Thursday, May 12, 2016

It's Got Good Bones * Creating a Haven :: 2

It's been almost 3 years since we found this house.  But wait ... who am I kidding?

God was the One who led us here, step by faithful step.

On our second visit to see if this place would really work for us, I remember leaning on the ledge of the little upstairs loft and gazing down to the living room below while Tim and our realtor did a fine-tooth-comb inspection of the basement.  The seller's realtor walked through the living room, and looking up, asked me if I liked the house.




Playing it cool and not wanting to look over-eager, I replied, 'it's got good bones.'  And I meant it.

The house was us.  Pure and simple.  And my rapidly beating heart assured me that we could create a wonderful new home within these four walls.

Sure, the living / dining / kitchen area were small.

But the wide open cathedral ceiling, two skylights, and windows everywhere made that seem kind of inconsequential.

So what if Tim's hand-hewn farmtable didn't quite fit and there was no room for any kind of cupboard in the dining room.

I looked right past the old pink formica counter and the mismatched appliances.  The small closets, dated lighting fixtures, and dreaded popcorn ceilings were noticed but laid to the side.

And yeah, the blue carpets upstairs had long ago seen their day and the pine floors were faded where furniture had sat unmoved.

All seen and noted.

But this house was cradled in quiet woods of oak and pine ... and there was that multi-windowed space above the garage that just begged to be put to good use.

The place had good bones alright.  You could sense that it was a home that had been loved well.  And we could see ourselves here.

A strangely exhilarating peace filled us as our anticipation built.  For we knew then and there that if this is what God had for us, the house would be ours.










It's far too easy to see our home's flaws, isn't it.  Most all of us have been blessed with far more than basic shelter and a simple roof over our heads.  Yet, as much as we all love HGTV, it can easily join forces with Pinterest and Facebook to spark within us an unhealthy emphasis on comparison and perfection.  This leaves its mark on us for sure, leaving us feeling oddly unsettled and ungrateful ... like our homes just aren't enough.

Which easily morphs into the lie that we just aren't enough.  

But I can't help but believe that every home has good bones.  Even if you have to search for them like hidden treasure.

Take it from me.  'Cause Tim and I started our life together in a one room, oddly furnished studio apartment, complete with a very tiny kitchen nook and quite a petite bathroom.  And it mattered not one bit.  

For it had nothing to do with the current culture's relentless striving for stainless appliances, hardwood floors, mammoth walk-in closets, or luxurious jacuzzi tubs.  

Even back then, it was all about laughter and love, memories made, unlocked doors and open arms.  And creating a fairly simple life ... even while living with expectation, for what, we weren't quite sure.

*

Let's talk about your home's good bones.
What do you appreciate about where you live?



32 comments:

  1. There is just something about walking into a house and the atmosphere tells you, "You're Home, this is the place for you."

    I experienced it, and 35 years later ... I'm still here.

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  2. Your home is lovely, Linda. I love the cathedral ceilings and skylights. And being cradled by the woods would draw me in right away. Smack dab in the midst of God's creation. :) We live in a condo, and I'm especially grateful for all the natural light and the landscaped area right outside my office window where I can watch the birds at the bath or feeder and bees and butterflies on the plants. My husband has even attached some greenery in the form of a reef to the house side perpendicular to the window, and we have already seen one hatching of house finches with another batch on the way. :) But like you say, it's love that makes it a home. :) Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. LOVE that you have birdies coming to life right outside your office window! What incredible inspiration, Trudy!

      I'm guessing that some days it's hard to get any work done at all with such a performance unfolding just a few feet away ...

      And so great that your condo association lets you bring nature to your doorstep!

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  3. One just 'knows', doesn't one!? I knew the second we walked in the door! And yes, we are so blessed to live in beautiful spaces. SO blessed.

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    1. The Spirit guides into all truth. Spiritual truths, absolutely. But also as we're seeking to do God's will. Without a doubt!

      He cares about every detail of our lives. I'm so grateful!

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  4. I love our home more than I can express. It is nestled in the woods and has a rustic, welcoming feel to it. The moment I first entered the house, I knew it was a perfect fit!
    Your home is so beautiful in its simplicity, Linda. I love it!

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    1. Your appreciation for the gift of your home is heartwarming, Martha.

      God is good ...

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  5. Ok, this really has nothing to do with anything but I'm curious...........have you, or have you thought about, walking across those beams. I keep looking at the picture and I know I could never resist trying it at least once. Maybe even propping up against the wall and reading up there. But maybe that's just my quirkiness..............

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    1. Well, Val, I haven't had any desire to check out those beams! But I know several grandchildren who find them quite intriguing. We've made it pretty clear that they are COMPLETELY off limits, especially since it wouldn't take much to climb onto the loft's ledge and venture out.

      ;-{

      All that said, we were told by a builder that the beams could be used as a scaffold when the living room was painted. Our painter graciously declined checking out that bit of insight and brought his own {very tall} ladder instead.

