“You have memories on this day!”

I’d meant to get Timehop, but never really got around to it, then Facebook started doing it for me and every day I’m delighted by antics of my children’s younger selves and embarrassed by the drivel produced by the 2008 version of me, back when statuses were generally in third person and “is really tired” was mine. (Side rant, this is not where I talk about how 25-year-old me was kidless and thus did not understand “really tired.” That girl worked hard and slept very little.)

On this particular morning, Facebook also reminded me of this post I’d shared a couple years ago. From that one time my kid treated me like a servant in the middle of the night and I got all bent out of shape. (I’ve seen it attributed to various people, but “The way to know whether you have a servant’s heart is how you react when you’re treated like one” or some version of it applies here… My heart was not where it needed to be.)

Usually, I just skip past my blog posts. I wrote them, after all—it seems a little vain to read them again. This time, I clicked.

I may have written those words, but I needed to read them again, because they’re far from internalized.

I’m often not quite sure what to do about how much earlier versions of myself have to offer me now (2008 “really tired” Robin excepted). It’s frustrating to me that I need to learn these lessons so thoroughly… over and over again. Have I made no progress???

The verse that comes to mind now is Romans 12:2-

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The tiniest bit of research reveals that the word for “transformed” is in the present imperative second-person plural form, so it’s something we are all to be doing. I would like my mind to be renewed once and stay that way. But the same research says “renewing” can also be translated “renovating” which hits home this week. (The kitchen part of my home, to be specific.) Renovation isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing, apparently.

When I made my well-thought-out trip to Lowe’s last Friday night, I spent about fifteen seconds picking a cabinet color (“Morning Fog,” which is the best possible kitchen color name) and less than that making a possibly foolish choice. “Tell you what, girls. If you can agree, you can pick any color you want for the insides of the lower cabinets.” Robust Pink could also be called Pepto Bismol pink, but they picked it.

My cabinets are dark brown. They have been dark brown since the year my parents were married, which happens to be the year the house was built. It complements the bright orange countertops and orange-and-harvest-gold linoleum perfectly. But dark brown was not chosen with repainting in mind. I threw on one coat of Robust Pink after another on Saturday. And, yes, it was frustrating to keep seeing shadows of the almost-black peeking through all that 5-symptom relief Pepto Bismol.

But was the second coat a waste of time? The third? (I’ve since discovered primer, by the way. Life-changing.) Obviously no. Without the second and third coats, the first would have been a waste of time. Worse, actually, because crappily-painted pink-over-dark-brown is worse than the starting dark brown.

So as I keep learning and relearning the same lessons and being taught and convicted by my own words in years past, maybe it’s not a lack of progress. Yes, it’s frustrating to cover the same ground over and over. It’s work. I’d rather use primer (to stretch a metaphor to breaking). But as I haven’t stumbled upon Kilz: Heavy Duty Soul/Mind at Lowe’s, I’ll keep putting the layers down until everything is fully transformed. Made new.

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This post is part of my series, 31 days of speaking the truth. You can find the whole list of them here on the first post of the series.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for KindredMom.com where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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