When I had intended to write this post today; this first topic of conversation wasn’t in the plan. But I have a feeling there’s a purpose in this; I just can’t see the end result, yet. I can’t deny that someone out there likely needs to hear this, just as I did today.
I received a little unexpected text message this morning. It was from my dad with a simple message wrapped in hearts. What was this? And how did he even know what emoticons were? He was seriously 70. He was sending a message to my two older sisters and I about how beautiful his two youngest daughters are (from a new marriage) and how fast they’re growing and that he was wishing all of his girls a great weekend.
And then, something stirred up inside of me… I know this feeling. I had forgiven him.. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Maybe it was because the picture he sent was really beautiful. Looking at this picture now, I’m realizing that his youngest daughter Kaitlyn was the very age I was when my dad walked out the door and said he didn’t want any visitations or rights to see me beyond the age of 13. It just didn’t seem fair. And, something about that decision he made, if I were to be completely honest with myself, still stings. It was simple. He wanted to see me on his terms, which was rare, if at all.
And then, the voice of reason inside of me echoes, “I’m glad he’s finally getting it right… These girls deserve to have a dad that’s there.”
And even though, it doesn’t take away the fact that he left my sisters and I for the past twenty plus years, it’s my story. I’ve now lived more of my life not knowing my dad; versus him having an active role. And with that sense of peace I realize, I have forgiven him.. Why? Good question. Because I can’t expect perfection from an individual when I’m imperfect myself. The standard isn’t fair; and his mistake wasn’t my burden to bear. His job wasn’t to be the father I wanted him to be; he was the father God gave me to create the woman you see today. Strong. Disciplined. And one that always seeks to love those around me more than I’m loved in return. Which is really hard. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t always get it right. But it’s my aim and it’s what I’m called to do. Who did I learn it from, Ben and my Father in heaven.
Some of you may know this, but when this dream was planted in my heart long ago, I knew I wanted to make things beautiful. I didn’t know what that meant. But now, I can see it unraveling. It’s to help other women around me find their worth, accomplish their dreams and find the strength they always knew they had – to use it for good. Good for the world and for their families. Because that’s where the beginning starts for everyone, home. That’s why I’m here. Lately, I’ve been receiving more calls than ever before from women I love and admire. Asking for a sounding board to their life and helping them to carve a path to their dreams. And, I love it; I love everything about it. I love leading, inspiring and motivating others to live a life their called to while creating spaces we find rest in beautiful so we can have freedom to dream and live the life we were all meant to live.
So as for forgiveness goes, I have; however, it was evident today, it’s a journey. And if we’re not careful, our hearts can and will become callused if we’re not consistently seeking a source of strength and peace. For me, that’s God. He is my ultimate Father. And the wisdom from His presence, His peace and the Word has served me well and have given me clarity when I’ve needed it most.
If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with me. And, for allowing me to share a part of my story that’s made me exactly how I am today. I truly, have no regrets. On a lighter note, can we please chat about the events of the week already? Good! Welcome to week numero tres. 😉
As for the flip, I was totally stood up this week. Which should have told me that forgiveness would be my theme of the week. You’ll never believe it. Herminio. Yep, the very guy that carved a heart in our front yard. The price we agreed upon initially to paint the exterior wasn’t enough for him now. He wanted more. And, he just happened to decide this less than 24 hours before reporting to our job. Amazing. Let me tell you what I think happened. The guy gets up at 4AM to report to one job and then spent the remainder of his week painting for another random odd job. There’s no way you could pay me enough to perform at that rate. I even offered to give him 1/3 more pay! And he said no. “Eeeess no goood, Meleeesaahh.” What the flip. So, I went into problem solving Melissa and got another painter on the site within 24 hours and he completed the job a few days later. When there’s a will, there’s a way.
But seriously, I love it. I love everything about it. I love acting like I’m a chick that could care less what these contractors do – just get it done. I give them the self autonomy to do their job without being a helicopter manager. These people are adults. And if they get the job done, I pay cash that day. All day. And if they do a phenomenal job, I bring dinner to them of their choice. I seriously love blessing them!! That’s what this is about – being a blessing and giving and loving more than anyone ever expects.
I also love pretending that I’m some amazing HGTV chick that knows what they’re doing. Discovering three rotted two by tens by the entry of the front door from years of water leakage in high heels – no sweat. But seriously, how do we fix this? So, I nonchalently bring our contractor over to the area. What do you think about this situation, it’ll be cool, right? “Melissa, you HAVE to replace all of these two by ten’s.” Ahhh, Ben’s going to freak if I add another item to his list. I asked him to name his price – and he did. All I see is money flying out the door but I seriously have faith that God is going to bless one amazing family with this home. Which makes me think, I should totally make a “Welcome” sign for them. I’ll get on that next month. 😉
So as for week three, I’ve been dealt two opportunities to choose forgiveness, one STAT move to get a painter on site in three days to stay on track, selected paint colors and scheduled the paint crew for the interior, chose our new flooring throughout the entire house, hired two install crews, ordered appliances for delivery, shiplapped a ceiling, picked up the remaining cabinetry, vacuumed sawdust from subfloor, (yes, I’m crazy) and taught my daughters a lesson in helping mama and daddy to create a home for another family. They played “trash girl” and “sweeper girl” and loved it.
***Side note, Kennedy totally thought we were moving. And it didn’t even occur to me until she said this morning, “Mama, I love our house. I don’t want to move to the other house.” “Baby, we’re not moving! We’re making this house a home for another family. Does that make sense? We’re helping someone do things they can’t do. That’s what we do. Do you understand?” And she smiled and gave me a nod from the back seat. She seriously has my heart.
But you want the truth, I would be lying if I said this were easy.. But it’s totally worth it. God didn’t give Ben and I this gift to store it up and let it rot away. I often think of our design work and the parable of the talents. We’re finally putting our talents to use on our terms and it feels so good. Often times, with residential projects I want to run in a direction – but I can’t. I was bound to the homeowner and bringing their vision to life. Which served a beautiful season; but now, we’re onto a new chapter. One where we write the story. I can’t lie, this chapter is exhausting. Most nights, I’m running from one job to the next and Ben has gone 72 hours without seeing the girls. But this first project is full of lessons learned and is short term sacrifice for something long term that I know will be amazing.
So, thanks to all of our sweet, kind, amazing friends and family that continue to pour encouragement into this journey and our family. We love you. May you always, always know how much we appreciate you. Even if our embraces can’t be met today. Soon!!
Love You All,