When we moved into our home 3 years ago it was a blessing to have more space and a bigger garden. But we left behind our first little house which we had worked hard on to transform into a home.
As you know, I'm a list maker, and it didn't take long for me to make a list with ideas to transform our new house into a home for us all. Only one little snag though-we had absolutely no finances to go ahead with all of my ideas!
And when I shared my list with Ray I could see that it overwhelmed him. At the time I was very disappointed that he wasn't as enthusiastic to start as I was! I've had so many lessons to learn before the day when we could finally tackle THE LIST! Now three years later, I can see a few reasons why the Lord wanted me to wait.
For starters we needed to trust Him for provision-He had already helped us to understand that He is our provider when I left teaching to be at home with Jenna. But, we had no savings and no extra cash at the end of each month. Buying just a little something to help improve the appearance of our home could easily put us into debt at that stage. So we had to let Him grow that seed of faith which He had planted in us before. And He has blessed us and provided for us in many ways since then.
It was during this time that I felt the Lord was teaching me a few new principals: Firstly, He is the Restorer, and everything will be done in His perfect time. (I can't rush Him!!) And secondly, He is the builder of our Home (unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain Psalm 127 vs 1).
For me God always uses the situations I'm in to show me similarities of how He is working in my spirit and changing me to be more like Him. So just like our new house needed to be rebuilt and restored, so did I! And although I would have liked everything to happen quickly on the restoration side, He was saying just like you need to take time to rebuild this house: I need time to rebuild you! And that's exactly what He has been doing.
Last year in April my father sadly passed away after a long battle with HIV-AIDS. His life had been one of many struggles and I would never have thought that beyond his grave that he would be able to bless his children. But the Lord is good and even in what seemed like a hopeless situation He turned it around to bless us. Besides giving my dad the opportunity to re-build relationships with his family, he used my dad to help us financially. And so now with an inheritance from my father we have begun the restoration of this house.
Just a side note here. Through my father's death I learnt about receiving our inheritance from Christ-without His death we would never have been able to receive the inheritance of His blessings here on earth!
Now that we have begun the renovations and I'm reflecting on the past three years I can see that the Lord needed me to learn about being led-not only by Him, but by my husband too! Approaching Ray with a to-do list just after he had taken a step of faith to be the provider to his family, had been a bit of a blow to my patient, willing-to-please husband.
Submission was not easy for me (I'm just beginning to see God's wisdom in His instruction to wives about this principal-and I've had to learn the hard way-if I don't allow my husband to be the leader I'm not allowing him to fulfill the role which the Lord has placed him in.) In learning to wait patiently for him to make a decision about when we would start renovating our house, I've learnt about God's perfect timing too. If Ray had gone ahead and done the restoration when I had wanted we would have been plunged into even greater debt! But now we can make decisions about the house in the freedom of knowing that God has provided. God indeed gives our husbands wisdom!
When we came back from our holiday 6 months ago it felt like we were all breaking down our home instead of building it. I knew when we were away that the Lord was able to make something good come from that very difficult holiday time-I just couldn't see it then! I'm so thankful that we have realised just how important it is to allow the Lord to be the builder of our home-He's been THE best builder for this job!
So I can honestly say, we're coming out of a very tough season for our family, but one that was needed to enable us to get to the point when we could work together to become what the Lord has desired for us: A family who builds it's house on The Rock!
I'm very thankful to the Lord for being so patient with us and for loving us despite our weaknesses. I'm very thankful that He blessed me with a man who takes his time to make decisions, and is also determined to never give up! And I'm so thankful to God for giving us friends who've patiently prayed for us while we've journeyed through this season.
I'm trusting that the Lord is laying new foundations for us and in the meantime we'll continue to make this house into a home! Here's a peek at what we've been up to:
The before shot: notice the tiles popping off the wall! There was a major damp problem.
There's never a day goes by when there isn't an eager spectator to watch the goings on.
If you share your trade skills with me I'll let you play with my toys!
the stripped en-suite
We've been blessed with a very thorough builder. This bathroom had really bad damp problems. He wouldn't take a step forward until he was satisfied that he found the cause of the damp. Tomorrow they start tiling! Yippee! I'll post pics of the finished product soon.