5/7/08

To build a house

My family is in the process of building a house. We have taken a most "unconventional" approach much to the dismay of contractors and specialists. We designed this house ourselves combining things we liked and disliked about other homes we have owned. We are literally building this house from the ground up. Of course, my husband is a licensed home builder, so we are able to manage the project and fix what errors are arising. As the project progresses, however, it seems to be a never ending effort to keep up with subcontractors and tradesmen. And, to make matters worse, the materials market is ever changing and it seems everytime we finish a design for a component, some newer and better trinket comes along that I wished we had incorporated.

I hear people all the time complaining about the stress of building but I am finding that the stress is a welcome addition to my life. We DO tend to argue about minor things but we agreed on the major things prior to ever beginning the project. The process has now become a constant negotiation between my husband, daughter and myself regarding those things we want to "tweek" within our own living space to make our lives SEEM better. In all honesty, this house, while giving me additional living space and comfort, will not at all improve my life. It will simply improve how people perceive my life. Or will it?

Our house is going to be a simple one. There are no fancy windows, no flashy features, no million dollar entranceways. It's a two bedroom, two bath abode with simplicity as the key. Yes, we have included a few luxuries our parents would never have dreamed of, but they are not overwhelming and we are not attempting to make any statements to the world about who or what we are. We are building our dream home, not our dream representation to the universe! I don't expect people will look at my house and think "oh, I want that life!" I honestly hope they do not.

What I do hope in my life is that they will look at my daily walk and think "oh I want that peace. I want that joy, I want that calm". I hope that they see me smile and find a desire to smile as well. I hope they know that my smile is not the result of any material blessing in my world but an inner knowledge that I am blessed simply to be alive and walking. I am blessed to be included in the future Kingdom. I am blessed to experience other people who restore me on a daily basis. More than anything else, I am blessed because my savior died for me so many years ago and I never have to walk the path he took for me!

I am not special. My house will not make me special. I am, however, a most fortunate person because I am granted another day on this earth. Sometimes I find myself in conflict with my quest for physical comfort because I know my savior never had that comfort or even requested it. I have to remind myself that were I to lose it all tomorrow - you know - leave this place, the comfort I will find in the next life will far surpass anything I could achieve here. That being said, I want people to look at me for who I am - a flawed person who is forgiven despite my efforts to constantly challenge grace. I want people to see that grace working throughout my life and know that it's there for them as well. In the event they don't see it, I hope they know that they too are forgiven just like me.

So, building a house reminds me that I am building my life. Daily I deal with challenges to my faith. Daily I have to resolve those challenges not on my own but through prayer and communication with God. Each challenge renders a more suitable foundation and construction of the person I am wanting to become. If it doesn't, then I have to take it down and start all over.

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