I was pregnant with our second child when we began our house in the fall of 1979. Since we were building on the pay-as-you-go, do-it-yourself plan, we knew it would be years before it would be completed. But never did I dream it would take more than 30 years!
We started by digging a hole in the side of the hill, pouring a footer and laying a concrete block foundation. The following spring, my husband and I packed up our four-year-old son and three-month-old daughter, and began to transform that basement into our home. We worked in the cold, damp spring and through the humid, stormy summer, sleeping on a dirt floor or in the back of our pickup truck and eating packed meals on a sawhorse table.
In November, even though our basement home wasn’t quite ready, we moved in, insulating the walls and ceiling, putting up paneling and trim boards as we had the money.
Three years later, in 1983, we constructed the framework for the second floor, and began to work on the upstairs, room by room. We covered the exterior walls with black tar paper. With only one income, we knew it would be years before we could even think about siding.
The stairway almost done in the fall of 1984, when, nine months pregnant with our third child, I decided to move the bedrooms upstairs. I used a kitchen chair to get from the landing to the second floor. But by the time David was born on Dec. 26, the stairway was done – well, almost. It didn’t get carpeted until 1990, when we bought carpeting for the downstairs.
Over the years, we added a bathroom upstairs, installed windows, interior doors and flooring as we had the money – and time. By now our children were active in school and sports, and our time and money were invested in them.
I wanted the house finished by the time David, our youngest, started college. I felt that if it wasn’t done by then, it would never be, because college is a big expense, and we weren’t getting any younger. It didn’t work out as planned. But does it ever?
David has been graduated from college nearly three years, and we are just now planning to put on the front and back decks this summer.
I, too, am a work-in-progress. I became a Christian about the same time we began the house. Spiritually, I, too, had to begin with a foundation, removing dirt accumulated with years of living my own way, to make room for the solid foundation of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11). Over the years, God transformed me, room by room, working from the inside out (2 Cor. 5:17, Romans 12:2).
Just like my house, God won’t be done with me until I see Him face-to-face (Phil. 1:6). But until then, He’ll continue to work on me, finishing what He began more than 30 years ago.
When I become impatient with myself and others, Lord, remind me that we are still works-in-progress. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read 2 Corinthians 3