Homemaking is a dear and sacred thing. I’ve written about it before: my inclination for home, our project lust and my work-from-home gig. I like thinking of home as a harbor: deep enough and safe enough to beckon and set free. At the end of the day, it’s the depth that invites us back or gives us the courage. Ships don’t anchor down or sail out of shallow water. They can’t. To be full, humans need depth too, so this is part of my home-making: creating expansive depth for myself, my husband and the people on our path.
Indeed, my idealistic, meaning-making self has loved tapping into my inner homebody and begun to really think this through as we set our sites on home.
I know you can’t really homestead in suburbia, but if you could, I think that’s what we’re doing. We hang out a whole heck of a lot, Luke and me. Usually, it’s cozy and fun, and there’s been a lovely rhythm of work, rest and play.
While I’m upstairs pouring over treatment plans, looking for a spark of hope in the disastrous opiate crisis and trying to sound put together to a round table of psychiatrists, sparks are most likely flying in the garage.
Additionally: dry wall has been knocked down, toilets ripped out, pocket doors installed, kitchen cabinets painted white, barn wood whittled and shaved.
(And One Fine Day)
Pennies have been pinched to get projects done. I have a furrowed forehead from trying to help solve impossible problems (I’m telling you: opiate crisis. hardest problem.) and Luke has lifted and carried more loads of barn wood from the basement to the garage than he’d care to count.
(living room project sequence)
(and again, one day…)
We’re both working hard and working differently. There are still lots of unknowns about our future and sometimes they make me edgy. But then, I wash my face, remember the faithfulness of God and choose instead, life here and now, not life near and far. This is the story I can own, the here and now– and this is the story, the month, the day, the minute God has given me, and it’s the one into which I can lean in and honor Him.
We acknowledged going into the first quarter of this year, that it was a unique opportunity for Luke to work full-time remodeling our house. In this season, we have also hunkered down and done a lot of individual and collaborative work on our values. We’ve asked questions like:
- What do we value most individually and together?
- What scriptural ideals are heaviest on our minds these days?
- How will we craft a life that helps us live out of these values and ideals?
- How can we create more clarity?
- Who are the people we need to care for, right now?
- What are the most immature, unredeemed parts of ourselves?
- How can we pray together for transformation?
We want to live an intentional life. And we want it to flow out of our home. So, while we are honing wood, painting cabinets and re-staining furniture, I wonder if the more important honing happens in the actual honing of our life: our nitty gritty day-to-day, sacred, ordinary life. Actually I don’t wonder, I know. I know the question-filled conversations are more important than the buckets of paint and other buckets of other things with which has made for handiwork but not heart work.
My kitchen is lovely and bright. It really is. It’s fresh and clean and the mountains are grander than grand. Don’t get me wrong: I am not above feeling fresher and cleaner and grander because I walked downstairs to this happy, light-filled space.
And while drinking in aesthetic loveliness and the fruits of our labors is a gift, there’s a part of me that says: Careful. Home is more than this, Sarah. You know it’s more. Pay more attention to the mattering parts.
So: may the real hard, transformative work not be in the cabinetry or the floorboards. In fact, it’s not DIY at all. Transformative work is work with God and with each other. And in so doing: may the windows of our awareness fling open and God’s love flood our innermost, cobwebby parts. Just like that white mountain light floods my kitchen. But more.