Someone asked me the other day, “Aren’t you so tired of working on the house?” They weren’t the first or the tenth person to ask me a question like this. I get asked this so much that at first it makes me think, “Am I missing something? Should I be miserable?” The answer to all these questions is “Absolutely not!” Are you kidding me? I am loving every minute of this. Renovating a house has always been a dream of ours and it’s amazing that we are in this season where everything has lined up for us to actually do this.
Has it been hard? Yes. Deflating? Yes. Bang-your-head-against-the-wall frustrating? But of course. Fortunately though, I have an obsessive MacGyver complex that causes me to believe that I can fix or make anything using a paperclip, chewing gum and an old shoe string.
We realized though on day one of this project that we couldn’t fix this place up alone. We knew before we signed the papers that we were going to need some serious help, especially since we didn’t have the kind of budget to pay a contractor to just swoop in and make it a reality. We decided early on that if someone offered to help, we were going to take them up on it. Don’t get me wrong. We weren’t going to let just anyone work on our house. We required every volunteer to pass a breathing test. No, it’s not like a breathalyzer test…it’s simpler than that. If someone volunteers, we ask, “Are they breathing?” If the answer is yes, they’re in!
Seriously though, over the past six weeks God has overwhelmed us with friends, family, and even strangers who have each come along at exactly the right moments when we needed them most. It is absolutely humbling every time someone drives up and gives their time so generously to help us make this house into a home.
The center section of our new place has a large A-frame shaped roof that is about 24 feet high inside. It is a totally 70’s and totally cool feature of the house. I have had this crazy idea since we started the renovation to cover up the ugly popcorn ceiling with wainscoting or planks of some type. It is basically about 1100 square feet of ceiling. If you’re wondering, that’s a lot of space! The house itself only has 1900 square feet of floor space. Easy peasy, right? Well, there was one major problem. I couldn’t do it by myself and I didn’t know anyone who was crazy enough and/or available enough to help me.
If you have ever doubted whether or not God is in the details of your life, I can tell you from experience that He sees it all and is at work in everything.
A few weeks ago, Gigi (Jen’s mom) was finishing a workout class and her trainer, Nora began asking about the house. After a brief update, Nora told her to have us call her husband, Randy if we needed any help. It just so happened that he was in between a few things work-wise and had some time. He was also an experienced DIYer and he was breathing too. Bonus!
I had only met Randy once before, but I was literally two days away from needing to start this project. I knew I couldn’t do it alone, so I gave him a call. Initially, I just asked him to come help me paint the boards and get the first few rows started. I was kind of hesitant to ask him to climb up on some scaffold with me and tackle the whole project.
Monday came and we whitewashed boards together for six hours. Tuesday, he came in freezing cold weather and loaded a trailer full of trash, rats included. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, he showed up to install the boards with me. Seriously. I was so grateful!
We talked about God, playing guitar, being dads and everything in between. We climbed up and down the scaffolding a thousand times and put our heads together to brainstorm solutions to problems. It was mentally and physically exhausting work, but having Randy there made the project fly by. I am still blown away. I truly cannot think of anyone who would have been a more perfect fit for this project and God connected us at exactly the right time.
I have been thinking about something that Jen said as we talked about how crazy awesome it was that God arranged all of this.
When we pray and ask God to bless us, He doesn’t always give us money. Sometimes He brings us people.
Money is overrated. Relationships always pay greater dividends in the economy of real life. We are so thankful for our friend, Randy and grateful to God for sending him our way!
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23