Going to Market

It’s so hard to believe that nearly 5 years have passed since Nick and I started our lives together as husband and wife in this beautiful townhome.

Front of House
In our first few months, we began making it our home.  We started shopping for furniture and found that we wanted to try our hand at making our own! We made the beds for the bedrooms and our dressers.  We had so much fun working together, designing, and creating something new.

Master BedMaster Bed from Corner

Nick embraced my love of all things French and allowed me to decorate our guest bed and bath with a French theme that reminds me daily to pray for my friends in France.

Guest BedroomGuest Bathroom

There are signs of our journey all over this house – our unique imprint on our home. It was so important to us to create a space that was safe and significant for us.  I’m so grateful for a husband who worked with me at every step to create something wonderful.

When I look at the floors in the living room, I remember working alongside him and learning a new skill (while being the best helper I could!).  I also remember the day he was D-O-N-E with having carpet downstairs and we immediately started the project of ripping it up and finding the replacement hardwoods.  I’m so proud of all he is capable of doing!

Living Room from Den

When I walk past our coffee table, I remember the creative dream he had to combine industrial elements with wood to make something beautiful for us.  We found a new home for our old coffee table and replaced it with something lovingly crafted by hand.

Living Room from KitchenLiving Room Entrance

On the walls, I see the beginnings of our art collection that started on our honeymoon and continued to grow over the last five years. There are even a few Gloria Solly originals scattered throughout and others that are waiting to find a place in our new home.

In the bookshelf, I see a love of geometry and color that brings life into our home.

Den

When I see the kitchen, I’m blessed by the way we’ve worked together to create a space that is beautiful, functional, and full of love.  The ways my husband honors and blesses me can be found in so many details.  It’s in the way he painstakingly refinished and painted surfaces, in the research into our appliances, in the way he immediately repairs anything that goes wrong. I have been so well loved in this marriage and in this home.

KitchenKitchen and Dining Room

In the dining room lives a beautiful, French-inspired oak table that was lovingly restored by Nick’s parents and given as a gift to us. They rescued it, loved it back to health, and gave it a second life in our home.  We love that they poured their love for us and hard work into something that adds beauty to our home. (You can check out their other amazing works at www.originalrelics.com)

Dining Room and KitchenDining Room

Looking out our backdoor, I see the deck that Nick carefully measured and refinished to upgrade the wood and repair the damage of time. And, I have to laugh as I think about the troubles it caused us that day! I think about the garage and the shop he’s built that allows him to do these things and express himself through woodworking and design.

DeckBackyard

And, finally, the basement is a place that Nick took on as a project, put his hand to, and made something amazing.  It’s his retreat (where he graciously allows me to store my library) and where he has had so many nights of connecting with his Dad and brothers across the country.

BasementBasement Theater

And now, as our journey takes us to the next place, we are praying for the people who will love this home next.  I have some of the happiest memories of my life in this home and it’s a little bittersweet to walk away. But, the Lord has been so gracious to us and continues to bring us joy through this amazing gift of a marriage. There are no words strong enough or descriptive enough to really give life to what I feel.

Today, we take a giant step forward by going to market with this home and praying for the right person and all of the joy we hope they find. It’s a curious journey, this thing called life, but I am amazed and overjoyed that I get to spend the rest of mine as this man’s wife. No matter where God leads us next, I already have all I need to know it will be amazing.

“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:23-24

If you know anyone who might be interested, send them our way.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All Photo Credits: VHT Studios

Though He Slay Me

It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at a blank page and blinking cursor trying to compose the thoughts swirling through me.  Much has happened in our lives even though my chronicling of it here has been halting, full of starts, stops, and stutters.  I can’t promise that this is the beginning of a fresh spate of writing, but it is what is overflowing from my heart today.

My heart rests on the idea of gratitude.  I’m not thinking of the simple “thank you” I say to someone who holds open a door or hands me a fresh, steaming cup of hot coffee.  Those little moments of thankfulness are ever so important in life – for those receiving and for the heart of the one who utters them.  But, today, I’m digging into the idea of being grateful for things I wish I’d never been forced to experience or to learn.  I’m grasping for a little of what Job had to know in order to say, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him (Job 13:15)“.  I want a touch of the wisdom and deep faith that can stand up under wave after wave of trial and say, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21)“.

Six years ago, the fabric of my life was torn in ways I didn’t know I could survive.  I watched, with a complete inability to stop it, as relationships were severed, words and deeds were flung like weapons, and people I trusted proved disastrously untrustworthy.  The small storms of anger, bitterness, jealousy, gossip, insincerity, pride and a host of generational sins merged into a hurricane that dramatically altered the landscape before me.  It’s a pain that continued to grow and, like a mythical Hydra, when one head was cut off, two more sprang back in its place.  It has been the most confounding experience of my life, and Nick and I continuously beseech the Lord for reprieve and reconciliation.

Still – it has not been His good and perfect will to remove this cup from us.

But, as I’m studying the life of Job and also the writings of James and Peter, I am looking for the deeper workings and purposes of this trial.  And, so, today I focus on the things I’ve learned that I may have learned in no other way.

  • I am grateful that the tearing down of insincere relationship, pretense and placating left the opportunity for true relationship, real intimacy and community.  I have learned that the most loving thing I can do in relationship is give honestly of myself, speak the truth in love and give the same grace I hope is extended to me.  Though my relationships are fewer in quantity, they are deep, rich and full of abiding love and understanding.
  • I am grateful that the Lord exposed the sin in my own heart of thinking I could do anything to hold everyone together.  I am not the glue.  It’s His job to convict hearts and lead His children in His path.  I am only responsible for my own obedience. If I am called to speak the Truth, in love, I am only accountable for the delivery of the message, not with its receipt.
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to watch my husband stand in as my protector and the head of our household.  I am even grateful for when this means he must tell me I am wrong and my attitude needs adjustment.  I’ve been given the privilege of watching the man I’ve loved for more than half of my life lay himself bare in transparency to offer the wisdom of experience to those who seek it.  It’s one of the most beautiful things I could imagine.
  • I am grateful that there is still hope of reconciliation.  I would despair if I did not believe “…I [will] look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!”
  • I am grateful for the stories of God’s faithfulness I have gathered on the road.  Ironically, as I took a break from writing this, a friend asked me if I could go back, would I still move here.  I can absolutely say, “Yes”!.  I have had a front row seat to the blessings of the Lord and the unveiling of His glory.  I know my Redeemer lives (Job 19:25) for He has held my hand every step of the way.
  • I am grateful for the new relationships that have risen where the others left gaping holes.  In joining my life with Nick’s, I received more parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and Grandmas to love.  In moving to a new state, I joined a new community, started a new career, and joined a new family of faith.
  • I am grateful for a deeper faith as it has been tested over and over again.  I am learning to “remain under” the pressure and walk in a way that is worthy of my calling. (As I am learning the meaning of steadfastness in trials from Pastor James MacDonald, “When Life is Hard”)

This is just a scraping of the surface of the deep well of gratitude I have as a result of what the Lord is teaching.  I am still desperately begging the Lord for redemption in this situation.  I am pursuing peace as far as it depends on me.  But, I am also learning what it means to say, like Daniel’s friends, “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).

I believe God has the power to restore, redeem and reconcile this situation in the blink of an eye.  But if not…I will still be grateful and praise His name.