When Saturday came, so did the carpenter who was building our “Trek deck.”  Our other deck had rotted, so we we’re replacing it with the material that would never rot-because my husband had always told me “we will never move.”

Something else was being replaced that day as well (my heart) but I didn’t know it …yet.

I could take it no longer.  I had to go and get a big soda…and purge myself of the guilt I now felt for being so deceitful before God.  I knew my friends had been praying because the Holy Spirit seemed to be as prompting me too, just as they were.  I ran up to my husband and said, “I’ll be right back.”

“You’re leaving now?”  He looked at me perplexed.  “The carpenter just got here!”

“What about the kids?”

I had the keys in my hand and was already halfway down the driveway.

“Hurry back!” he muttered.

Hurry was the operative word.  There was a kind of urgency that seemed like none other I’d felt before.  Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why it was so important for me to let go…but I needed to do it-even if I was going to feel the pain in my heart as I did it.

With a 64-ounce Diet Coke in hand, and my van parked in front of the Holiday station…I gave God my whole heart.  Here’s what I said:

“I know what’s in my alabaster bottle God…and I’m sorry I haven’t given it to you sooner.  It’s just that I have been given so much and to ask you for more- seems wrong.  But now I see that to keep my heart from you- is what’s wrong … Forgive me for hiding.  Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted an old house – and I don’t know why.  But today I’m giving that dream to you.  You can have it and I will do my best not to take it back.  So here it is God… My friends said, be specific:  so, here’s my specific desires:

My husband hates change, and he says we are never moving…but if I ever did have an old house it would need to make my husband happy, or he would never move.  You see God…Mark was a forester, and trees are so important to him. When he was a little boy, he had a big yard.  Currently we hardly have a yard at all.  So, if I ever did have an oldhouse, It would have to have a big yard with mature trees for him to enjoy looking at. (And of course, a deck) And worse, since we currently live across from an open space and down the street from the beach, it would need to be near the lake without neighbors too closely by. Unfortunately, old homes seldom have big yards.  I’m reminded of my husband’s garage- a 2 car garage- And I know Lord old homes seldom have that.  But Lord he loves that space.

Lord, unfortunately, if I ever did have and old house, the house would need to be completely updated.  You see my husband is not a carpenter- and we can’t afford repairs…so it would have to have mostly new windows, aluminum siding, a newer roof.  Because he and my children currently enjoy a family room, somehow, it would have to have a finished basement…which also rarely happens in old homes.  And I’m afraid of old basements God…so it would need to bright-and not musty.  And worse, if I ever did have an old house, our split-level home has an office in it…and Mark loves his own space.  I could never take that from him.  And harder still, we cannot afford an upgrade on one income, so somehow, we would need to have a home in the same price bracket.

Lord God.  My Children hate change.  So, if I ever did have an old house, we couldn’t go far.  My children love their school.  It would need to be in the township, so that they didn’t have to lose the friends they love.  My son Daniel would love to sleep upstairs, instead of in the basement, so it would need to have three bedrooms up so we could all be together.  Also, God, my children are notoriously messy with their shoes and boots when they come in the door.  So, if I ever did have an old house, it would need to have a mud room-so that I wouldn’t always yell at them when they come in from outside.

And as for the neighborhood, it would need a park in it, just like the park where all the kids play in this neighborhood.  My kids love to do bike jumps, and long to play football in their very own yard.  So, if it could have space to run and play…they would love that.

And as for me, Lord.  If I ever did have an old house, I have always dreamed of one with a porch-just big enough for my porch furniture.  And God, I’m an artist with A.D.D. and I could never have the patience to strip layers of old wallpaper off- so if it could have white walls for me to paint upon I would love that.. I also love dogs, but I hate keeping carpet clean, so if it could have hard wood floors in the living room, hard wood floors in the dining room that would be perfect.  And Lord, I have always dreamed of having a large eat in kitchen.  Most old homes never have large kitchens, but…I would love a kitchen with a wooden floor-large enough for company.

And so it went…I prayed systematically through every secret desire of my heart.  As I did so, I felt strange…and wicked.  I never prayed expecting an answer.  I didn’t think of God as a genie in a bottle, or some sort of spiritual Santa Claus- Frankly, I was afraid I was insulting Him with an ungrateful heart.   I simply wanted to give Him the desires of my heart- and since I didn’t know any better…and my friends had said to be specific- I was.  I was trying to be obedient.  And as best as I could figure…once the purging was done, I could faithfully say I did it.  I gave God my heart…and now there was nothing left to hide. (At least on that day.)  “O.K. Lord,” I said, “I did it! Have you ever been completely transparent with God? Have you dared to give to Him your dreams and place them safely in His hands? Watch and see what happened when I did.

To be continued…