Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Consider What Great Things...

Well, the perfectionist in me can hardly get the words out, but I think our house is done. Oh, there are still a few little mosquito-like annoyances: another coat of paint obviously is needed on the window trim in the basement; the new white light switch we put in the blue-and-white bathroom to replace the old, yellowed one is defective, apparently; three of our bi-fold closet doors drag so badly on the carpet that you really can't open and close them.

But on Sunday, after seeing nine houses in Kenosha, when we arrived home and walked into our own (which we had left ready to show, just in case), it hit me, as it hadn't before, that: "It's done. This house really shows well." In fact, my husband and I smiled at each other and said the same thing: "Now THIS house has that 'aha' feeling."

Exactly eleven years ago, when we moved into this house, I knew it was a gift from God--worth the long wait and all the looking we did before we found it. I remember despairing that we would ever find anything affordable that was significantly bigger than the townhouse we had already sold. I remember the anguish I felt over the idea and expense of a move out of that much-loved home into something no bigger and much more expensive. Praise God, that deal fell through, and just when new buyers came along, this house came onto the market.

At the time, we only had three children and weren't planning more (another story), but we needed a home office for my husband, who worked from home for many years before his current job. Four bedroom homes weren't in our price range, but we knew we could inexpensively build an office in the right basement, since my husband's brother is a carpenter and had offered to help.

This house had only 1800 square feet above ground, but there was another 1,000 in the full, unfinished basement. We finished it ourselves (with my brother-in-law's help getting started) with two bedrooms, a full bath and a large rec room. As we've added children, this house has adjusted and accomodated beautifully; currently Chicklet4 and Bantam2 share a bedroom upstairs, with the master bedroom nearby and Blondechick14 in her own room next door, and the three older Bantams are all in the basement. We did have a bunkbed plus one extra bed in the rec room, but we just put the extra bed in storage and let Bantam16 have the guest room bed. (Can you believe it? Six kids and we still had a guest room, which has allowed us to offer months of hospitality to many people in the time we've lived here.) Papa Rooster's study is down there too.

We didn't even know what a blessing the lot itself would be. When we bought, we were excited about the fairly large, fenced-in backyard with a swingset, treehouse, and room for a tiny vegetable garden, but we had no idea what a gift we were receiving in the next-door neighbor's property. He's an older, single man who owns about two acres and the small house his father built. His property isn't that wide, but it's deep--he owns most of the middle of the block, and he rents a small area to someone who keeps their horses back there. He lets a friend who's in construction keep a revolving gravel pile back there (dump a little from that job, take a little for this one), which has been a constant source of pleasure for our kids and a guarantee that we shall continue to keep shoe, jean and sledding disc companies in business! We pay him a small monthly rent for the convenience of parking our trailer on his land, as well.

But the great thing about his property is that most of it is covered in trees and raspberry bushes. It feels like the wilderness, and our kids have always had roaming privileges. (And I don't mean this kind of roaming! Reminds me of my friend's son who pulled his mom outside to see the cool "web site" he had discovered in the back yard). They have played everything from Indians to army men back there. They climb his trees, build forts in his bushes, stage
Airsoft operations in the varying terrain, and of course, eat their fill of raspberries in the summer. All of this with his permission, and, I think, his blessing; he speaks disparagingly to me of kids who sit in the house playing video games all day.

This morning I read:

Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you. (I Samuel 12:24)

and this, from this Anglican classic:

O Father, I pray--
for faith to believe that if I seek first They Kingdom and righteousness, Thou wilt provide for all my lesser needs:
for faith to take no anxious thought for the morrow, but to believe in the continuance of Thy past mercies....

With this house, God gave us so much more than we asked for or could even have imagined. And I know He will be faithful to provide for us in this next move.


Tonia said...

I've been catching up and reading through all your's easy for me to say from outside the situation...but HANG ON!! :) God is at work and He's going to provide the right thing at the right hour.

And won't that be a fun post to write? When you know what lies at the end of all this waiting?

Sending love, hugs and lots of prayers for the grace to wait with strength. May His peace guard your heart.

(Why is it that we don't get our houses "done" until we are ready to move out of them?)

Islandsparrow said...

I'm echoing Tonia's prayer - and looking forward to reading that post to come.