Thursday, June 30, 2011

This old house

We live in a fabulous home! It's been such a blessing in our young married lives to have the opportunity to live in my husband's grandpa's unoccupied home. This house is one of the neatest places I've lived in since I left home. I just love it! It has lots of character and history; such a wonderful story to tell those who will take the time to stop and listen. There are pictures of generations before us hanging on the walls & adorning the mantle. The antique furniture has hosted many a family gathering and the wood trim has heard much laughter and supported a few tears.

Lately though, all of the love that I have for these vintage walls hasn't been able to keep joy/contentment in this Exton household, especially not in this female mind. When I have bad days, I so want to chalk it up to living in a borrowed home, stating that my soul is stuck in 'unrest' because I want to be free to nest, I long for beautifully decorated bedrooms and a kitchen with countertops (and a dishwasher), I can almost see then day when we slip off our robes and climb into the giant cozy king bed... Oh, I'm getting carried away in my dreams again!

A conversation about bringing home a new baby or hearing about new curtains another girlfriend bought always comes right before "the look..." You might not know the one I'm talking about, but it's always followed with a "you've got to get out of that house!" My sin snickers as my thoughts agree. "Why AM I still in this ancient house?" I wallow in it for a little bit and I may even stir up a fight because my needs are not being met and why should I have to suffer this way.

Then something happens. I see the picture of my grandparents dancing together next to the sewing of unfinished projects. The Magic Chef oven assists in yet another baking project and thoughts of Grandma Koch run through my mind. As I'm walking down the stairs with a load of laundry, the basket hits the drapes, knocks off a piece of the plastic curtain rod and we belly laugh as George plays with it.

I realize that 'paint the walls red' girl is still there, waiting to be let lose on her own house, but I do not want to lose site of the the lessons learned since we've been here. I treasure the conversations I have with God while doing the dishes (and staring at the catholic church next to us). I want to always remember the dinners we've had, both bad (made by me) and FAB-U-LOUS (made be 'the chef'), and the laughs we've shared in our little breakfast nook. The walks we take in the evenings. The neighbors we've met. The St. Catherine's festivals we've survived. The feeling of being "just the three of us in this old house."

So, when I next see "the look" I pray that I can remember I'm right where God wants me, living out His will for my life, and nothing could be better.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God is Good!!

Wait a minute… it’s June. How did that happen!?!? Wasn’t it just cold and rainy? And, I swear that I was sporting one of my favorite sweaters just last week. Where did this heat come from?? It’s been in the high 80’s this week in OH. The dog is panting so hard he’s about to give himself an asthma attack. And let’s not even talk about the sweat rolling down my legs as I wash those darn dinner dishes. PHEW, I’m tired just thinking about the heat. (I need a minute)

Beginning year number three in a house with not many modern updates, you learn to live differently. No dishwasher means I must be disciplined in staying on top of chores as I resist the urge to sit in front of the TV after dinner. Walking to the basement for our everyday shower means that I must get over my fear of creepy crawlers as I put on my robe and slippers to head downstairs. No central air means that I must be transformed and get creative… summer heat is NOT the enemy!!

Thankfully Matt put the window unit in Monday, with a little help from me, and our bedroom feels as good as walking into an icebox, if that’s even possible. Oh, it is so refreshing! At the end of the day, we sit on the couch hot and sticky, not moving and forget about the joy of snuggling, as we watch that massive TV (we had to buy) and enjoy the Direct TV (we had to get). Then, we travel upstairs for bedtime and BAM! Life changing, mood altering, sweet refreshing C-O-L-D.

Honestly, just like that, when you open the door you are reborn. Have you ever had moments like that in your life? Today I am reminded of God’s word in Matthew 7:7 as I think about opening that door at night. When it gets close to bedtime and the show starts to wind down, I get a little anxious as I think about the icebox that has become our bedroom. I say a little prayer before I ascend the stairs, “Please God, make it cold, cold, cold tonight.” With each step I take, my heart beats faster as the excitement wells up in me, “Oh Lord, this is going to be good!” And, when I put my hand on that door handle I’m almost jumping out of my skin as I think “Open Sesame!” Ah… God is oh so goo-oo-ood!!

Do you know something else that’s like that life changing, mood altering, sweet refreshing feeling… prayer. Stormie Omartian describes the POWER of prayer as “laying down all claim to power in you and of yourself, and relying on God’s power to transform… It (can be) a gentle tool of restoration… It’s a way to invite God’s power into your life.”

Today, I start month number eighteen of reading The Power of a Praying Wife. This book has taught me the importance and power of prayer, saved our marriage, and brought me closer to my heavenly father than I ever thought possible. If you don’t have this book on your bookshelf, I urge you to check it out. You won’t be sorry you did!

A huge thanks to Missie over at Thirsty for my new gift. Go check out her blog!!