What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Be it ever so humble


In a certain little town, if you drive down a certain little road you will come to a certain little hill


... and if you go to the top of that certain little hill you will see a certain little homestead~ well, the skeletal remains of its' glory days, anyway~


... and that homestead was where several generations of "Newman" toiled and laughed, fell in love and had babies, and put in a good honest days work every day God gave them.

It has history written on its doorposts.


It is where Grandpa Nathan worked his whole life away in order to have farms to give to all his children, farming with horses and long sleeve shirts and sweat. It is where Grandma Prince married Grandpa Leigh and had four babies, most within its' very walls. It is a place that saw the change of outhouses and peepots to indoor plumbing, it had to have a hole cut in its walls for one of those telephone machines and eventually housed a refrigerator. It has seen it all. It is also where my father-in-law sprayed painted GARY + LINDA as a boy in love on the barn wall.

And now, it will be home to a new generation of Newmans~ US and we will write our own history upon its walls. It will be Matts and my sweat that those 106 acres soak up, that we might have something to leave to OUR children.


That sweat and toiling isn't something that we can anticipate only in the future, however, but is something that is starting right now. Maybe now more than ever, in fact.

The only way we could afford such a place is to get a fixer upper. I have always known that. But I guess I was thinking maybe not THIS extreme. The whole place is falling apart!

Many barns need to be torn down entirely and/or fixed up. That is, after we cut down the brush and trees blocking them in.


Now you know why we haven't gotten anymore pigs or cows to replace our old ones. ;-)


The chicken house, (that's it above and below) Andrew could probably push right over with his toy dump truck. Since we HAVE chickens, we need to be tearing it down and rebuilding a place for them to over-winter and STAT .



The house, I fear, is only being held up by the layer upon layer of contact paper Gram slathered everywhere. The roof leaks and the foundation has bad spots. We will have to convert to wood heat. And that says nothing for the wavy plywood walls, water damage, layers of falling down wall paper and...contact paper (ugh) and all the COSMETIC work it so desperately needs.

I told Matt, I would rather have just the bones of a place than to have to go on an archeological dig through 50's wallpaper, 60's plywood, 70's carpet and 80's contact paper to FIND the bones.

The worst of it is.... since we are on the tightest budget of our history.... my instant gratification nature is going to be tested as we CAN'T make all these changes right away. We lack two precious resources... money and TIME. The fact is, I am going to have to live in a hideous house for a while and make it less hideous SLOWLY and as we are able.

It wouldn't be as big a deal if it I weren't currently living in my DREAM HOME. My own vanity is holding onto our present home with a death grip. I have to fight (daily) the comparison game about our current house and the new one and the new one always loses...big time. But the sad fact is that despite our original hopes, this house can never be ours and will never be.

Our new house may not be better (at present), but it will be ours. And permanence is something I have dreamed about and prayed for since the first day I became a blushing bride. With the claustrophobic ceilings and small rooms, I get the liberty to plant my orchards and reap their harvests, plant asparagus and perennials and never be faced with leaving them or digging them up. With the scraping of contact paper, I get to see Matt live out his dreams of having LAND. When we are old, we will have something to GIVE to our children. All of these, dreams come true.

Truly, my home isn't within ANY four walls. Matt is my home and wherever he is, I will be. Happily. It sounds cheesy and cliche', but there it is.



If I can get through ONE more move, I will never (Lord willing) have to move again.

We are BUYING a house.

And we move October 31st.

37 comments:

Father's Grace Ministries said...

Congratulations!!!!! God is so good and faithful- AND the blessing of family land! Praying the move goes well. Keep in touch.
Claire and family.

Miranda said...

I am so happpy for you! That is wonderful. :o)

Bonnie said...

Um. holy smokes. followed praying for your sanity, praying for Gods miracles in making it livable, and praying because I know you.
The house from the outside, I love. I mean really love. And as I told you by pen, the rich Newman history oozing out of it. I am happy for you all, this is exciting!!! (for me, who doesn't have to pack, and chisel contact paper off.) How far is it from your old place? read is it further west? Like 6 hours further ????? : D

Bonnie said...

P.S. I'm teary eyed too, knowing you will have, finally *home*. I can see your orchards, and clothes line, and gardens and...
Love.

Anna said...

Wow! Congratulations on your *new* home. The Lord will give you grace to endure the present looks, and all of the work ahead. What a joy it will be to have your own sweat and blood (hopefully not blood!) in the history of this home! Your family is so sweet. Blessings!
~Anna (Bonnie's sister)

Quinn said...

