Thursday, February 28, 2008

House Renovation {part 1: the den}

If you've been with us long enough you've probably gathered in your mind that Justin and I have lost ours. In just a matter of days we will have been married for 6 years and in those 6 short years we have lived in 6 different houses. The house we currently reside in is the youngest of those 6. We're not totally crazy, we have owned and renovated only 4 of the 6. When we moved to Dothan last summer we had a lovely lot that we fully intended to build a lovely house on. However, as we're taught in Proverbs 16:9, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps", our plans were not His plans and due to some underestimating of the expense involved with building a house (and actually having dirt to build it on) we determined building wouldn't be a wise decision. We truly feel the Lord confirmed our decision in many ways. So we sold the lot and the search started for a house we could make a home. We aren't really new house people so I'm not sure what we were smoking when we thought we'd build a house... oh yeah, Erika talked us into that one! We always joked that if it doesn't have termites, wood rot, plumbing problems, shag carpet, old wiring, etc., etc., etc., then we are definitely not interested. We looked, and looked, and looked, and looked... you get the point. And then one Wednesday night after church we decided to "drive by" this house. We had seen it before but not given it much thought. It was on the market for well over a year and half (maybe 2).


So we looked and this is what we saw...

And then we turned the other way and this is what we saw... (minus "Red" the painter who gave us the most astronomical painting quote you could ever imagine... I think he was scared of the task and thought "I'll bid so high they'll run the other way"... we did!)





Honestly, it was one of the ugliest things I'd ever seen. The flier advertised "designer vertical blinds in every window". I do believe that the words designer and vertical blinds are oxymorons. The room pictured above is what we call the "den"... it is the room you walk into from our side entrance. The carpet was white, the walls were stained very dark, the "little foyer" area you see pictured above was covered in corduroy wallpaper. There were vertical blinds everywhere... and yet despite all of these flaws we were still drawn to the house. We both saw such potential in it. This is where I go deeper so hang with me PLEASE...

We have a good friend, Tommy Tolleson, and from my understanding the following ideas originated with him so I can't take complete credit for them, but I can whole heartily agree with his assessment and evaluation of taking something old and making it new.

There was something about this house that intrigued us. We could see past the ugliness of it's emptiness, windows, walls, floors, cabinets, bathrooms, ceilings... shall I go on? We knew from past experience that we could do "something" with it. Does any of this sound familiar to you? I'm hoping so and if not I hope that you'll read carefully and consider this comparison. What we (anyone, not just us) can do to a house, the Lord can do to a person's soul. He can take something old, ugly, worn out, sad, lonely, empty, angry, and sick and make it a new creation. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" A "heart renovation" is an eternal renovation. All the money and effort we have poured into this house we know will not last, we know will be outdated, we know will fade; but what the Lord can do to a person's heart is eternal. So, as I prepare to show you what I think is a dramatic renovation, I hope in your mind you will be reminded of what a dramatic renovation our Lord can do in a person's heart. It's about a billion times more shocking and dramatic than a simple coat of paint on walls and trim. I also hope that you will be encouraged to think of things in your life (whether it be a home, a relationship, or whatever) that could benefit from a "simple renovation". We live in a culture that is so driven by consumerism that we have trained ourselves to think that we always have to have "new" things, when I'm convinced that what we already have or what is used can be just as good if not better! I'm thankful that we have a gracious Savior who looks at us, sees our ugliness and decides He can "work" on us, rather than toss us to the wind! I've been stalling on posting pictures of my house because I keep thinking, "well, I'm not really done yet and there's still some crap in the corner" but then as I type this I'm reminded that similar to how I will continue to work on this house, the Lord continues to work on us and truthfully, this side of Heaven we will always have "crap in our corners". So, without further adieu... the den after pictures!







Stay tuned... more rooms to follow!

{by the way: if you live in a new house, are building a house, have new things, etc... please don't think i think any of those are "bad" in anyway... i am just simply making a point that this house sat here empty for so long and no one was able to see any potential in it. there were a handful of people who had looked at thise house and said, "you bought that house!!??" when i told them which house we had purchased. i wish they could see it now! :) }

19 comments:

BLG said...

WOW! That looks so great! I love Tommy... he has great ideas! :) I hope that we can re-do a house one day. Maybe if we ever move back to the south.
Natalie, Wayne, and Emma Raines are headed to San Francisco to our house this weekend and I can't wait. (I found your blog through Natalie)

The Nebrigs said...

Darby, I love this post! We are so so blessed to have an AMAZING heavenly father who is overflowing with grace, to not toss us out. I am so glad you and Justin had grace on your house. I love seeing the before and after pictures. You guys have done an incredible job. We are in the middle of redoing finn's bathroom. I will post B&A pics when the floor goes down

Finley's Mom said...

