My dream house... My Story, My Song.
When I was a little kid, I can remember a particular highlight of family road trips. My brother and I would always bring new notebooks and colored pencils and sketch houses for miles. (My sister may have done it too, but being that she's, ahem, 8 years younger than me, I don't really remember when that would've started, if so.) Insides, outsides, the weird octagon looking ones off of the interstates (you know... the dark wooden ones???), the strange seemingly-underground ones along the way; we would create and sketch our dream homes among all of the inspiration. We said we'd someday go into business: Scharbrough & Scharbrough, Inc. In some ways, we have as we play music together professionally. And he certainly has an amazing design business - check it out: The Iron Slab. I'm so proud of him. And I have my little side passion/shop with sewing, painting, and little decor items - check that out at: Zion House. Disclaimer #1: My Zion House site/business has been pretty dormant. Can't really pinpoint the reason, but I have a strange hunch that it has something to do with having 3 kids under 5. Disclaimer #2: This post is hopefully going to steer you away from hungering after the wrong things - home things, material things. So, if you go to the links above or below, please know that they are for reference and to credit the owners, not to drag you down my rabbit hole. ;) For some reason, this makes me want to whistle "Now don't you fret, now don't you fear, the littlest worm, had ombre gear." Disclaimer #3: I'm also incredibly proud of my sister. She doesn't have a website per se, but she is a nurse. So, who needs a website when you're saving people's lives, drawing their blood, and cleaning their - never mind. She also has been a bridesmaid like 87 times, including this past weekend - that's how wonderful she is to people. Ok, so...
In many ways, things haven't changed. I spend a lot of times drawing up rough plans, firing synapses in my imagined hallways and rooms, looking at blogs/Pinterest/DIY sites. In the recent weeks, I've been drawing and researching the home we'd like to build in the (not-too-distant??) future. It's basically a barn home - a "barndominium" is the word for this, I've recently learned. It would be simple in some ways, completely open to flow with no load-bearing walls so that we could rearrange to have both an open floor plan and office/concert/music space for our ministry. I've been envisioning and revising the plans for it for years. Here are some sketches:
And then, about 2 weeks ago, a good friend of mine sent me a link to this beautiful family with 4 young kids who sold/got rid of almost everything and now live in a Spartan trailer (the silver magic bullet looking things) that they can hitch up and take anywhere. I was (am?) fully convinced that this was the life for us. We could travel, do our music, all be together. (Who cares that I'd probably get even less sleep and I'd need to up the pills?) It sounds and looks idyllic. (You can ogle that family HERE.)
They call it their journey to simplification. My discerning sister laughed when I told her my idea to get rid of it all and move into a little RV. I (with her laughing-help) was reminded me that there are potentially a thousand steps and ways in between doing that and what we're doing now in order to simplify our lives.
Pretty sweet, huh? McHusband found me out when he opened my laptop, still on ebay/Craigslist/other retail sites and said "I noticed you've been looking online for Spartanettes." I can quit any time, honey. No, really.
Well, another dear friend - who has the gift of being too honest (during my first pregnancy, she asked me within about 2 weeks of knowing her if I was sure I wasn't having twins) - gave me a very convicting book. Everyone needs to have a friend like her. The book is called "Karen! Karen!" - as in, the Lord is calling out to her. More on Karen Mains, the author, HERE. She writes in a chapter entitled "Epiphanies":
"[God] showed me that at present my house and the decorating of it were more important to me than him. I spent hours musing about the placement of imaginary pictures - things we didn't even yet possess, wasted precious energy stewing over other material needs, invested afternoons roaming through antique and junk shops hunting for bargains which then required days of my time to repair and restore. It was a matter of choice. Did I want to spend the time getting to know him, or did I want to have the most cleverly eclectic house in the whole church?"
Yikes! Cleverly eclectic house? Musing about the placement of things that didn't even exist? Getting bargains and then storing them in my garage/shed of
weeks months years until I'd get around to "repurposing". Guilty.
Don't get me wrong. These are the habits of creative people. Resourceful people. Spiritual people, even. Oh, but our blessings can be our curses. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." "Unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain." The truth is, that it's complicated to take a journey anywhere - even, ironically, to simplification. All of these ideas and pictures of houses and visions of another life, a better life, a simpler life, a more cleverly eclectic life, a life more "us", a life where we could do more (or is it less?)... it reminds me that my "house" isn't in order. My hunger lies elsewhere than righteousness. Home is where the heart is, and, apparently, neither have been residing right where I am. My dad would always quote Jim Rohn "Wherever you are, be there" or as Jim Elliot said "Wherever you are, be all there!"
This week, I've been wandering around my house touching the corners of furniture, feeling the textures of blankets on the beds - some of which my Grandmother's long skinny fingers hand-quilted, remembering the wedding-gift-givers of serving platters on which I've positioned cookies, sitting in our backyard full of
junk play things and unfinished yard projects, studying the tiny handprints on walls, and saying to the Lord: This is more than enough. I am richly blessed. I am content. I am beyond joyful. I've been given grace in every one of these gifts.
Who knows where the road may take us? We are praying that when God reveals our next step we'd have the eyes to see the way and the timing. May our dream house always be called this because it is the place that we dream of God, of the love that we have together, the joys when the kids were littler than they are now, the hopes for their future, and the laying our heads on our pillows thankful to have a House on the Solid Rock.
PS - Good Gourd! I didn't purchase any of these gorgeous pumpkins or gourds today on McBaby #2's field trip. (Insert eye roll here - I can't even stay with a group without wandering off when I'm alone! How the heck am I gonna do it with all the kids in tow? We basically spent the whole time away from his preschool class wandering around until Momma was done with the swarms of bees, the rain-covered playgrounds, the smell of
sh poo and the sitting in barns looking at, but not touching, animals; and then we went to Chick-Fil-A.) Anyhoo, I exercised restraint in not purchasing anything for the betterment of my home for now. My treasures are in my heart, not my front porch.
PPS- I have a lot of upcoming musical ventures. Pop on over to my music page (see link above in header) to see dates in your area. Thanks!