Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Different Perspective

We are currently vacationing in New York, having done a house-swap with friends of ours. Their family of four, plus two dogs and a best friend, are enjoying our little farm up North, while the three of us are enjoying their Manhattan condo.  It's a pretty sweet deal.
While getting ready to leave, I did all the Wife/Mom worry things, like stress about which clothes to pack (what if it's hot? what if it's cold? what if we go to a fancy dinner? what if we lie down in the park?), making sure the vegetable garden was fully protected from cabbage loopers and potato beetles, and laying soaker hose, checking on greenhouse, checking on chickens, checking on... well, everything.  I got to the point where I would actually wake up in the middle of the night, asking them to give the chickens fresh water.

I know.

The other day I was scrolling through their facebook to see if they had posted any photos of their fun, praying inside that they were having fun. Because I need to be the perfect hostess from 7 hours away. And this is what I saw.

That there? That is my barn. See the ramps hanging from the door? See the soaker hose hanging from the rafters? See the broken wheelbarrow, the extra tire, the pile of pots,  the pool rafts on top of the broken trailer, the canoe hanging, the bikes, the tools hanging, the air hose dangling above their heads.

My barn needs to be cleaned out. There are remnants of barn swallow nests, bugs, the pots...everything needs to be organized and off the floor so we can park in there again.  How could they possibly be singing and making music in my barn? IN THE BARN?  Ew.

I had no idea why they were singing in my barn. It's a barn. A dirty, smelly, hot, stuff barn.

This photo was accompanied by a 15 second video of them singing an original song, that I am assuming they wrote. All three of them love GOD.  Mandy on the left, is the children's minister, studying more theology and she's brilliant. Jim in the middle is an associate pastor downtown. Or in East Village. Andy is a freelance editor (who incidentally, picked up my novel) who runs the home and their two gorgeous kids.  They are singing to GOD. In my dilapidated, dirty, messy barn.

So I looked again.

Look at how beautiful my barn looks!  It looks rustic, unique, wonderful.  See the old, wide barn boards? The canoe that we take on trips, the extra soaker hose because I want another greenhouse, the pool toys because we love our pool, the pots because I get to grow my own vegetables. The tools because my husband builds me things, the rafters filled with memories that are before my time.  What a beautiful barn. Of course they'd want to sing in it.

Today I am headed to the Museum of Natural History. I have been there a few times already. We are going there because it is hot out and they have air conditioning. My child will be folding origami and leaving it behind at various displays.  To wonder at the marvelous creatures that GOD has created.  Today I will look at the museum with fresh eyes, with a child's eyes, because then maybe I can get my book finished.

I purposefully packed my old writing, so that I could work on it. And today I will look at my writing with a new perspective, a different perspective, and be able to pick out what stays and what goes.

Also? I've been feeling like that dilapidated barn.  Too much stuff going on and I'm starting to fall apart.

But my goodness, I am lovely.

Jenn Kelly is an author.  She hopes that when you look in the mirror, that you see how lovely you are. Because you are. Regardless of how messy your barn might look.

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