Saturday, March 2, 2013

Building a cabin, Building a life

Back in 1997 we bought our cabin. It was partially finished, and we were excited to put the finishing touches on it ourselves. We designed the kitchen, built a couple of decks, and enjoyed being up north. After a few years we realized that we needed more room (not to mention a better way to keep the critters out since the cabin was on posts and exposed underneath.) So we had a basement built underneath, and added a family room up above. We had contractors do the outside work, the electric and the plumbing, but decided to do the rest ourselves.
That was 8 years ago, and we are still finishing the inside. But I've learned a lot along the way, and it's been rewarding to see our dreams become reality. Here's just a couple of things I've learned along the way:

  1. When walls are just studs, they aren't very sturdy. But cripple studs in between add strength. And sheetrock or siding adds even more strength. Every time one piece is added, the whole structure becomes more sturdy. I realized that life is like that. We need relationships with others, and we especially need a relationship with God to make us strong. Each time we get together with friends the relationship grows. Each time we read God's Word to learn more about Him, and each time we pray our faith grows. 
  2. Building is hard work and takes time and knowledge. Craig and I have read many books to learn how to do each task - from building a deck to wiring a three-way switch, sheetrock and taping a wall, and building a bookcase. We have learned that it takes time to do something well, especially when you're just learning. But the hard work and the learning give us such a feeling of accomplishment. Living the Christian life is hard work too. We need to study God's Word daily to learn how to live. We need to die to self, to love others, and to worship Him and pray without ceasing. But the joy and peace that we receive as we grow spiritually is worth all the work.
  3. Building is messy, and sometimes we make mistakes. Cleaning up is part of the job. We've vacuumed up more dust, moved piles of wood, and equipment. But usually, when the cleanup is done, we can enjoy the progress we've made. Living is messy and we all make mistakes in relationships, in decisions, etc. But we just need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and see the progress we are making in becoming more like Christ.
Here's the progress we've made in our cabin - Craig has been doing most of the work lately since he's retired and I'm working long days at my job.

Craig finished the wall coming up the stairway in pine. Now he's working on the trim around the doorway into the dining room and kitchen. You can see the doorway from the dining room side below. 

Today we made plans to build bookcases on either side of the doorway on this side, with a shelf running above the bookcases and above the doorway. It's going to be awesome!

Our other project for today was to move a kitchen cabinet to make way for a new large kitchen window.

 Here's how it looks now. Imagine a big window to the left of the cabinet, and a refrigerator in the corner on the right. The next steps are - installing the window, and taking off the counter top to see how we can re-use the base cabinets. We want to get rid of the peninsula and add an island. We need to extend the base cabinets all the way underneath the upper cabinet and move the sink to the right, centered under the new window.

There's lots to be done in this kitchen - new appliances, new counter, island, and flooring. But at least we've made a start, and we have a plan and a dream of what it will be like when we're done.
There's lots to be done in my life too - growth and change that needs to happen so that I can be the person God wants me to be. But I am making progress. I am a bit more like Him today than I was yesterday. I am reading His Word, practicing obedience, loving others, praying. The work in my life to become the person He wants me to be, the person He created to be, is not easy. I want to be lazy and selfish. But every time I get a glimpse of the life He wants for me, it spurs me on. So I clean myself up by confessing my sins, and I read His directions for life. I get stronger as I spend time with Him. He gives me strength and He gives light to my path. I spend time with other Christians, and they encourage me. Finally, I keep my eye on the prize, the goal - blessings here on earth and  life eternal in the presence of  God.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

It is looking fabulous, and I like how you related building the cabin (home) to building a Christian life.