It’s been a whirlwind of activity around here for the past month, getting the house ready to sell. I long for the good ol’ days when you simply put a sign in the front yard. Nowadays so much more is involved. (I blame HGTV for 98% of it. Can we all just acknowledge that we’re setting the standards a tad high?) We worked hard on the place, have a wonderful house to offer and found an excellent agent. We have reason to believe this will sell very, very quickly.
Let’s take a moment of appreciation and look at this beautiful piece of property.
But that is not the point. No one really cares about the details of real estate transactions. Yet this is why you keep coming back to read my silly words, because I find deeper meaning in real estate. It’s a gift. Ha! A curse, really.
Folks in these parts are into staging their homes for selling purposes. Apparently this is not just a thing on TV, but it really happens. My realtor actually employs stagers to come into my already-nice home and make it even more inviting. They were here for less than 2 hours pushing couches around and stacking books. JJ and I sat down the night we took pictures and vowed to “stage” our next home when we moved in because it looks so gorgeous right now. With curtains! And it’s clean! (Thanks again, Marj.) Forget “live like you were dying.” Decorate like you’re moving, I say.
These ladies helped put on the finishing touches. I was a pretty easy case for them because the real work came a month before, when I invited my friend Abby over to lend her expertise. Ok, actually I may have frantically texted her when I had peeled all the wallpaper off our bathroom and had zero plan for what color to paint it. The next day she arrived, feeling under the weather, but with her color wheel and notebook.
We walked our entire house. Which rooms needed fresh paint. Which hardware needed replaced. For the love of heaven, Michele, go buy some curtains. She didn’t say it that way, but she should have. Take down these pieces, put up those. Art. Oh, the art. I need people in my life that love and find good art. Even Ikea “art”. I’m in total love with what we found for $40 and it’s so us.
Then, after the sweaty work was done*, she came back. Let’s hang these pieces here and those there. She brought boxes – boxes! – of her own stuff to hang on my naked walls. She didn’t haphazardly hang them based on the obnoxiously large screws already in the wall – she placed them because of things like lines, and where your eyes move about the room, and natural light.
Abby presented me a vision for my home. This is what it could be, Michele. She saw the beauty of what we already had and enhanced it with a few changes. Updates. While what we had was good, she gave us something better to consider.
Friends, this is how the prophetic Church could (and perhaps should?) operate. We don’t have to be a life-in-crisis place in the world. People might be quite content with their furniture arranged around the peripheral of the walls, but that’s because they never thought to turn the couch a different way. Perhaps people are content with their going-to-work, baseball-coaching, grocery-getting lives, but perhaps they’ve never thought to arrange their lives in such a way that those very same “couches” suddenly provide more beauty. A teacher once told me, it’s not what you do, it’s what you do with what you do.
May we become people who help others stage their lives, not just for the selling – at the point of crisis or major decision – but for the living. For the enjoyment of it, all of the days. May we help others invite beauty in to their homes and their lives.
And may we also become people who seek that from others. I cannot imagine what my home would look like had I not asked for Abby’s color wheel (and then admitted that I actually just wanted her to pick out all the colors). May we surround ourselves with people who live beautifully and share their wisdom. May we allow them into our homes and lives and give them freedom to make suggestions, not because they have it perfectly figured out but because they’re willing to try some rearranging with us.
*Tip of the hat to my father-in-law for the manual labor assistance