Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting Aquainted- Tear Down (Part II)

 So, we gutted the entire first floor and basement. In fact, at one point there was an 18' hole in the house!

Our contractor finished all of the internal house workings (wiring, plumbing, HVAC) as well as the first floor, which included adding 3' to the original footprint to add a 1/2 bath off the kitchen (giving us a bathroom on all 3 main floors). We moved back into our house the August after the house-fire. It was rough. We had record rains and flooding and for the first time evah, there was water in our basement. Water, and our only working shower. All of our beds were in the living room and we had to wade through 4" of freezing cold water to make it to the shower. Depressing? Yes!
1 sump pumps and flood recession later... Dr. Dh and I, the kids and various mission minded people have come and helped us finish the basement and walls, doors and floors and more. Its' been a huge undertaking.

As we've re-built we've dealt with the death of my Dad (just a year after my Sister died), more pneumonia/ bronchitis and antibiotics than I hope we ever see again, other health maladies (stress, anyone?), a contractor who had much different ideas about what "finished", time and a monetary limits meant,  Dr. Dh's day and side jobs and homeschooling.

I won't lie. It's been exhausting; physically, mentally, spiritually. If I thought that God had ever pushed me hard spiritually before, it's been nothing compared to what the past 3 years have been like. It's been a time of testing, pruning, re-evaluating, questioning and working our heiney's off, as well as dealing with hopes and dreams and beliefs about my family of origin that can no longer come true. It's been a season of grieving what is past, mourning losses, appreciating what we've had and moving on. Oy vey. Words are cheap, living them is the difficult thing.


We moved here, believing that God wanted us here- I'm not sure why. I'm not sure I can tell you how we all knew/believed. But we believe that we were called out to this neglected piece of property to do 4 things:
Rebuild
Restore
Redeem
Reclaim
Looking around, we've participated in making that happen.

(where the hole in the floor used to be)
The fall of the fire we had been memorizing a section of Ecclesiastes. And it seemed a particularly apropos description of what God was doing in our lives. Tearing things down- literally and figuratively- our house, our family, our stuff, to build it up and create something new.
... a time to break down and a time to build up. Ecc. 3:3
So, there you have it. We've torn down this old house- on the inside at least. And we've been building it back up. We still have trim on the 2nd floor and basement to do; the doors, the floor in the basement and finishing out the room in the walk up attic. Plus a zillion little things like finishing functional closets, putting up mirrors in bathrooms and doors and light fixtures and other sundry things that are "simple" but take time. It's still gonna be a while till it's done 'cause we're just 2 people- my husband and I- and getting older, and losing our older kids to adult interests and out of state living, and homeschooling, and showing up for the day job.
Are we glad we stayed, instead of moving on?  We've gained skills- as have our kids- and that has been  worth it. We've actively participated in making something beautiful- beauty for ashes, literally- and that has been worth it. That being said, I've had to constantly refer to what I believe- that we are here, in this time and this place, for this season, for a reason. God has a purpose for all of the challenges, pain, hurt, tears, nausea, loss. And it's good. I don't know what it is yet, particularly, beyond the skills and the beautiful house, and maybe that's all it is. But it's good. I'm trusting in that.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." 2 Cor 4:7-10

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6 comments:

Redradtech said...

You have accomplished so very much. It looks so great

Anne Kimball said...

How beautiful! Not just the "almost-finished" project, but the metaphor. Seems to me like you made the right decision.

I'm new here, so I'm not familiar with your backstory, but I am so sorry for all your losses.

Thanks for linking up with the TALU....

AJ said...

That is so fun! tearing down to build back up is exhausting but it will look amazing when it's done!!

TALU!

Kerry said...

So sorry for your losses... we had a house fire a few years back as well, so I feel that pain. It took months to rebuild the house.
Yours is looking amazing. It sure sounds like you made the right decision!
TALU visitor!

Chris Coyle said...

Sounds like you've made great progress. Keep up the good work and positive attitude! :) [#TALU]

Azara said...

"...we had to wade through 4" of freezing cold water to make it to the shower." Oh, this is awful! So glad that you're making progress and started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. (TALU)