This is a very touching post by my dear friend, Darlene Lopez.  She lives in New Mexico and she found me through my blog and homesteading DVDs.  We got to know each other more personally over some conversations on the phone.  This gal has such a REAL perspective.  She is so transparent and so willing to allow God to speak into her life.  I really wanted to share her story with you because it is all too familiar.  I was there once.  Complaining about living under construction for many years.  But the Lord was faithful to bring me out of my attitude.  Read Darlene's story...

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Its been nearly 4 years that we have been living in our handy man special home.

When we first bought our home, I remember telling my husband I didn't want to be part of picking out our house but rather I wanted him to chose and I would be thankful to just have a home to call our own  having lived with his parents for a few months with our 5 small children at the time, a place of our own was all that mattered at the time. 

When he brought me to come look at the home he chose for us. My jaw dropped. It was a older home about 30+ years or so. The home had not been updated, so walking into the house it was mix of 70's and 80's style. Not to mention it was so old and worn.

The kitchen was covered with this old, dull dark flower wall paper. The dark wooden cabinets made it look very dreary and closed in. The odor in the home gave off this stench that till this day I cant get out of my memory. There were mirrors hanging from all walls in the living room and huge chandeliers that swung from one side of the bathroom wall to the the other. Paint was chipping from the walls, and the ceiling was this popcorn ceiling,  very old fashion looking. The windows creaked and the doors were layered in dust. Oh, and the flooring, oh dear it was so old and gross looking, who knows how long that was there. Yuck! It was hideous and I did not want to step one foot into it yet alone live there.

 I remember smiling gracefully, trying my hardest not to complain and not say anything. But well, my tongue couldn't contain it any longer and the first words that rolled out were, "Out of all the houses, you chose this one." I didn't stop there, I continued to show my discontent and disapproval of the house. How there was so much work to do on it, and how it was near a major highway, not practical for us to raise children in. I went on and on and on. I gave him an ear full and more.

My sweet husband did his best to reassure me it would be okay and that it was only temporary, and that the cosmetics could be replaced and worked on. Like always he pointed out everything good about the house, the large yard the extra space the huge school room we would have, how we were right across the street from the gas station, Target, and grocery store, (which by the way have become quite convenient). Never the less nothing he said comforted me. Unfortunately, it was to late as the papers had already been signed.

Things only got worse, when we were about to move in it turned out the inspector who inspected the home really didn't inspect the house as the owner was moving out and he couldn't accurately assess the home. So, when my husband pulled back the wall paper in the kitchen to paint, he was greeted with hundreds of termites. Their colonies were so deep and embedded in the walls that it was beginning to destroy the wall and boards. It was a mess. Our remodeling that we planned to do later was now going to happen a lot sooner. 

Every wall was infested with termites. The damage was so bad my husband had to replace all 5 walls in the kitchen, the cabinetry, and boards. When we thought that was the only place he pulled off the mirrors in the living room and bedrooms and they were in there too. Termites everywhere. 

We called and had the inspector come back and he apologized and paid for treatment of the home. In total my husband replaced all the walls and boards. It was so gross. This wasn't all he would later  be ripping out walls in our bathroom due to black mold that was lurking behind our shower. 

During this  time the Lord was using it to show and reveal my heart to me.

This whole time I felt justified in my anger towards my husband. Yet the Lord was about to give me a awake up call.

I complained and nagged  my husband for choosing such a rotten home and Id pitch a fit when he work long hours and spend every weekend away from us to fix it up and make it livable.   Then to make matters worse I'd pick a fight when he got home and argue over his dirty socks left for me to pick up. I really let him have it . I reminded him of his poor decision every time I got the chance.

One day he brought me over to the house so I could see the nasty termite damage. When I walked in I saw how destructive these little critters were. It was so disgusting to see. I was appalled at the damage they did. That is when god used  it  as  a visual to me of what I was doing to my home. How I was treating my husband that it was similar to the termites eating away the foundation of the home. I was rotting away the bones of my husband as Proverbs says. I was damaging the foundation we had. I was like black mold plaguing my husbands spirit.

Oh gosh my heart sank, even still just the thought has me shaking my head.

My heart was just like this home he had chosen. While I was aged in the Lord, I was in dire need of a remodel. For termites and mold had invaded my heart. 

