Fixing up the farm has been a LOT of work... at times overwhelming. The smells of cigarette smoke and cat pee that used to greet us when we entered, are finally starting to dissipate beneath the layers of paint and new carpet. The yard is taking shape under Christian's landscaping skills. Door knobs and light switches once coated by grime are beginning to show reflections.
I have to admit that I was not excited to move into this place when we first bought it. The humble side of my brain wants me to be thankful that we have the resources to buy a home in this stressed economy, but the fearful side of me shies away from change. And the self-righteous side of me, that I try to repress, shouts, "This house is OLD!" It requires energy. Moving is stressful. I am happy where I live now... isn't that a good attitude to have?
Yes, we are to be content in our circumstances, but I think God wants to use this old farmhouse to teach me to be more like Him. Am I an old-house or a new-house kind of person? I recently read a quote from a book called Cold Tangerines that spoke to me. Shauna Niequist says:
"I thought of myself as an old-house person, a person who appreciates character over perfection, who likes the bumps and bruises of an old home... I walk around my house, looking at all the things that I should fix someday, but I don't fix them just yet, and I imagine God noticing all the things about me that should get fixed up one day, and loving me anyway and being okay with the mess for the time being."
I don't want to be the kind of person that only likes new houses. I don't want to be the kind of person that only likes new and shiny people either. I want to be a person who sees potential in a discarded house, or a discarded person, and commits to being a part of recovering it. I want to appreciate the things in my life for what they are; not spend my life wishing they were something, or someone, else.
To accept a person's bumps and bruises as part of their character is to give them a great gift. God gives me this gift each day in hopes that I will understand how to give it to others.
So far, we have fixed up a few things at the farm... turning this,
the "breezeway", into this...
the kitchen, into this...
It's still a work in progress, but then again, so am I. Maybe one day this type of restoration will happen in my own life.