Yesterday, as I was painting porch boards and longing to be done from the major construction projects for the summer, it dawned on me. For the last nine years I have had to focus most of my attention on working really hard to finish one of our old houses to be ready for adoption home-studies or I’ve had to focus full fledge on adoption fundraising.
At both times that we’ve moved into our old houses we were in the throws of adoption processes. We were on incredible time crunches to get rooms home study ready. As you may remember, part of adoption approval is having a safe and kid-friendly place for your new child to come home. Both of our last two processes, our homes were pretty far from being ready for that approval. Each of our homes needed pretty major cosmetic and structural work- whether that be making a space that works for kids, or fixing structural issues to meet standards- it’s required lots of blood, sweat and tears. But the motivation to get our kids home was the motivation we needed to stay up all night, night after night and pretty much work ourselves to the bone. And God gave us the grace to do that…for a season. Those seasons also required a lot of work as we focused on figuring out how to come up with the $32,000-$40,000 + required to get our kids home. And again, there was grace and provision for every step of that. Miracle after miracle we got to witness as God did the impossible.
Over the last couple of years we have had some pretty major structural needs to tackle on our old plantation- from insulating, to a new roof, to repairing rotting wood and rebuilding the pillars that support the whole house. We have been on a couple of mad dashes to complete these things for insurance inspections, etc. From where I stand right now, I am tired. I am tired of major deadlines and major pressure and major work. I. am. tired.
I’ll save it for a later post, but if you love old houses and would consider buying one, you either need to be okay with things always being a work in progress, or you need to be sitting on a truckload of money to hire out the work- otherwise, you will never be at peace. It’s just a reality. You will always have some pretty major things that are needing done. Danny and I sat around and laughed recently. We had so many pressing needs at once around our house, other people would likely be blown away. Major leaks, from the roof to several pipes, sewage system needing to be redone…and that was a few surface issues. 😀 You have gotta love old houses deep down in your soul to be “for-real deal, old house living” material. We are, thankfully- but we are sick of living for deadlines and are ready to just live.
I think so much striving can program a person to not even remember what it was like to not have to be working constantly. I really do. And over the last four months the Lord has been whispering to my heart, “Slow down and trust me…”
When you think you can figure out a plan to solve every major issue, well that’s a really scary place for a believer to be. It’s not where God has called me to dwell at all. But in all of the incredible demands, both financially, emotionally and physically we’ve faced during the last year, the striving has been a physically natural response.
Surely I can crack this code. Maybe I can do this to make this work…maybe this…or what if this…
And I’m sick of all that junk, y’all. God has done the impossible right before my eyes and here I am trying to make sense of what He’s called me to do in my strength. I guess that would be a bit crazy. Because as impossible as it would have been in human strength to do the things God wanted us to do to get where we are, it is equally as impossible to sustain them physically. When you’re called to do things way outside of yourself, you shouldn’t expect to be able to maintain them when you receive them by your own strength either. It’s a faith walk, from the words “yes, I’ll go” and then forevermore.
I’m on a journey to dance again. I’m on a journey to spend way more time laughing and worshipping than I do figuring. I’m on a journey to remember what it was like to wake up without some looming deadline (even though there are plenty of those, always) and actually enjoy doing something just because I enjoy doing it. I have some new things coming out of me that I am loving…the fun video projects I am doing a little each week of hunting for vintage pieces to incorporate into our house (Living that Restoration Life/ youtube, which will usually focus more on building a design arrangement versus major construction); and writing, which is something I have missed so much over the last few years. But if somehow either of those turn into pressures that were initially intended to be fun, I’ll be switching gears in a mili-second. This mama is saying no to pressure.
I’m feeding myself the truth each day, and while I have no idea what things will look like for our family over the next six months, my heart will trust in the Lord my God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I ask or think. He can part impossibilities. He can heal what is broken- He is the restorer. I’m eager to watch Him do what only He can and here I am humbled and slightly embarrassed to admit all over again for probably the millionth time, that I cannot do any of it in my own strength.