Except for a handful of items, when I look around at the house we are renting, everything is new. Even though most items are second hand, to me they’re new. They’re new in my life, they’re new things to look at, touch and use. Plants, trees, decking, furniture, appliances, cushions, mats on the floor, blinds, curtains, everything. The whole place is new to me and I find it so pretty. It makes me feel happy:-)
The house is full of light – beautiful natural sunlight. It is painted and furnished in beautiful whites and creams – there are pops of colour with cushions and vases, picture frames – gentle colour. There’s a softness. It’s warm, it’s embracing, it’s cool at the same time and it’s all fresh. It is a totally fresh look for me.
It’s different altogether than what I’ve had or put together before. In the past I’ve had a culmination of house furnishings from family members and only a few items here and there have been things that I’ve chosen myself. The only other time in my life when I’ve gone and purchased things to make a real little nest for myself was when I was very young but even then I still had a mish-mash of family’s things, furniture and items along with things that I purchased. Even when I married Derek, we used his furniture.
With the last two houses we lived in, in Perth, I didn’t do anything with them at all. The first house was completely furnished by what people had given us. There were half a dozen items that I got second hand but I didn’t put any work into the house, I didn’t add to it, I didn’t make it pretty, I didn’t buy plants or do any gardening or even put pictures up on the walls. It was just a house for us to live in while we were there. I treated both the houses we lived in the same way.
I have to say that all of this was a very rich experience – having one’s house furnished by the body of Christ there. It was very special and we were very grateful. I think in hindsight, that it helped us remain with an outlook that we were there to be with the church so the house wasn’t the purpose. The house and making it a home, wasn’t that important to us. And we knew we wouldn’t be living there forever. We thought we’d be there about 3 years but were prepared to be there longer or less, whatever God put on our hearts. But there was a sense of not putting our roots down there in the natural because we knew it wouldn’t be permanent. And so the little money that we earned was just to keep us there but our time and our lives were there for the church. Coming here where there is no church yet, we are again here for the Lord to build His church, and we see that that’s going to be a slow process.
We sense that we’ll be living in this little house for a good length of time because it takes time for the Lord to build His church and we could be just praying for two years. We’ve been praying so far for nine months and perhaps there is a little tiny ripple in the water. However, it’s the Lord’s work and it is His timing and His preparing of us and other living stones in the quarry before He brings us all in together onto the building site, so to speak. So at this time we’re being established here in this house and area in the natural as well as in the spiritual.
If you’ve never gotten rid of everything to start over again, I can thoroughly recommend it. It is an amazing experience. We came here with practically nothing. We just came with a few cartons of things we had in storage but nothing else, no furniture, no plates, cutlery, no cushions, no chairs, no lounges, no tables, no beds, no appliances. It has been a whole project to furnish the house to meet our living needs and to prepare it for others to be here with us so we’ve got enough seating and sleeping, got enough plates and glasses etc, to meet with other saints.
The Lord has been using this to teach me much needed lessons in delayed gratification because it’s been a long process. Its been a process as we waited on income to purchase this and that and only a bit at a time per pay packet. You know, what can we live without till the next pay comes in or the one after that or the one after that. For example, we didn’t need a microwave urgently, so that was a few months before we got a microwave even though it was only $40…that sort of thing. But seeing how the Lord has been furnishing the house in what He’s given us for free? Wow. What an experience.
Amazingly, so much of what we have now has been picked up for free on the side of the road! Or it’s been bought second hand on market place and we’ve done things up. When I’d walk Rocky I’d find an item and it would match everything else! I had a list before I left Perth of all the things that I needed and wanted to get to put in our new home wherever we would be. These things I have waited to cross my path. I could buy them perhaps but sometimes there was (and still is) a sense of “just wait”. Then I’d find it for free or I’d find a second hand one for a cheap price.
It seems to me that in such a loving way, a colour scheme has risen out of nowhere that the Lord has put together. (It’s risen out from Him of couse). Things that I’ve been attracted to and gathered – well just amazingly when I look around the house, everything is connected. Every room is connected in a colour scheme and a style and its incredible seeing the Lord furnishing this house in the natural.
This is just speaking into what He’s doing in the spiritual of course and that it takes time for Him to prepare, build, and get what He is after. There is delayed gratification when waiting on the Lord in spiritual matters. There is a time of waiting, there is a time of preparing. Through the project of setting up house, He’s been showing me that there’s just one step and then you wait and then another step and you wait. Oh, and there’s also a surrender. There’s a giving up, letting go. That is an imperitive part of the process to remain in peace and surrender to Him, lest ‘things’ become idols and become way too important. God won’t share His place in our hearts with anyone or any thing. Not any interest, hobby, taste, passion, desire, nope – nothing. We must be prepared to lose everything tomorrow, if He asks us to. So there’s this reliance on His provision. And nothing is gathered that doesn’t serve a purpose, that isn’t needed. There’s a waiting on His instruction and direction. And one piece at a time. Everything has His flavour in it so it’s all reflecting Him.
And that’s how its going to be here with the church that He’s building here in Newcastle. It will be fresh, it will be new, it will reflect His life, His nature, His character, His personality and it will be built over time. One piece at a time according to His plan, His timing, His purpose.
He’s the architect, He is the master builder, He’s the one that lays the foundation, He is the foundation. He is the colour scheme, He’s the furnishings, He’s the decorations, He’s the adornments, He’s the environment, He’s the atmosphere, He’s the beauty, He’s the peace, He’s the calm, He’s the warmth, He’s the natural light shining in. It’s all about Him.
His house is so pretty. His house is the prettiest house in the street. In all creation His house is the prettiest house. It’s the most welcoming house, it’s the most open house, it’s the warmest house and yet it is hidden and yet it is visible.
The saints in Perth sent us a parcel recently, filled with things they had made together to minister the Lord’s life to us and encourage us. In the parcel was a picture frame around a cross-stitch picture of a house and garden and the words ‘Home Sweet Home’. So I painted the frame white to match everything else and it sits humbly up on the wall near our beautiful solid timber dining table that we found on the side of the road which Derek restored beautifully.
Yep, God’s Home is sweet alright. And He is the carpenter, He’s the restorer. We love Your house oh Lord. We look forward to You getting Your house here in this place. It will be the prettiest house and You will love it and call it Home.