Last week’s snow day out at our land. So pretty! This is a trail Matt made for the kiddos to go into the woods.
Breathing in the cold crisp air of that chilly morning, I made my way up the hill of our pad site where we intended to build our dream home on our original 17 acres. I snapped a few pictures to try and take in the panoramic view from up there on that small hill. When I started to take a step backwards I tripped over a small stake sticking out of the ground. As I looked at the weathered piece of wood, with what was left of the tethered, neon tape wrapped around it, a flood of memories and emotions filled me in an instant. I thought back to all of the planning and dreaming of building our dream home on this very spot. We had already put a gravel driveway up to the pad site to start construction, drawn up plans, met with the builder, gotten our building permits, and had the area staked out where we wanted the home and Matt’s shop to sit. I had spent hours dreaming up the perfect home for us and designed my own layout for the blueprints. It was perfect, everything I had ever dreamed of was going to finally happen. This little stake in the ground is a reminder to me how our plans are not always God’s plans.
As time progressed our neighbor’s land and mobile home came up for sale. I’m ashamed to admit that I had to deal with some pride issues when praying about the decision to buy our neighbor’s land and mobile home. I knew it would push my dream home further away and many more years off. However, God, in his sweet gentleness and patience with my attitude, made it very clear to both Matt and I that the mobile was His will. He gave me a very settling peace about the whole thing as well as an excitement for it. As I continued to pray and research other people who had remodeled their mobile homes I became so excited about the challenge of this project.
Since the start of the remodel I’ve continually focused on wanting to create a welcoming atmosphere where friends and family can come and feel welcomed and relaxed. This is something Matt admittedly doesn’t “get” yet, but he is willing (most of the time) to follow my lead in this area. Matt would be happy living in a cinder block house out in the woods somewhere. As I pondered these things God reminded me of one of my favorite places to be and that is my parent’s home in Missouri. My parents live in the backwoods of the Ozarks outside of Branson. Their home is simple and small compared to many but I love going there. I love the quietness of being in the woods, the simplicity of life, and the love I feel when I’m there. A home is welcoming to others by the atmosphere created in the home, not by how big and beautiful the home is or how well it is decorated (a lesson I’ve struggled with over the years). So although our plans have changed, one thing remains the same, to create a place where everyone God brings to our door feels welcomed and cared for.