When James and I were house hunting this winter, we had very specific criteria in mind. The property had to have some acreage. It couldn’t be right in town or too close to town. It couldn’t be in certain areas we didn’t want to live in. The house needed to have a certain number of bedrooms. Above all, we didn’t mind doing some work, but we wanted to fall in love with a place.
That happened when we found our new house. An old farmhouse, it came with a quilting house. A QUILTING HOUSE! And an outhouse. Oh, and 40+ acres of beautiful land.
After closing, the work began. All our planning and browsing at Home Depot and ideas for what it could be evolved into real work. Daily work. Very tiring work.
I’ve heard several people say that renovating a house together (really renovating–not just painting some walls) will either make or break you as a couple. So far, I feel like it’s just made us stronger, more committed to each other, and more in love with each other than before. I’ve seen him slaving away, working on this house for me all day every day for weeks, rarely complaining about being tired or feeling sore. He and his dad and a few friends have done all the work on the house (with my help, of course!). It’s been a beautiful thing to see his love for me expressed in sweat.
One night, when our friend Joey came to visit, we explored our old barn with a flashlight. We hadn’t taken much time to walk around the property and enjoy it because we’d been so busy renovating the house. That night, when we dug through stacks of old wood and paint cans in the barn, we came across a tulip-embossed milk glass bowl and a trunk full of old books that had seen better days. Anyone who knows me knows that I collect white glass (milk glass, bubble glass, and hobnail glass) and old books.
I believe God whispered to me, as I carried the bowl back to the house in the dark with stars hanging over us, “This is home now.”
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.