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Leveraging Spring Energy for New

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was bursting with that spring energy that says, "Clean, fix, change!" Why don't I just paint those plantation shutters in my den white? First day of spring break two weeks ago and it was no break at all. My plantation shutters, then a sun-stained pine, have narrow slats and itsy-bitsy hardware. The kind of paint job that drives one to drink. It's really just like me to start a vacation with such an undertaking. And so I did. Halfway through, I was wanting to lie down, mildly woozy on 24 empty cans of white spray paint and still-imperfect shutters. But I dug deep and finished. I love, love, love, the result and as if on cue, God got me the unexpected bargain of the century on pretty coral-adorned curtains, fulfilling my vision. On this side of the project, I'm so glad I soldiered on and got 'er done. Home improvement can be like that. So can life.

Just as I hung the curtains, I got another brain child: I decided to paint my kitchen cabinets white and to replace all the hardware. Between Lowes and Amazon, I got the last of the supplies yesterday, scheduled Bill-the-handyman to affix the handles later in the week as a target, and am ready to go on the tasks I feel competent and inclined to do.

Or am I?

Having lingered in bed reading for an unusually long time this Palm Sunday morning, I just finished today's edition of Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper, an uplifting, reflective email. Today's note was about "A Whole New Normal" in which she talks about Holy Week as a prompt for a reset. After all, Easter is the ultimate new beginning.

Now, I have been saying all along that Covid and quarantine and unexpected deaths and civil unrest and wonky weather and bitter election contention and all that are prompts for a hard reset of the cosmic variety. Like Maria, I fear the illusion of any version of "normalcy" will prevent us from heeding the most urgent messages of the past twelve months, which bodes only for more lessons sooner or later. More opportunities to regroup or reboot.

Fact is, this notion that this past year signals the need for a shift in the cosmic consciousness is not novel. Many voices have been echoing the same themes over and over, from various worldviews and perspectives.

Anyway, I digress. Back to my kitchen.

So, as I mentally outlined my day this morning, I started to second-guess my plan to embark on the kitchen project, envisioning my cupboard barefaced and exposed for a full week while my kids and I paint. The general untidy-ness of home improvements underway, the at-once gentle and jarring yet promising chaos on the way to something fresh, new and good. I felt that rising anxiety in my belly and was resolving to bag the whole thing when I had the sporadic wisdom to pray.

Even after a long, long time on a spiritual path, I forget that I can consult The Handyman of the Universe with absolutely any question at all. He cares about every detail of my life.

And so I did.

YES! paint the kitchen cabinets, one step at a time. On the way, you'll enjoy the immediate gratification of painting, the empowerment of physical labor and tinkering that comes while wielding screwdriver, hammer and brush, the bonding pleasure of working alongside your sons, the affirmation of doing a lot of it alone as they peter out and head back to dad's. By Easter, you'll have a beautiful, bright new kitchen that you will absolutely love and it will all be done by the very day that Christ Himself offered all the world a fresh new beginning of the best kind, if only we'd just believe.