Well, this happened a few weeks ago.
And then this happened.
Which equals this:
And add in Toothless here, who has been quite sick and uncharacteristically cranky:
So that’s where I’ve been, in case you were wondering.
But we got it.
We got the farm. We prayed and you prayed (thank you!) and it’s ours.
The lane curving up to the house with the tangle of overgrown bushes and the steep hill ending at the river and the tumbledown shop and the wonky wood floors and the ancient fireplaces and that big ugly septic tank are all ours.
Let the renovations begin.
Not so very long ago, before the farm was officially ours, we were uncertain whether the wood floors that run throughout the old house were real. Our hope was to eventually re-stain them a nice, deep brown. You know, so they would be both beautiful and able to hide most shades of crayon and vomit.
I was lamenting to Josh how life would just almost not be worth living if we weren’t able to stain them dark. We would have to suffer under that current floor color for the rest of our existence there. I was just a little distressed about it.
But Josh—the guy who once considered a melted block of Velveeta cheese mixed with a can of refried beans to be a suitable dinner option—has grown wiser in his old age.
His answer to my whining about the floors:
“Hannah, we have to remember, this is not going to be our dream house. This house is going to be a training ground for our kids.”
And he didn’t say the following because he’s nicer than that, but the meaning was implied:
Deal with it, darling. Floor color is irrelevant when it’s not about the house.
I’m forcing myself to keep that mind as this project begins. Since we have to remodel anyway, the temptation to seek Pinterest-level perfection is great. Just slap down a few thousand more Benjamins and this place could be amazing. And, geez, what’s so wrong with living in our dream house anyway?
Nothing, probably. Unless that’s not what the Lord has called you to do.
We’ve prayed for six years for this place. We’ve promised God that if he gave it to us we would use it for his glory, not our own. We’ve vowed that we would do our best to raise our children and any other children he gives us to know and honor him above themselves.
It’s a lot of responsibility, yes, and not one we can do without his daily work of grace in our lives, but we believe it’s what he wants for our family.
His glory, not ours.
His kingdom, not ours.
His plans, not ours.
His house, not ours.
I salivate when the Pottery Barn catalog arrives in the mail. Obviously, I’m going to struggle with this.
I’ll need the accountability of friends and a solid daily dose of the Word to keep my eyes on the mission—training our kids to the glory of God—and away from the temptation—living in the fanciest, the biggest, the “dream house.”
I’ll need Jesus just as much on the farm (if not more) than I’ve needed him every day before. Because Jesus knows me. If it’s not the wood floors, then it will be something else. (Like that septic tank. Even Pinterest is clueless on what to do about that sucker.)
I’ll need Jesus (and Josh) gently reminding me that this is not about the paint color, or the floors or the bushes or the never-ending projects. This farm is about God’s kingdom and the primary role he’s given Josh and I for the foreseeable future. Namely, these guys:
I’d appreciate your prayers. Because it’s not about the house.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Proverbs 127:1