We’re into our second year in the tacky brown house at the top of a hill in Northern Alabama. It’s a place we love and continue to learn and grow in. We came here two February’s ago to begin a walk that was aimed at simplifying our walk, meeting more of our own needs and to simply create home to come home to.
It’s 2016 and we’ve done many of the things on our list. We’ve found more joy and more peace in our lives in this tacky brown house. It’s appeal is its simplicity. It’s in a treed setting with lush colors around it. The home itself is a 1955 ranch, needing new siding, new paint, and still much work . The work continues inside our home as renovations needed were extensive, but home this house has become.
I find that the projects we begin are much like the projects we begin on ourselves. Without committed time and deadlines, we simply cannot wittle them away an hour or two at a time. Change takes determination and effort. I think most of all this house’s gift to me has been to show me how when we tend that which needs tending, things flourish again. Flowers planted long ago, uncovered and bulbs split flourish again after years of outgrowing their space.
The first five months of 2016 have perhaps been the toughest of my personal life. It’s been a humbling experience to walk. To begin again as I realized what needed change in my life. Nothing earth shattering or outstandingly big, simply the awareness that if I were to live the life I believe God has for me, I had to change some of the choices I was making.
One of the challenges I have before me is to pay attention, to love what is before me, to do the next right thing before me. Whether its clearing clutter or hugging a person who comes for companionship, it’s time to be where I am. It’s true with my clients as well, too often focus is on where they can be tomorrow or next quarter and God has gently helped me to refocus today’s value as well as tomorrow’s planning in proportion. God honors planning, but requires obedience. That means many emotions like worry are simply not to be. Faith requires more of us than emotional drama and personal pity parties. Sometimes, like my hydrangea bush, I simply have to prune the parts of me that are not healthy and scale back the branches of my life. There are seasons for it all.