Do you say shoulda coulda woulda? Or do you follow more of a woulda shoulda coulda order? Either way, I shoulda started writing about our house process from the beginning and woulda if I coulda had more access to the interwebs. That and I’ve been so wrapped up in thinking this upside down and inside out chaos is almost over.
Yesterday, now that we have the internet in our new old house, I was sitting on the front porch researching ceiling finishing techniques. I learned a lot! And the sources from which I gained the most confidence and know how were mostly from homemade Youtube videos and DIY blogs from those that have gone before, by trial and error, learning and failing, growing and now teaching. And then it occurred to me I am in a position to be doing the same thing.
I don’t want my house posts to be tainted with complaints, irritations, annoyances or the idea that I’m so over this project. To be honest, I fight it every day and want so badly to scream and yell and kick and complain about these injustices that are so inconveniencing my life, my ability to entertain and keeping me from moving on to where I’d prefer to be in my life. But like James 1 preaches, this is a growing and pruning phase for DK and me and we’ve got to allow it to change us the way the Lord intended. To even *gasp* celebrate this rough time of our lives.
We feel we were pretty realistic about this process from the beginning. We knew it would take longer and cost more than initially understood. It’s hard to put to words the valley we feel we’re stuck in now, at the mercy of a contractor who promises and assures, only to stall and leave us hanging. Sure we’ve considered going another route but have been so confident in his ability to provide great work in our dream house and switching tracks at any given point would only prolong the process. We like him as a person, we care about his family even, but are at such a loss as to how we’ve gotten to this point. And yet somehow we find the strength to keep moving.
To give you an idea of where we’re at, we closed on this house, built in 1944, a few days after Christmas of last year. The story of how our house came into our lives is one I’m giddy to share with anyone who’ll listen. It’s one of those stories about love at first sight, that I knew that I knew that I knew it was ours before we even visited in person. We met with our contractor even before closing and had seen his work in other houses, he came highly recommended from trusted friends. Immediately after closing, they started the demo on our beautiful house and we were thrilled to learn more about the structure, history and design in the process. Because we were renting our current house, we worked out a realistic schedule with our contractor and he gave us the go ahead to put in our notice or March 1. We told him we needed a working bathroom, new roof and hardwoods refinished before we could live there. He said no problem.
That was 3 months ago. We jokingly but truthfully call ourselves “homeless homeowners”. It devastates me that I’ve become obsessed with and that my dreams are haunted by poorly laid tile, ridiculously cut and placed marble countertops, weeks gone by with no work done to our house… the list goes on. I cried on the phone yesterday to my mom, asking her to pray that I can continue to give proper focus and attention to the things that are most important to me: my family, my friends, my church, the ladies ministry at Ecclesia, my job at Air1… and she told me I need to stop discounting the fact this is a really rough way to be living and maintaining and juggling.
So the big news at our beautiful house is that as of a couple days ago, we do in fact have a toilet. A WORKING toilet. DK shot a video of me doing a ceremony for the maiden flush and while you’re thinking we’re totally weird and have completely lost it, for us it was everything.
We woke up yesterday morning in our very much unfinished and unfurnished bedroom, our view of the most incredibly green and lush backyard and I asked DK “If you could change anything about our situation, what would you change?” We both thought long and hard and tried to come up with at least one thing, but couldn’t.
With every passing day of no one coming to work on our house, with every night we fall asleep to the summer breeze because we have no a/c yet, with every moment Jordan shows evidences of her growth in her strength and ability, with every extravagance we’ve learned you don’t need to survive and with every day we grow more intimately intertwined with the spirit of this house, we feel grateful.