Congratulations- how exciting! All of that extra work will make that truly *your* home :)

When your post came across my reader, my son was walking by and saw the photo of a long country road and he said that that was where he wanted to live someday. Can you tell we live on a busy highway with semi-trucks passing by all hours of the day and night. It's the only thing that makes me wonder if this is our last home or not.

Terri said...

That is so STINKIN' AWESOME!!!!!! Rebecca, from reading your blog for the past 3 years (I think), I know that you absolutely will make this place a wonderful home for your family. That is a wonderful adventure you are about to set out on! Congratulations!!!

Mary said...

You are a woman who sees beauty among weeds, through your camera lens and put it out for the world to see. Not many of us have an artist's soul. It is God given. So you will paint the walls, create with your sewing machine . But you will do so with your Corinne and your addie. You will build with your Andrew, Judah and your beloved Matt. God has given you the perfect home. Filled with family history of the past . Not many can appreciate it. But you will make it your dream home. You inspire me to see the beauty in weeds. May the Lord send you his abundant blessings as you go on this journey .

Louise said...

Congratulations!
I don't envy your task with the contact papered walls - when we bought our home last year (also an old farmhouse) we peeled four+ layers of wallpaper from many of the walls - but it is home and it is ours, as yours will be! I am very happy for you!

JenniferM said...

Wow! How great!
It wasn't all that long ago that the house you currently love wasn't all that fantastic. I'm sure the two of you will make something great out of this place as well!

Anonymous said...

what mary said - amen!

ulli said...

Congrats to the Newmans!! You will make it work beautifully, as is your style. This journey, for the entire family, will be one of memory making and family growth. Blessings to yo all!

Rosemary said...

I am so happy that you have found a forever home. How wonderful that it is the old Newman homestead!

Dana said...

So very happy for you! Owning a home--especially a fixer upper--is a grand adventure :). Can't wait to see the process of it all.

Marlene Bibby said...

Happy for you. Hope it all works out.

Davene Grace said...

One of my first thoughts was, "Oh, good! It's at the top of a hill. They'll never have to worry about flooding!"

My second thought is this: there is no way to replicate the sense of history that your new home and farm has. You can work hard and invest sweat and tears and money and time into making it look the way you want it to, but if it doesn't have that history to start with, you can't add that in later.

My third thought is a prayer. May God grant you strength for the task, joy in your heart, and a united spirit with your husband in this new endeavor!!

Davene Grace said...

I forgot one thought. I also thought that it is wonderful that you'll be able to capture those old buildings with a camera before they're knocked down. We've got lots of those old ramshackle barns and outbuildings around here; and as much as I know they're an eyesore, I also think there's a unique beauty and character in them. I can't think of anyone better to capture and appreciate that than you!

Hollace said...

Read the poem from your 2008 blog again. It will happen. Your dream will become a reality and you are willing to work to make it so.

Mar said...

Congratulations! I know it's going to be work - a LOT of work - but I know you all can and will do it. I'm full of questions that I hope you'll answer in the future - how far is it from your current place (doesn't sound close based on Bonnie's comment) and how will that affect you staying with your current church, your friends, your family, etc.? How will this affect your husband's work starting his own company? HOW are you going to fit home-schooling into your day?

Oh, wait, it's you - it will all be fine, at least to those of us outsiders looking in...

jaya pratheesh said...

the previous comments say everything i was going to say. so, just this: Good luck for this Monumental task that God has set on your plate.

It is all possible with Him that cares for you.

Holy moly you have to pack up in one month! My prayers are with you.

Bonnie said...

Hi Mar!
I was just wishful thinking, I have no idea if its far or not! We occasionally tell each other "You need to move out by me", and thats what this was, my last ditch effort : D Just wanted to clear that up!
Bonnie

Melissa said...

Congratulations Rebecca! It will be an adventure but with such a wonderful destination!

Mr. G's Mrs. G said...

What a wonderful blessing for you and your family! I can hardly wait to hear of all of your adventures! :)

Leah said...

With you there, I am sure your home will be as "homey", happy, and beautiful as ever in time. And it will be YOURS!

Because your house (no matter where it be or in what condition) is built upon the Rock it will stand. God bless you and keep you in His peace throughout this new adventure.

Tracy said...

Oh my! I'm so very excited for you. For ALL of you! And I'm also praying that just as the cold weather sets in, you'll be warm, and dry in this fixer upper. So much work to do, indeed, but whoo hoo!!!!!!! it will be YOURS!

