A Little Skin in the Game

Today Kelsey and I literally tore up her kitchen. She chiseled away at the layers of plywood and linoleum (2 different kinds!) to uncover a beautiful hardwood floor, which they will have professionally refinished. It will be gorgeous. I chiseled through layers of plaster, 2 kinds of wallpaper (one a cool antique pattern), and cement (yes, cement) to uncover a beautiful brick chimney that will be a focal point in the kitchen.

We made a real mess today. But it was fun. Gene was in the basement building new stairs. It’s a long story why they need new stairs—the refrigerator will be moved to where the stairs were; thus the need for new stairs.

It’s a lot of work and Gene and I are exhausted. Caleb’s parents are working hard too. His mom had The Grand today. When he’s awake he’s a full-time job! Saturday his dad and brother will contribute their muscle to help turn this house into Kelsey and Caleb’s first home.

As I was chipping away today I imagined what the kitchen will look like. I imagined coming to visit. Will I remember the mess or will I only see the renovation—the beautiful wood floor, granite countertop, and soft green walls? I think I will remember the mess. It will be a special memory that we will all talk about—Gene and I, Caleb’s parents, and Kelsey and Caleb. We all have skin in that house. Yep, it’s exhausting, but a good exhausting. With the investment of skin in the house comes the sweet memories. We, the parents, have the privilege of weaving our threads into Kelsey and Caleb’s story. What an honor. We wouldn’t miss it for the world.



Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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