We live in a funny, sometimes stinky, little house. I love it, mostly.
My bedroom is super weird. It’s like 25 feet long, and it goes from being about 9 feet wide at one end, to about 14 feet wide at the other. All the electrical outlets are on one side of the room, and there are two overhead lights with switches about 12 feet apart. It’s funky.
Only two of the rooms have closets. And (you may remember) we converted the itty-bitty office space down stairs into a teeny-tiny bedroom for our terribly syndromed middle child. There’s no hot-water tank, no city sewage, no a/c, and the plumbing isn’t properly vented (which basically means that, on occasion, farts come out of the sink drains). Sometimes lightening arcs from the electric heaters to the metal window frames in the showers. And there’s no water-pressure on Saturdays because everyone in the neighborhood is doing laundry. The lights dim if anyone within three houses uses a power tool. Oh, and when the wind catches the tin roof it sounds like a train running through the living room - but that usually only happens in the middle of the night.
We pay $700 a month for this architectural masterpiece/olfactory deathtrap. Try not to be jealous.
By far though, the best, and most intriguing, part of the house is the downstairs half-bath - an obvious structural afterthought. Hidden behind a very narrow door is a potty so small that El Chupacabra cannot physically use it without either wedging his head tightly between his shoulder and the ceiling, or cramming his knees painfully against the wall. The “sink” is made from what I’m pretty sure is a tiny, shallow drinking fountain basin. And at the far end is another door, an even smaller door, that opens into a closet under the stairs.
This bathroom sees very little use. Mostly because it’s creepy and dark and it smells like mushrooms. But also, because I have a strict “No Pooping Downstairs!” rule. (I just really hate the idea of somebody taking a dump so close to the kitchen and, also, I think it’s rude to fill the main living area with your butt stench.)
Welcome...my door is always open. I know you can’t wait to drop by.
So, can I tell you something?
My life was an open book until I started writing a blog.
That’s ironic, right?
The thing is, I would still be happy to tell you everything. I like to think I have no secrets. I believe in living confessionally. And if you and I were to sit down and have coffee or whatever, I would spill. I would tell you about how and where and when I struggle, I would dish about depression, and how I suck as a Mom, and how my husband deserves a better wife. I would show you all my hurts the way a child shows off stitches, and I would tell you how I got so deeply wounded and about how and why the scab keeps coming off - but also how, albeit slowly, it is healing from the inside out.
I would also tell you how I’m growing and changing. How I’m learning more and more everyday what it means to be restored, healed, perfected. And if we were sitting across a dinner table, I wouldn’t be afraid to tell you about how my Spanish accent is pretty kick ass, or how I’m getting to be an awesome cook, or about any of the million minor triumphs that help get me through a day.
But what I write must be carefully weighed. And I hate that.
I hate that I worry about what will happen if our supporters don’t want to support missionaries who struggle with...*gasp*... sin. Or what if I write about my stupid little successes, and it’s interpreted as arrogance. What if being too open hurts my family because someone pulls their financial support.
Truth be told, my heart is just like this funny, sometimes stinky, little house. Full of janky rooms that make no sense. It’s messy, and unkempt, and the beds aren’t made. And there are no closets to hide junk in. And sometimes, quite frankly, it smells like farts, cause I carry a lot of crap around that I really ought not.
And then, one day, I became a missionary who writes a blog about her retarded life, and I added a room, like an afterthought, a skeleton sized closet, at the back of the bathroom, under the stairs. A place to stash the garbage that might be frowned upon, or misunderstood. A place to put things that I will only tell you when I can see your face.
Can I tell you something?
I believe, whole heartedly, that Jesus Christ, himself, wades knee deep in shit to save me.
Not that he did. But that he does. Because I am not yet wholly restored, I am not fully healed, and not nearly perfected.
Jesus doesn’t show up with a “No Pooping Downstairs!” rule. He doesn’t care how bad you stink up the place. He’s willing to stoop down and climb around in that scary dark closet, the one full of skeletons and secrets and all that junk you think is so awful.
Jesus will never walk away. Jesus can handle your crap. Jesus will never. pull. your. support.
All is well. No worries, there’s no sin here! We’re good. Real good! *wink wink*
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary)