We have an announcement to make!
I’m writing to you from my log house living room again. But NOT from the sawdust floor! I’m writing from my leather couch!
We went from this…
My children are asleep upstairs in their carpeted bedrooms on beds (well, sorta…long story there).
We just spent the day resting in front of our new tv (the one at our other house no longer works), baked scratch banana bread in our new range oven, ANDDDD are wearing the fresh, clean clothes that I pulled out of my own washer and brand new dryer (other dryer of 20 years finally gave up months ago), after SHOWERING this morning…IN the newly climate controlled log house!!!
QUICK!! Someone pinch me. I can’t believe I’m actually talking about my house.
As you’ll see in the pictures, we aren’t done…just in. We don’t have doors, baseboards, the fireplace isn’t grouted, the dishwasher isn’t in, trim for cabinets isn’t in, dining room light isn’t in, and waaaaay more. (And the vast majority of our things are still in storage.)
We made the shelves. They are suspended from the ceiling from flanges and copper pipes. Goes well with our hand-hammered (by Steve) copper range backsplash. Doing our shelves and backsplash this way was cheaper than cabinets and tile! We like the look. Seems to fit the Old World European rustic kitchen mixed with modern that we were trying to achieve.
The jars are sentimental. One was my grandmother’s from her early childhood, 2 were Steve’s grandparents’, and the rest were a blessing to me from my wonderful friend, Gina’s, father and step-mother’s personal collection. I ADORE anything old and with history…especially handed-down items with a story.
Here’s Steve’s hammered backsplash. We haven’t finished trimming it yet.
Here’s the girls’ bathroom (also not yet completed…but getting there).
I almost can’t believe it. I’m living it, but my mind hasn’t fully grasped it yet. We’re IN.
It’s been nearly 3 weeks now since we moved in (first of march, 2014), but not a day goes by when Steve and I don’t stare at the log walls, loft, kitchen, windows, fireplace, etc, and not take it all in, remembering each raw step vividly. I can’t count how many times he has asked me out of the blue, “Can you believe you and I built this? You and me??” No. I can’t.
Nor can I count how many people have asked us where we found the incessant energy and willpower to literally keep going, with quite hard physical labor at least 8-10 or 14 hours a day for 7 solid months.
We started stacking logs January 2013, worked non-stop until May, took off for the summer to prepare our other house for selling, and finally moved into our b&b guest house in September 2013 for full-time building accommodations.
Since September, we only took off Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Reiley’s 16th bday, our 2-day hunting trip, and 2 days in October to go antiquing with friends. In 7 months. In case you didn’t do the math…that’s 7 days. 7 days off in 7 months (well…really in a year! We worked every day from January til September too!) Can I have a pillow now? During that year, Steve and I have gone through this (just a FEW pics of the process)…
Where did this ongoing energy and strength come from? I’d love to say that we’re just really tough (well… I am) HA!!! ….that’s a JOKE!!
“But they that wait upon The Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
I say this as a tribute to Steve’s father, who would have LOVED building this alongside us, and was an architect…
20 years ago, he was in the hospital with extremely advanced cancer. He had been in the hospital for a week or two needing assistance to stand, walk, and had no seeming ability to attend our upcoming wedding (he told me after the fact).
He later told me that he read that above scripture from Isaiah, about strength, from his hospital room and asked Jesus to grant him that strength and energy to make it to the wedding, anyway.
Every sentence of Scripture is a promise from God to us. Therefore, EJ needed this particular promise to apply to him, that day.
Result? He was at our wedding, in a wheelchair, handsomely dressed in his tux.
The real surprise came when it was time to take family group photos. The photographer said it was time for the groom’s family to come to the front. EJ stood up from his wheelchair, walked over to me, stood right next to me (swaying just a tad), with no physical assistance from anyone to hold him up in the picture of Steve and me with his mom and dad. I was so nervous that he’d fall and fade.
My dad was telling the photographer to hurry up because this was a very sick and weak man. Buuut, EJ moved to where he needed to go for the pictures, and smiled proudly for what would be our last family photographs taken with him. He died 2 weeks later.
God is profoundly loving and gracious to bless our family and EJ with that gift of unusual and specifically granted strength, when most needed.
Hearing that story from him, and seeing the amazing nature of the answer was one of the reasons that I started to rethink about God back then…Whom I had been pretty frustrated with and away from for years.
I couldn’t help reflecting on all of that during this build, and every time someone asked “HOW are you doing this??”
That’s how! It’s our cooperation and willingness to keep doing what the Lord seems to throw at us each day….and The Lord literally “renewing” our strength each and every day physically, and through encouragers, to get us through it all…because we need that in order to accomplish the goal that He has for us to become debt free. (We’re doing all of this with cash. You can too. Read about the Log Home Builders Association.)
Are we sick of building? Yes. Do we want to stop and quit a while? Yes. However, we have a house to finish. Sooo, the need for constantly renewed strength continues on, until we’re done.
Don’t be deceived by these pictures. We are far from done. The girls have no furniture. They are on mattresses on their floors. All of their belongings are still in storage (8 months now). They have no rods or shelves in their closets, or closet doors.
We don’t have a master bedroom, no closet, or master bathroom. It’s all storage. I sleep on the floor of our room. Steve takes the couch in the living room.
We also need to put shelves in laundry room, chink loft and areas of our room and closet, put up mantle, hang our bedroom door, finish kitchen, and THEN tackle building our wraparound porches with metal roofs outside, and chink whole exterior…and then clean up construction chaos and tackle a garage or shed. We are far from done. I’ve included pictures of the outside chaos at the bottom of this post. (Sigh….)
We can’t finish it all now, anyway! We have to give you all a reason to keep coming back to visit us!
There are now people in 31 COUNTRIES reading about our build. I deeply and sincerely thank each one of you for your ongoing interest and support and encouragement.
Thank you for the messages we have received. It means SO much to know that our experience and faith is helping and encouraging you.
“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Isaiah 40:29
“On your strength I can crush any army and scale any wall.” 2 Samuel 22:30