I have just been enjoying the freedom to be outdoors that the Springtime weather has finally afforded us…. I just had to repost this article from a previous Under the Maple Tree Newsletter….
When we first moved to our “cookie-cutter” starter home – you know the one that looks the same as every other starter on the street – I was twenty-three, pregnant and a newly wed. Our yard was but an after thought in this big new world of having a whole home to love and to care for, to maintain and to pay for. Now – twelve years, and several babies, mortgage payments and home improvements later – our big little
home often seems to be bursting at the seams with so many little women living under one roof. It was in these times that we looked out the windows and often said, “If only,” and imagined more space, more rooms, more yard. When we took the time to think through the costs of moving in contrast to our missionary salary
and the increased effort that so much “more” would take – more cleaning, more payments, more maintaining – our hearts became content and we began to look at enlarging the space we had. Again we were disappointed with the bank balance and decided to curb our desires.
Then Spring came.
As we started to be able to spend more time comfortably out of doors we started the usual maintenance regime – trim, mow, tidy – and we found that the Lord had already started a building project for us: A new pantry filled with the freshest organic food to replace my dilapidated cupboards full of stale crackers and canned soup in the form of a garden hacked out of the overgrowth. A second laundry room equipped with a top of the line, no carbon-footprint, solar and wind powered dryer disguised as an old laundry tree
refurbished after years of neglect. For the first time, a playroom just for the kids with handmade real wood toys (climbers and swings and slides) made out of the neighbour’s old deck. A kitchen made out of our freshly power washed deck, another neighbour’s discarded garden table and chairs and the BBQ that we received as an engagement gift which was once again painted and refurbished. A hobby room and maintenance room stood in the form of a shed cut into the hillside out of lumber that had been construction forms that a local company had been discarding. Then there is the den, the lounging spot, with which no amount of our remodeling could compare. This space is decorated with the most exquisite artwork I will ever have – flowers perfected by the Master Gardener and Artist himself – and which adorn our humble abode as though we deserve the honour of these gifts. Despite only being about ten feet by twenty feet it sports the most spacious area on our whole property in which to lounge. All I need now is a good garage sale hammock and my second home will be complete: I’m not ready for an outdoor lavatory yet.
Though it has take us years to realize this blessing, we often teasingly call this yard of ours “The Third Floor” because we would not have done so well to have added a third floor to our humble dwelling. We love the Lord’s idea of remodeling because not only did he make an improvement to our home but he made an improvement to our hearts. We are content.
And when we start to get complacent, upset by all the extra work of having a third floor he gently wraps his gift in a blanket of snow and puts it away until we start to yearn for more space again.
Hope that you are experiencing more fresh space at your home this week.