takes a few coats to deepen it.” He cringed, closed his eyes and retreated to the family room.
I release a ragged sigh. Would it really? I had crazily laid a bet on a heavily moustached Walmart paint barista and spun a blood-colored dab bubbled on the can’s lid. After three coats, I hit red and won.
The crown jewel of a scavenging trip found its way into our kitchen. Cliff eyed the wooden pig feeder and reminded me that it was ‘haul-off week instead of haul-in week.’
“But check out the cool ad on the side,” I campaigned. He groaned. Maybe I had ventured too far into the land of tacky, but it worked so brilliantly as quirky plant stand.
Stripping paint from goreous oak built-in cabinets gave Cliff the she’s-gonna-blow-up-the-house ulcers. Oh, What a long-suffering job! Convinced that it was almost as big a task as the Hurricane Katrina clean up, I mused as to why in the world I attempted it. The hidden glow of golden wood kept us both from halting in mid-strip.
Cliff wasn’t home when Daughter #3 melted down from Daughter #1 and #2 having the audacity to abandon her as they embarked on college together. Mom mode thrust into full-gear. “We’ll show them! Your new room is getting a make-over!” Cliff walked into the buzz of a saw and a massacred headboard, amongst yet another paint extravaganza. (Years later he moved the bed, and was not impressed that it was held together with knotted ropes. We’d sawed the headboard’s function right in half.)
He shrugged off the artistic bright green vines with vibrant blooms that snake down the stairway to our creepy basement. And, the day I drove up with our car’s trunk about to drag the ground, loaded to the max with ceramic floor tile, he straddled the line between impressed and terrified. But I had warned him of my grand intentions. “If this works, my next masterpiece will be a mosaic of the Last Supper on our bathroom floor,” I bluffed. Every hair on his head paled as white a DaVinci’s beard.
For years, I have been so fixated on what I think is wonderful and exciting, that I thought nothing of thrusting a paint scraper in the air and yelling, “Charge!” without realizing that Cliff might really like to be a part of the next decorating adventure. I needed to embrace his interest, so that we could become the next decorating cute couple to putty up the scene.
Then came the first of the year. The simple act of excavating the unrevealed treasures in my mom’s cedar chest morphed into converting it into a file cabinet. That project nudged me to purge the office, in turn leading to freshening the walls with a coat of my signature muted bluey-greeny-gray that I personally mixed in my basement paint lab. Before I even realized it, a make-over project had sprung to life. When Cliff ventured in from work, I froze like a shoplifter in Lowe’s.
Cliff took one gander and said, “That’s kind of wild, isn’t it?”
“The room used to be orange!” I exclaimed. “Since when is blue wild?” Did Mr. My-Favorite-Color-is-Tan really hate it? His reaction befuddled me. Even my muted ideas, he felt left out of.
This weekend we are off to buy supplies to begin revamping a bathroom. I took note that the first thing he asked wasn’t what kind of vanity or shower stall we should purchase, but “what color do you think we should go with?”
Honoring husbands in the seemingly minor things is easy to blow past, but is truly as monumental as Ty Pennington’s enthusiasm in the most meticulous of extreme make-overs. “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Then,”17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” Colossians 3:14-15, 17-18. Oh, the irony of where this last verse falls!
The temptation will constantly lurk, luring me to do my own thing in the spur of the moment. Despite the big bathroom project simmering, I currently fight niggles of desire to rip up the worn-to-shreds living room carpet the instant I discovered oak flooring peeking from under a vent cover. An invitation lays on the counter for when Cliff gets home–big bow tied around a shiny crowbar, destined to rip into an adventure of redemption together.