Thankful: A Playful Change of Pace

I haven’t blogged for a long time. Between sewing a duvet and throw pillows for my baby girl’s big girl bed, falling ill with the “five-day-flu” and starting work on the playroom at Dixon house, life has been busy. It is my work at Dixon house (the safe house I am a part of re-decorating- see “Beauty for the Ravaged Soul Part 1 and Part 2), that brings me back to the keyboard.

The past three years I have spent the majority of my days chasing children around the house. It is difficult, rewarding, and at times, tediously repetitive. However, in this past week, thanks to the child-care given by my wonderful friends and family, I have been able to spend the majority of my time working at the house. Devoting my days to  sanding, painting, cleaning and planning has been exhilarating. The hours fly by and at the end of each day I see tangible results. As I’m sure most moms can relate, the results of mothering are often unpredictable and take years to reveal themselves. It is a lovely change.

I am enjoying this change of pace but it also makes me thankful for the life I have. Though laughter rings throughout the hallways of this home, and the women display amazing fortitude, it is hard to forget why these families are in need of a safe house. They have been hurt. I saw this today in a way that broke my heart. When speaking to a sweet 4-year-old girl at the house I moved a bit closer because I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Her reaction was to start in fear and move farther away from me. I don’t want to dwell too deeply on what abuse she may have seen or experienced in the past to cause this reaction (the tears are too close already), but I do want to pause to be thankful. Thankful for my gentle, loving husband, and thankful for the sense of security and safety that he provides for my children and I.

I am also thankful that in some small way I have been given an opportunity to help. I am not a social worker or a psychologist, a therapist or a child care worker, but I can do something for the children at this home. By working to create a playroom which is fresh and bright (and full of new toys to boot), I can help to boost their spirits and give them a place to lay aside the pain of the past and simply enjoy being children. What a gift it is to be a part of making their surroundings more beautiful. I can’t wait until they see it.

I also can’t wait to share the results with you. We are hoping to have all the finishing touches in place by the end of this next week and I’ll be posting some pics of the process and the final product. For now, here is a picture of how it looked before to give you an idea of how badly it needs this makeover:

playroombefore2 playroom before

 

 

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