house finishing like it's a job :)

The other day I mentioned that we were working on a few projects around the house- well, we are still working on them. :D Here's what we've been up to lately! 

Here's what the fireplace has looked like for the last year:

We always knew we wanted to trim it out a little more than that, but time and money is always an issue when it comes to DIY projects, so it's taken us a while to get to it. :D When we finally decided it was time to start more trim work again, Rob was excited to start this kind of project:

He cut a hole to recess the TV into a hidden panel, and made a box:

We also made a secret compartment for all the TV equipment on the side:

Then we trimmed it out with tongue-and-groove paneling:

And then more moulding:

Now we're working on the mantle and the finish trim, and then it will be time to paint! :)

In the meantime, we started on another project so it could be painted at the same time:

We've never had a backsplash, so we needed some kind of transition from the counter to the wall because the gap was large in places and water and food ran down the wall behind the cabinet. Try as I might, I couldn't bring myself to like tile (or its price/labor time!). I was hoping for something a little more simple and affordable. We'll have a tiny bit of tile under the window around the sink, and that's it. We used 1x8 boards, and we're planning on painting it too:


The whole finishing the house ourselves with cash thing has been pretty challenging. We don't want to spend very much money and we don't want to care about looking fancy or amazing, but we want to add things that will work for us now, last for years and years, be somewhat traditional and timeless, and eventually bring a profit since we plan to sell it at some point.

Thinking of it as someone else's future house makes it so much easier for me not to put my heart or love into it. I want a house to just be a house in my heart, and not an idol or something I truly love and couldn't give up at any moment. It doesn't matter where we live, or what we have or don't have. God provided here in miraculous ways, and He will provide whatever I need again, and whether it's less than we have now, or more, it doesn't matter- it will be enough. And you know what is funny about this and every other house, anywhere in the world? It's all going to burn someday.

But I know we have it so very easy and great here and now, and it's not the same to live somewhere else as it is to live in the U.S. with all the things we could ever want. I am amazed we even get to live here with a comfortable bed, rooms galore, an a/c, and a pantry full of food. We even have what no one in history has had until recently: cold air, electricity, and clean, running hot water! Why us in all the history of the world? He has given us every single thing we could need for our family!

I have no idea why, other than God is teaching us, training us, and shaping us to love Him more than our worldly things. I feel like that's what God has done for us. He's allowed us to have everything we could need or want and by His grace and mercy has shown us that it's really worth nothing and that having too much can be a time, life, and heart stealer.

I don't want to spend our lives trying to get more stuff that will be useless in 2-50 years. How horrible would that be in the end?! Father God, please free every ounce of my heart from the love of money and things!!! I know I've sinned so many times with the pride of life, buying excessively, and coveting the trends and things of the world, and I'm so thankful the Lord is showing me and correcting and disciplining my heart (though it's painful and feels quite terrible at the time!).

But then here I am, right now, with a larger family, a house that is wonderful and a huge blessing but needs to be finished, and there is much work here to be done. It's like house remodeling is our family job! It's a weird place to be- thankfully (to the Lord alone!) not loving it so much like it's part of me or feeling like it's worth a lot like I have in the past, but still having to do the work and the next thing the Lord puts in front of us, all while being grateful for all He has given us here! It's so strange. And challenging. But okay. This is where we are now, this is what He's given us to do, and it's good too.

I hope and pray that like Paul, both here and now in plenty and when the next situation comes, that no matter what, I'll know how to face abundance, and I'll know how to face poverty: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (I'm sure He will put this to the test for us again, so I want to study hard now so I will remember His promises when that time comes. ;)

I can only trust that because of His faithfulness, no matter what we have or don't have, now or later- I will always have everything I need in Him.