That's the response I usually get when I tell or show people the progress that we have made around the house.
"No...we didn't paint the WHOLE house," I say, but then I start counting...one..two...four...five rooms maybe. We didn't start off planning to do so many but it just seemed right because the colors did not feel like "home" and I did not know when I would have this uncluttered house again.
The response it often amazement at how much work was accomplished in just one week, and my response is always the same, "It took a village."
Fred with his basically professional painting skills, teaching me how to paint well as he moved his brush across my walls.
His wife and daughter coming in here and there to help us clean along the way.
Alison, fully pregnant, sitting on the laminate floors painting my bedroom trim as her 16 month old played happily around the room as we worked.
My parents flying across the Caribbean Sea, sacrificing their time and energies to help build a fence, paint more rooms, move furniture, iron clothes.
And I still I remember.
Aunt Bonnie showing up the day we got our key with balloons and flowers to just celebrate with us.
Uncle Ranny using his dry walling skills to patch and restore in his beautifully perfectionistic way.
Cousins arrived to paint my new walk-in closet, giving up hours of their afternoon, just because, and I cannot help but think of them every time.
Mom Mom and Aunt Bonnie bringing meals, wiping counters, washing dishes, feeding the army so busy hands would not have to stop or be distracted.
Sis painting all week and then shopping with me to find the loveliest bathroom decor to suit our taste and space.
Her man, giving of his skills to finalize and complete household projects and decor.
David and his girls coming for an evening and helping to paint.
Watching those 6 and 13 year old hands paint my walls, and something feels so right about it to my former children/youth pastor heart, that their love and efforts are poured into my office, where new dreams will be made and realized. And their dad, taking the time to smooth out their mistakes, and the process is seamless.
Greg bringing his landscaping tools and working with my love to freshen our new yard, and then traveling back and forth and back again to load the contents of our life onto his trailer to bring them to this abode that we now call home.
And as the week goes on, I feel overwhelmed, humbled, delighted, and amazed at the gifts given to me by these precious souls, who give expecting nothing in return, but simply as an act of love, rejoicing with us, together, in how God has placed a promise in our hands.
And if I am honest....I have been a bit discouraged and disillusioned with community over the past two years, withdrawing into my own hurt and pain for some reasons valid and for some protective, scared of letting go, reaching out, giving in to that vunerable place again.
And still they came...loving, giving, rejoicing, hoping, praying, believing, laughing, serving...
In the brokenness of my soul, I am finding community again.
Little by little.
Day by day.
Promise to promise.
As the veil opens to show me a glimpse of what is really there,
I see I have never truly EVER been alone.
Never been far apart from those who hold my heart to Jesus so often.
And I feel humbled with the revelation,
Moved by the raw humanity.