From that moment on, I was committed to helping him. I came every night with him to help him paint as the children ran around, we laughed and played enjoying our new home.

Each coat of paint was so symbolic to me. It was as if the Lord was showing me that my husband chose this home because he saw something of value in it. While, it was flawed and while the walls were pulled back and gutted , and as new walls took its place, the Lord showed me this is what Christ has done with me.

That while I was wretched rotten to the core, Jesus chose me he hand picked me to be his, then he took me gutted me out gave to me a New Life and a New Heart. He showed me that I am no longer this old house infested with termites and mold, but rather I am new. Created in his image, I am his masterpiece. I am of worth and value to him.

 And while this old house  we bought 4 years ago still has work that needs to be done on it often, It serves as a reminder that Jesus isn't done with me yet and that he will complete the work he began in me.


Just for a reminder…

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018  at 10 am CST will feature Co-Host Owen Newman

  • The following Tuesday will be featuring Owen Newman from the hills of TN talking about homesteading and the simple life.  He has a lot of wisdom and experience living with less and making the most of each and every resource they are given.  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below or send us an email or message on facebook from the keeper of the homestead page.  

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22 thoughts on “Guest Post: This Old House

  1. What a excellent reminder for me to shut my mouth and take my thoughts captive, even when I feel I have just cause to complain. It serves nothing good and only sows bitterness and creates distance between me and my husband.

    • Glad you were encouraged Bonnie and you are right it serves nothing good to complain when we have so much to be thankful for. Blessings to you

  2. LOVE this post, and love your blog. I shared this on my facebook page…such a great message. Thanks for sharing from your friend.

  3. Exceptionally moving and lovely! Thank you for sharing! We all need the inspiration to let Christ continue ‘remodeling’ us! :o)

    • You are very Welcome Michelle. Glad you were inspired. May we continue to rest in our makers hands. Blessings to you Darlene

  4. Wow! What a testimony of God’s love, power and goodness! Blessed be the name of the LORD! Praise God!
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you Erin for allowing me to write and share with your viewers, What a great joy it is to see Christ work in us all.

  6. Oh, Darlene! This story brought me to tears! We have been through so much, though not termites, thank God, that your story really hit home. We had bought a house that we thought was perfect for us, but it was WAY too expensive and needed a lot of work (it was a 1908 Craftsman four-square). It was also in a rough part of town, and we were constantly having to pressure-wash obscene graffiti off our fences and garage.
    We were in way over our heads, and, when the housing market crashed in 2008, ended up having to do a short-sale, which took over 2 years to complete.
    I was so angry with my husband for that entire experience! I blamed him for choosing a house that needed work that we didn’t have the funds to complete. I blamed him for not making enough money to pay for the repairs, let alone the house. I blamed him for, well, everything. Then, I blamed him for having to move.
    I, thankfully, got over myself, realized that we were both to blame in the situation for not being wise enough to wait and find a home that we truly could afford (I was pregnant with our second child when we bought it and felt the NEED to buy a home right then.), and asked him – and God – to forgive me for my anger and resentment.
    Needless to say, we are living more humbly now, renting a home until we can save the money to put towards a home that we can afford and that is perfect for us. Your story reminded me, yet again, that the Lord is ever-faithful and will always have something to teach us, as long as we can open our eyes and see the lesson.
    Thank you, and may God continue to bless you!

    • Cresta, I’m so thankful I’m not alone in this journey. The Lord is so good to us and faithful to teach us and grow us. I’m so blessed to know my post encouraged you.
      Blessings to you and your sweet family on this new journey as you patiently wait for his timing.

  7. Amen!
    Darlene, you and Erin remind me every day to not be afraid or ashamed to give my testimony. We are God’s masterpiece. You are right, He hand picked us to be His own, to be called according to His purpose. We are HIS chosen daughters. Isaiah 54 (maybe 55) says that our maker is our husband. That we will not have to be ashamed of what we did in our youth any longer. I try to remember that when I get disappointed in my husbands actions or words. Jesus is my husband, I am the bride of Christ and the Maker of the universe has my name on the palms of His hands. Glory to the Father of compassion and the God of comfort.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Lin, you are so right we are Gods masterpiece, and we should never be ashamed of the work He is doing in and through us. Blessings to you
      Darlene

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