Living Houses

When I first saw the house my family now calls “home”, I did not like it.

“So after waiting and looking for a home to buy for all these years, this is the place you’re going to go for?” I whined in my most mature voice, trying to drown out my family’s excitement.

Not only did I not care for certain features that the house presently had, but there were small things about it that I just couldn’t see past, like the bare white walls.  Oh, and the kitchen.  The size and look of the kitchen was quite disappointing after the beautifully remodeled kitchen in the house we were going to move out of.  For a girl whose second favorite room in any house is going to be the kitchen, I was a little disappointed (read: ungrateful).

“We can always replace it years down the road,” Mama wisely pointed out.


And here I was blaming other people for being materialistic.



Fast forward three months and weeks of removing wallpaper, texturing, painting, arranging furniture and hanging pictures.

Add another couple months and watch the change of seasons and (lots and lots) of gorgeous snow and ice.  Sit around the fire with your parents and siblings and laugh, eat, sing hymns and talk.  Host some company and – oh, celebrate Christmas!

Now I wouldn’t want my parents to have picked any other home.


Fast forward to twelve days ago.  I came home and walked up the steps to the front door, anxious to set my bags down and relax, still sick with bronchitis.  A whole day all by myself at home (yes, my mom knows how to make a place home- I could have known) before I jumped on Friday morning’s Florida-bound plane to join my family’s vacation.

Naturally, even in broad daylight, there is something pretty strange about going home alone, unlocking the front door, and discovering a waterfall gushing over the range hood and stove.  The kitchen floor and parts of the adjacent rooms had standing water and, of course, the basement was flooded as well.  I’m still not entirely sure why certain areas of the basement got flooded and not others.  Like, the one area of my brother’s room where many of our photos were stored was basically dry.


Get this: if the flood had not been discovered until my family returned from Florida, the house would have been too far gone and would have had to be bulldozed.

God knows what He is doing.



Because C. S. Lewis had such a profound impact on my walk with the Lord, I have a love for many of his sayings.  This one in particular has been going through my mind as I’ve walked around this house that’s torn up again, tired of having things so unsettled:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”


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5 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on[a] we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 forwe walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.


11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


2 Corinthians 5


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.



6 thoughts on “Living Houses

  1. This made me cry to read… you write so beautifully! The only thing you left out was the “rest of the story”, as Paul Harvey used to say. Maybe you’re saving that for next time? 😉

  2. What a story, Heidi. So, what happened? You left us hanging. We know you were there to do something, but what did you do and how bad was the damage and what had caused the problem to begin with?
    So you see, you can’t get away with just a bit of a story. 🙂

    1. Oh! So we’re going to get a remodeled kitchen, new hardwoods on the main floor, and some nice improvements in the basement. Of course, we have homeowner’s insurance and it’s a really nice thing. 🙂

      Come see it in a couple months when it’s finished and have tea with me, please? 🙂

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