Thursday, November 18, 2010

Building the Foundation - Part 2

Six years ago, my husband and I decided to add more living space onto our existing house rather than move to a new one. That decision was followed by months of planning: loans, architects, endless trips to the home improvement stores, meetings with contractors. Finally, we had a plan, a contractor, and a loan. We were ready to start.

That first morning in mid-March, just shy of BigBro's 3rd birthday, I stood in the furthest part of our backyard with BigBro and just-turned-one Princess. We watched as the backhoe and jackhammers tore apart the small screened porch, broke up the shallow concrete pad, and began digging the foundation for our two-story addition.

Over the next few months, we had limited use of our backyard; more often than not, it was a storage ground for the next stage of materials. I watched the ballet of construction equipment, workers and supplies arrive, unload, and construct. There were moments in the midst of it all when I could not see the end result. All of this mess, all of these boards and nails and bits and pieces were going to become four rooms with a roof and plumbing, heating and cooling?

The day came when no further work could be done outside of our home. They would have to break into the existing house in order to tie the rooms together. That meant cutting into our roof, tearing down the outside walls, and slicing through eleven inches of brick. It was dirty, dusty, and loud work.

These days, you would hardly know those rooms were an addition. The carpet has been stained by five years of coming and going. Paint is starting to chip on the walls. The furniture is showing the wear and tear of three young children and two cats. We call the main lower room our "family" room; it is certainly that. We spend most of our time together in that room, playing, entertaining, living, and loving. You can sit in that room and never know that there was once a gaping hole between this room and the kitchen, with raw, rough, exposed bricks. You can go into the boys' bedroom and never see the big holes in the roof of our former master, never know the little bird who got in one night, waking us with its chirping at 2am.

All of the wounds we inflicted on this house, in the name of progress and more space, have been healed. We no longer live in a home with a "new" part and an "old" part; both parts have blended together, dust and clutter and spills and laughter moving freely from one place to another.

I take comfort in that. Right now, my heart is back in the winter of 2005. I've made the decision: to begin the recovery process. My General Contractor -- the Holy Spirit -- has ordered loads of materials to be dropped at the work site: prayer, mass, running, meetings, journaling, blogging, friends, DH, spiritual direction.

Some mornings, I look at all these raw materials and wonder how on earth they will ever come together to make something whole, to make me whole.

1 comment:

  1. "He who has begun a good work in you will bring it to completion." Phillipians 1:6.
    I know when I look at myself I wonder if I will ever be the person I want to be and the person I believe God wants me to be. But I believe in the process, I know that it is slow going and I need to look up for his strength.
    I don't know if we are ever truly whole while we are in this world, but it is worth "pressing on" as Paul says.