Rod and I bought our house about 8.5 years ago. I still tease him about it. You see, less a year before that he said "Let's go look at houses." I said, "Ok, but how serious are you in looking to buy?" "Oh not serious at all." And yet here we are. We knew noone in the town we bought but somehow this is where God led us. In retrospect, we can see God's hand along the way. Retrospection is cool that way.
Our house. Our house was a fixer upper and honestly I struggled with it because so much of it was not my style. The rock that was on the outside was also on the inside and surrounding the fireplace. The fireplace that was removed during our "mini" Extreme Home Makeover to bring Maggie home. The rock was floor to ceiling and the ceilings were 12 feet high and on both sides of the rock fireplace were old real wood paneling. Rod loved it and I did my best to tolerate it.
I've always said that a vehicle tells a lot about a man and the house about the woman. My vehicle is the family van and is a mess on the inside: wrappers from sandwich crackers, tissues on the floor, straw wrappers, a dvd player. Rod's truck is pretty clean. It is um....12 years old, I think? No, 13 and it wasn't until a couple of years ago that it lost that "new car" smell. So, yep that is us.
That fireplace was not me. I loved the ambiance of it but not THAT fireplace. (It was removed for a variety of reasons including: it had no door to keep air from going straight up it, there was NO way to clean that rock to get Maggie home and it was just plain ugly, oh and it stuck out into the garage taking up a ton of room.)
When we moved in, we removed wallpaper from every room, painted every room. We took out the kitchen and put a brand new one in, and new laminate floor. I remember sitting and picking out everything for the kitchen. Our kitchen is more "rustic" b/c that suits the house and Rod loves natural wood color. We redid the bathrooms. Oh, the icky wallpaper.
A year and a half after buying the house Jared was born. Our first miracle baby. Life changed and an "extra bedroom" turned into the nursery. We were so surprised when we found out Maggie was coming and the office was turned into the little boys room. I remember Jared spitting up ALL OF THE TIME all over our old carpet. Orange from the sweet potatoes. I remember putting Maggie to sleep as a newborn on the couch next to me with that fire going.
You see, I've never in my life lived in one house as long as I have lived in this one. Growing up, I moved about every 2 years - and that has it's good points and its down sides. And as much as many things about this house didn't reflect my (our) taste, now it is beginning to truly reflect our hearts.
I see the hands of many people in our home now. During the week of the Extreme Home Makeover of August of '09, my friend tallied that there was over 400 volunteer wo/man hours at our house. That is just in one week! Can you believe that?
I am still working on making this house reflect us on the interior and exterior (any day those siding guys could start - any day but today cause it's raining).
I remember walking into this house for the first time after the makeover and was in awe of how it all looked. The fireplace was gone. The rooms painted and EVERY thing was wiped down. Someone even washed all of Maggies MANY Polly Pockets and all of their accessories. It was so humbling. But I see so many people's handiwork in this house.
I see God's handiwork in this home. It is HIS home. This week with Fanning the Flame at church has been a good reminder that this is not my house - it is God's and I see His fingerprints ALL over it.
Like I said, I am still working on making our home - God's house - a reflection of us. New babies and cancer got in the way. :) But we love having people in our home. We want people to feel welcome here. We want people to see God's fingerprints here - just like we do.
Linking up with At the Picket Fence