We’ve got this room in our house. It’s basically a garage, but it’s not the garage. Our two-car garage houses two cars, and little else, but that’s because instead of having an attic or garage full of “stuff,” we have this room.
For a brief, glorious moment in history, it was a semi-decent guest room. My aunt stayed with us once, and our friends Justin and Alicia. Shortly thereafter, it began its career as the junk room. I’ve tried, over the years, to redeem this room. I made it the school room once, but we preferred working at the kitchen table.
So it went back to looking something like this…
You can see here I was trying to redeem this and make it a Pinterest-like “mom space.” (I failed.)
Time after time, it has served as a dumping ground for all the stuff we don’t know what to do with. It’s an eye-sore, it’s an embarrassment, it’s a total waste of space.
My husband has been attempting to surprise me for our anniversary/Christmas.
I hate surprises. Truly hate them. If you tell me, “I have a surprise for you!” I instantly hate you. On the spot. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I eventually get over it, but I do hate you for a little while. It’s far better to keep a surprise a true surprise, meaning I have no clue whatsoever that you are planning something, then you just give it to me. There’s no hatred there.
So he’s been scheming something for the past week, or probably longer.
With a generous gift card, I bought myself a desk, chair, lamp, and a pack of my favorite journals and pens. I set myself up a writing space. It tucked into the corner of the junk room and it was just for me. I loved it. I Instagrammed it. I enjoyed that space for three glorious days. And then my husband kicked me out. He said he wanted to paint the room for me. Ok, that’s sweet, but I really wish I could just enjoy my space. We’re great at starting projects, but terrible at finishing them, so I had visions of my space being in a constant state of disrepair and never getting to enjoy it.
Turns out, he’s doing much more than painting it.
He scraped down the popcorn ceiling (all hail the 1980’s!!), ripped up the carpet, and will be retexturing the ceiling, laying down wood floors, changing out the ceiling fan, painting the room, adding shelves, and giving me the reading room of my dreams.
Why do I know all this, if it was meant to be a surprise? Well, see above, re: I HATE SURPRISES. After he left the house one night this week, almost immediately after getting home from work, missing dinner and leaving me alone at the end of a long, stressful homework day, I was mad. I knew his leaving had something to do with a surprise- a surprise I already knew was lingering in the closet of “my room,” and I was so mad about it.
Yes, I’m a peach to be married to.
He came home from his mystery errand and I was silently fuming. I was quizzing my son for his history test the next day, which gave me the perfect opportunity to give my (sweetly, thoughtfully scheming) husband the silent treatment and to shoot flaming daggers out of my eyes and at his head. He asked if we could talk. I stubbornly shrugged my shoulders, “whatever.”
Peach, I tell you.
He knew why I was upset. He knows me. (And strangely enough, he loves me.) He told me that he wanted to tell me the surprise because he was at a point of no return and really had no physical way of keeping things a secret any longer. He had a large, comfy chair that he had just purchased off of Craigslist and he had no way of sneaking it into the house and nowhere to hide it from me. So he revealed the entire plan to me.
He’s giving me this room, complete with a lock on the door (!!!!) because in all of our time together, I’ve never asked for anything else. I’ve never dreamed of anything else. I’ve never come up with anything else that I’m passionate about. So he’s giving me the space (a lovely, lovely multi-faceted word that our counselor uses) to explore and enjoy that passion.
I wanted a corner. I wanted a functional, practical, beautiful corner of our junk room to make my own. It would do. It was good enough. But he wants to bless me. He wants to pamper me. He wants to give me more than I deserve because of his love for me.
He’s always doing that. Always picturing the gospel for me, showing me grace and love that I don’t deserve and don’t have to earn. Giving me grace and love because he loves me too much not to.