When we were first married, we always said that on our 10th anniversary we were going to drive Route 66 out west. In reality we were at the Ashboro, North Carolina zoo with three children in tow. I wasn’t disappointed. They were and remain the best gift EVER. Then, earlier this year we talked about taking a trip to Colorado for our 20th anniversary. We’ve always wanted to see the Rockies so we tentatively started checking into flights, etc.
The Colorado trip didn’t happen. Instead, Luke and I stared into one another’s eyes and declared our undying love for one another over a piece of Strawberry Shortcake at Cracker Barrel. Just like Year Ten something else trumped the trip. And just like before it was a A Way Better Something – an amazing gift, indeed. My friends, in the midst of the global meltdown we’ve decided to live like the peculiar, paradoxical people we are and build a house.
Lots of things led up to the decision. Most of it had to do with the fact that Luke is 40 + and I’m fast approaching. We’ve been living in a fabulous parsonage for 5 years now but we are overdue in having a place of our own in order to have a more secure nest egg. Our oldest son is also 14 now and if he stays the course of college, he will most likely be gone from us in four short years. I can barely stand to think about it. It would break my heart to think he couldn’t be with us for a while to enjoy it.
So, with that said, we are embarking on the scariest thing we’ve done in a very long time. At the risk of sounding sappy, it’s also very much a dream come true. I’ve had to work hard at not getting too invested in the idea because I’m one who fears something will fall through and then I’ll be devastated. It doesn’t seem so disappointing if you never let yourself get that excited to begin with. Isn’t that the lamest way to think? I’m ashamed of myself for being such a doubter! I’m just being honest. Maybe too honest. As hard as I’m trying to stay calm, now that the land is being cleared and the plans are complete, it’s hard not to cry and squeal and then cry some more.
But no, I’m not excited.
We’ve prayed so hard about whether this was the right timing and the Lord has affirmed every step so we can’t help but believe He has ordained this. Our next prayer is that our church doesn’t suddenly decide they hate us and kick us out. (Kidding, IBC. Please don’t get any ideas.) We love our ministry here, we love our town, we love our people, and if the Lord will allow it we hope to spend a great many years in this community. And if He doesn’t, well, we’ll have a house for sale. Ain’t like we haven’t done it before.
Here’s a couple of pictures of the place. The location is what I’d call a rural subdivision. We don’t have curbed cul-de-sacs in this part of God’s country and you can’t even imagine how happy that makes me.
1. Luke walking the back property line. This picture does something to me that I can’t quite explain. (“Hold me closer and I’ll feel no pain…” Name that tune!) You know that need a man has to love his family well and to feel he’s provided his best for them? Seeing my sweet husband of 20 years experiencing that is more than I can take in. This is way better than Colorado.
2. Toward the road from where the front porch will be…The mountain bluff is on the other side. You can see the light in the break of the trees.
3. The long and winding road. Or driveway.
4. Our left-side neighbors. We are bordered by a hundred acres of woods on the right. I wish you could hear how peaceful it is here. One car may pass per hour and the only sound is birds singing and the breeze rolling off the mountain. *sigh*
5. Luke and I decided to walk over to the bluff. For the record, I’m horrified of the bluff. Wouldn’t live on one if you paid me. Something about being able to fall out of your yard to your death doesn’t scream peace to me. I’m also a little scared of walking through the woods. Too much “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” will do that to a girl. (UPDATE: Luke just told me he looks like Saskwatch in this picture. Laughin’ my stinkin’ head off.)
6. The view is beautiful. You can see Lookout Mountain through the trees.
Well, that’s it for now. I’ll be posting plenty of pictures through the process whether you like it or not. Since I’m horrible at making decisions, I’ll probably be asking you everything from how we should finish the staircasing to what kind of light fixtures should be installed. Seriously, I’m crippled in the art of choosing forever things.
Except I did a pretty great job when I picked that man of mine.