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It suddenly occurred to me the other day, as I dreamily thought about our future home, that I want more than just a comfortable house with pretty things and room to grow.

And like always, I made a list (because I love lists).

What do I want for our home?

– I want a house full of love. Love for God, love for my husband and love for family, friends and future children. I want the foundation of our life together to be banked on that one: LOVE.
– I want a home that rings with laughter and bubbles over with JOY. Not fakey, pretend stuff, forced because you’re supposed to have it. I want the real deal. The genuine McCoy.
– I want it to be full of purpose and LIFE.

I don’t want…

– I don’t want a house full of discord, hatred. I don’t want the walls to ring with constant battles and arguments, bitter words and the total opposite of love.
– A home where depression and discontent lurk in the corners.

It’s funny, how God works. I find myself praying these prayers – Fill these walls with love and joy! – and discover that I’m praying more for myself than I’m praying for the house. A foundation and walls, a metal roof and wooden floors, they make up a house, a future home, but it can’t make a difference in the happiness or love in our family. The joy and peace I crave and hope for only come from one central Someone: God. And obtaining these treasures are found in the daily choices that I make.

Board by board, we build our house, and choice by choice, I continue to build my relationship with God. Do my choices reflect a desire to be content and happy where He has me at the moment or have I chosen to stack on more boards of discontentment? It’s like Rich Mullin says in his little book The World As I Know It: Through the Eyes of a Ragamuffin, talking about his experiences while renovating an attic:

…I say, “I know how it hurts to be torn up. I am often choked on the litter left by my own remodeling. I know what it’s like to settle (by the grave act of a strong will) into the despair of believing that you are wasted space. I have felt the blows of heavy hammers that nailed me to a sense of uselessness. I have been shaped by some pretty careless workers who came to the task of making me and lacked any craftsmanship or artistry. I know the pain of wanting to be changed and yet being distrustful of changes, of wanting to be worked on, but being suspicious of the intentions of the Worker. But here is some good news: He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. However messy it may be now, however confusing and scary it appears, however endless the task may seem, we will someday be glorious, beautiful, alive!

So, we continue to build a house and God continues work on the renovations of my soul. It’s going to be a life-long project, this house and family and life, and it’s going to be a life-long project to find myself renovated completely…but so good to be working on it now.