...they call me mommy... said...

Aww. Rebecca, this was a beautiful post. I loved the way you told a story through it!!! I've been praying for you and all the decisions and will continue to do so!!!

Please don't ever stop blogging, btw. ;) I can't wait to see all your beautiful photos and watch what a little bit (well a lotta bit ;) ) of elbow grease and a whole ton of love do to this 'ole place!

Congrats on buying a place and carving out a new niche for your family! :)

Full of Grace said...

OH, REBECCA, it's AWESOME from the outside, SO SO much better than I had imagined in my mind..Really, and Truly! I love it! :) Oh, do I have stories for you..A Romeo and Juliet story..Instead of a tale of two cities, we will call it A Tale of Two Browns in Love with Two Houses..two entirely different situations, both in need of some good old' fashioned elbow grease and more..

I am very excited to see your new home, honestly, it's lovely and I see it's potential without even looking inside! :) SO EXCITING FOR YOU and I really do mean it! :)

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

Congrats! It sounds like you're going to have plenty to keep you busy this winter. What fun to live in a house on land with such rich family history. I know that you're going to embrace this new adventure, and even though it may be tough at times, you're going to love creating special place to call home.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new home! Just think, by the time you are done taking down all those layers of wallpaper, the square footage of the rooms will grow and you'll have an even bigger house than you thought! I love the outside and I look forward to seeing what you will do with your home, using the creative talents God has given you.

Michelle

abigail said...

It's stolen Matt's heart, so it is Home, you're right. I pray that God will swiftly ferry your heart from the old to the new. It's like leaving Egypt; sure, you'll miss the melons and such, but you'll have FREEDOM! Besides, you can grow acres of melons on 106 acres. :)

Millie and I both love the outside. I second Elizabeth. From what you'd told me, I expected the outside to be derelict, bent over, and full of holes. It looks charming, and it's so easy to imagine the house with a bright border of blooms and with cutting gardens and fruit trees peeking out from the back.

May God give you the resources to fix-it-up in His good time-- resources both tangible and intangible. May he pour out courage, money (hey, I can pray for that!), and bucketloads of grace and patience during this great adventure. Having a space of your own, no matter how needy a space, is a precious thing, indeed, especially when it's bound around with the footstep-echoes of family.

Let us use some of our elbow grease, too. Soon, please. Don't be greedy!

abigail said...

p.s. We accidentally stole Adele's red shoes. Don't hate me.

Mary said...

How deliciously exciting!
Congratulations. Can't wait to see what you'll do with this HOME of yours.

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Oh wow. I'm speechless. A home, with that much history, already in your family and you're BUYING it?? That has to be one of the most amazing blessings! Congratulations to you and your flock.
Thanks for coming by my blog and for entering my giveaway! Looks like you really could use that book!

Riahli said...

This brought tears to my eyes, so beautiful... so happy for you all! I just know that you will make it into something amazing!!! I would take land over a nice house any day, the house will fix. :) It's not going to be easy though and my prayers are with you all as you move and set up in your new place, and for warmth this winter season. :) I LOVE the history of this place, how wonderful!

MameyJane said...

What a blessing! What a dream come true! Thank you for sharing in such an honest, candid way. I, too have a need for "instant gratification" so I can feel your trepidation. But I cannot WAIT to see its transformation into a warm, inviting, welcoming home. It's gonna be fun to watch!

This is just the sort of place my husband and I dream of finding and living in...so I'm a little jealous :).

Leah said...

Rebecca,

It's beautiful!!! It may not be your dream home and it may need lots of work but it is YOURS!!! Knowing you like I do, I'm sure you'll have your new home looking just as inviting and home-y as all the other houses you've lived in. I can't wait to see before pictures, as well as progress pictures, and eventually finished pictures!

One of the things I long for more than anything right now is a home of my own, my very own. I'd do just about anything to have 100+ acres and a family homestead. You are truly blessed! :D

Victorianlady8 said...

Oh Yippee!!!!!!!!!!! I love it! You are going to have a blast doing this project together! This is so exciting...you are blessed...so blessed, and for Matt to be able to farm...oh what Joy! Pure Joy! We have lived this life for 25 years now, and though it isn't easy...it's GOOD! I am so thankful, and I am here to encourage you! If you need anything, please email me through my website! I would love to give any thoughts! I am so EXCITED!!!!!!! God bless you Newmans!!!!!