Your house looks amazing! You McPherson's (and apparently Sticklers) sure have an eye! Rob and I are currently looking for a new place, wish you and Justin could come help us see past some of the terrible things that are out there. Love to all!!!

Jennie-Marie said...

Darby I love your thoughts and this post. It is incredible what renovations God can do when we open our heart/doors to Him. When we turn to his way instead of our own. It is so true that His impact will not fade or become "vintage" or "antique." Amen sister... The house looks incredible and I know it is filled with a whole lot of love.

Ashley said...

This was an excellent post, and I am so glad you shared. God continually works on me in the area of contentment with what we HAVE been given. We are all blessed beyond measure with the gift of LIFE, and no earthly blessings shall ever compare. You definitely hit the nail on the head when it comes to what our focus should be...
Love the bookshelves...that's what we need for all of Mr. Adam's theology books =)

chilly said...

Great renovation.
Better theology.
Best Savior.

Well done good and faithful renovator.

Tegan said...

Oh Darby(and Justin), it's just beautiful! Your post was amazing and I love how you always point your readers to our savior! The Lord is truly glorified in this blog! Dave and I are in a rental at the moment and I've tried to make it our home! We would love to buy a house that needs some TLC! You all have done an amazing job!

erika said...

i love you! your beautiful heart overflows in every aspect of your life... your blog, your children, your house. thank you Lord for a sister who has crap in her corners too!
peace- e
PS: on a hilarious note: i'm glad "Red" made the blog.
PPS: I'll let it slide that you blamed me for your lot purchase. I should have demanded commission when you sold it! BAHAHAAHA!

Jennifer said...

I found your blog from Erika's, and now I guess I'm stalking you both!

what a beautiful comparison. wow. totally made my Friday. I love how the Lord speaks to you from the most unexpected places. wherever I am, He will meet me there. amazing.

We just bought our first house, and after their first visit, I think most of our friends are wondering what in the world we were thinking! It needs a lot of work, but it's going to be wonderful. I totally printed pictures of your kitchen, they are so inspirational! And a lot of what you did will work in ours.

keep the inspirations coming!

-Jenn

(and your girls are PRECIOUS)

Alston said...

Looks awesome - what an amazing transformation! And - I'm a little behind but - what happy baby boy news...let me know if you need any lessons in truck vocabulary!

Dena said...

it just looks FANTASTIC! it doesn't even look like the same house - I can see NOW that it had good bones! When it's time for me to start some renovations - I am sending the pict to y'all first!

the brown's said...

...beautiful thoughts...all SO true! God is So good!

...and your house looks amazing!

J said...

YEA! I LOVE the pictures! Your analogy is beautiful and so encouraging! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to see more!

Amy Jo said...

Fabulous before and after pictures! I'm glad you were able to breathe new life into that home.

Warren & Sheri said...

I see this is an older post so who knows if you'll even see it but I thought I would comment just in case.

What a beautiful comparison you've done here. I, too, love to fix houses and in 30 years of marriage we have done many. We once built one and have decided that we love the "old house character" We are in the process of finishing one now.

I had never thought of comparing it to what the Lord has done in my life and what He can do in others so I loved the insight here. By the way, you've done a beautiful job on your home, just as Christ has done in our lives!

GraceK said...

I have only just seen this post (as a new follower of your blog) and I wanted to say how beautiful what you wrote was. It's such a lovely way to think making the old new again - that nothing is ever really beyond repair or improvement if we have a little faith!

I also wanted to say that your house reminded me so much of (one of) the houses I grew up in back in the early 90s (we moved a lot too!). When we moved in the den was EXACTLY like yours - dark stained wood paneled walls, red brick fireplace, "designer" vertical blinds (ha!). The funniest part of all is that they painted the dark wood panels a very similar color to what I think you painted yours - a lovely soft buttery cream/yellow. What can I say...great minds think alike! Congrats on a fantastic renovation. Can't wait to see the rest!

Vanessa said...

Hi Darby. I have been a "silent" follower of your blog. Can't remember how I found it, but I did and have enjoyed your posts. For some reason, I checked this one out today. I have actually already read it, but for some reason, I looked at it again. I think it was because I love to see what people do with their homes! Anyway, God had a different plan and he really used your post to speak to me. I know that He is up to something in the life of my family and piece by piece, he is putting it all together. So, I just wanted to let you know that God spoke to me through you! Thanks so much for being obedient to Him in the little things!

liz said...

What a beautiful post. And, on a much less profound level, where did you get that gorgeous lamp in the first "after" pic??

Nolan said...

Isn't it hard on both of you to move from your old house to a new one six times in the span of six years? Now, with all the flaws you saw in that house, it's cool that you had the tenacity to push through on living there and renovating it in the process! Well, seeing how it looks now makes me believe that it was truly worth the effort..

Nolan Anderson