      ;-}

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  6. I love this, Linda! It is so much fun to see and hear about your home and the choices you were led to make. "Good bones" is such a great descriptive phrase! I will be eager to see how this evolves. You are so right about how tempted we can be to look at Pinterest, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, etc. and compare or become dissatisfied with our own home. We still live in the home we built in 1968. When out friends went on to bigger homes and bigger mortgages, we chose to stay put and pay off the mortgage to use those dollars for education. Now that our children are grown and gone, our house is just the right size again except when they, their spouses, and children all come home at once. Even then, we know it will be crammed and people will need to wait for showers, etc. (Yes, I will be emailing you pics of some of the bushes I mentioned. Not sure how they handle sandy soil, but I am sure you could find out.) Have a great weekend!

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    1. I hear you about the crammed house on those occasions where everyone piles in, Pam. Yep, just like you we manage fine, we put a huge basket for shoes by the door, kids sleep on floors, we crowd around the table, the kitchen overflows, the bathroom fills with damp towels.

      All is well.

      It just adds to the party atmosphere, right?

      ;-}

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  7. I understand of what you speak! When I walked in my home over two years ago, I immediately thought, "Now THIS is what I am looking for!" It is tiny--but we fit together very nicely! LOVE LOVE those exposed beams. And yes, we have to be able to look past the flaws to the good bone structure. LOVE , this house Linda!
    Blessings, Friend!

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    1. Yep, I'm with you, Lulu ... the older we get, the less space we need!

      'Cause we've got to clean it and care for it. And I'd rather invest my energy elsewhere!

      ;-}

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  8. Linda, I love the light in my house, how cozy it looks from the street, the tall built-in bookshelves, the garden areas that surround on it all sides. It was a neglected foreclosure when we bought it five years ago, but, like yours, it had good bones. Now it has a lot more than that, thanks to Randy's careful remodeling efforts. :-) I love your home too ... and the stories you are telling about it!

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    1. mmm ... tall built-in bookshelves! I'm missing mine, for sure ... boxes upon boxes of books remain stacked up in that room above the garage.

      Sigh.

      You can't have everything ... but I'm dreaming of some built-in shelves tucked under the eaves in the bedroom.

      ;-}

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  9. You have a wonderful home. Wishing you many more years of great happiness and good health there.

    God bless.

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  10. I love the idea of "good bones"! We have chosen to live a simpler life here in a very small home, and we are loving the simplicity of it, and it is cozy too. The home you found is delightful, I love the open loft area. You are right, it is more about how you choose to live in the home, than the home itself! Have a blessed day!

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    1. It's so good for us all to hear a perspective from Idaho, friend ... and your praise of a simpler lifestyle is music to my ears.

      ;-}

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  11. Recently I helped families that have lost their homes from a forest fire. All the possessions they have left were items they gathered in the few moments they fled the flames that was engulfing their city. Yet, all of them had a heart of gratitude that their families and friends are safe, and a heart of hope as they know they know their is a cumulative strength in their community to rebuild. Yes, our homes are places to build relationships and memories, but like all things...the structure and items are just 'stuff.' It is the building of these structures together, the care, the memories that things can be part of, that is forever.

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    1. Wow, Lynn. An immense tragedy like what you write of and have experienced completely recalibrates what we see as important and valued. Thank you for bringing us back to what truly matters.

      Relationships, community, gratitude, memories.

      Profound.

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  12. I really enjoyed this post Linda. I feel we need to learn to look at homes we may see online and appreciate them without coveting them. As long as you have a home that is structurally sound, in a safe neighborhood, and filled with love you have all you need. Everything else is just bells and whistles. I like your riling beams by the way.

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    1. I like that ... appreciating without coveting.

      This is a true gift we give ourselves and others, and in the process leave resentment and dissatisfaction in the dust ...

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  13. Amen, Linda! It's cliche, but home truly is where the heart is! Our cottage is a wee bit smaller than yours, we're hoping to build something bigger soon. But we are happy and content here for this season. I just love the haven you're creating!

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    1. Isn't contentment just the absolute best place to be? It's a word of peace and rest, acceptance and gratitude.

      Striving has ceased.

      And with you, I'm embracing it in this season, June ...

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  14. Linda, we are in the process of buying a house again after a season of renting. And that's what I told my husband I was looking for in a house -- "good bones."
    "My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." Genesis 32:18

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    1. Amen to Genesis 32, Crystal.

      I hope you'll find something in this little series to help you on your way!

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  15. Linda,
    I loved this peek inside your house before it was even your house! Sometimes when you walk in, you just know that it's a special place and I'm so glad you found the home that called your name! :)

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    1. Thanks for celebrating with me, Valerie!

      ;-}

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  16. Our good news is that our new house here in Bristol, VA is recently paid off; and, we have no debt other than to do good deeds to others!!!

    And, the next thing on my wish list is a long front porch to face the creek and a wonderful farm view including cows and horses!

    Muriel Smythe <3

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    1. Ah ... a long front porch that faces creekside. Sheer bliss, Muriel!

      And yes, let's hear it for the joy of loving others well.

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda