We have been here for almost a month now. All the adjustments, the sad days, the tiredness…….I hope it is all worth it. When we were still in Washington we heard about this empty parsonage that might be available to rent. It was in the right location, close to our church and both of my brother’s homes.
We talked to the chairman of the church and he was happy to have us live there (for a really cheap price) just to have it not sitting empty. He told us it needed some work and if we changed our minds when we got here it wasn’t a big deal.
I don’t know but the sound of a country parsonage seemed so peaceful to me! I had an idealistic idea of a pretty white church and a sabbatical of sorts from regular life. So sight unseen we uprooted our whole life and moved half way across the country, with plans to move into a prairie parsonage.
My brother said we could stay with him until we had it livable. We had a week before Blue eyes had to be at his new job. I seriously can’t even remember what it looked like the first time we went in. I was so tired and emotionally drained that I can’t even really tell you what my first thoughts were. I just stayed in one room and said let’s start here and make just this room look nice and clean. And we did. One room at a time we primed, painted, tore out the carpet, scrubbed.
It was like I had this desperate determination in my heart, to move forward, to be ok with being here. And you know what? As the days went by and we cleaned and wiped down every inch of this old house I grew to love it. The structure is solid, the wood work is lovely, the old floors shined for me underneath the filthy carpet.
I think the old strength of my parsonage house rubbed off on me. It was built almost a hundred years ago, think of all the rugged winter storms, the furious wind, the love and life and trouble it has seen as it has provided shelter for countless men of God and their families.
I wonder how many times the word of God been read here? How many prayers spoken? How many lovers have lived here and how many babies been born? As I scrubbed out the closets I felt like I was paying a due respect for an old friend. I’m glad I can’t remember what I first saw because just like with people, you can’t always judge a place by what you first see, especially after years of neglect.
A few days ago Blue eyes asked me in a quiet moment if I was happy and I told him,” I don’t know yet if I’m happy with South Dakota but I am happy with this house. I love this old house!” You know when you’re in a new social situation and you’re feeling a little unsure of yourself? You know how you just feel better if you’re wearing your favorite jeans? Well, that’s how I feel. I feel like I’ve got a place to be totally comfortable, where I’ve got strong arms around me, a place that I love. I’ve got a home.
I know now more than ever that God is with me, I know I’m right where He wants me to be because He has prepared this place for me. Where I can get a feel for my surroundings, take it slow, grieve a little for my old life, adjust, find peace.
All along our side of the shelter belt (a row of trees, a mile or so long, planted to shelter houses from the wind) there are old lilac bushes. When I look at my house, in my heart I see the lilacs blooming next spring, I see the hollyhocks and glad around the front porch, and I see beauty.
I see a God who is always good. Who shows His goodness to little girls when they pray for a hungry, scrawny kitty they find in the weeds. In patches of volunteer acorn squash in our garden, in mature apple trees loaded with apples. In a cool barn full of old windows and stuff for great adventures. Imagine the stories behind all these old things!
We have the option to buy this place and I think it will all work out just fine, because, we are, after all, a match made in heaven!
“Except the Lord build a house, they that labor; labor in vain, except the Lord keep a city the watchman waketh but in vain.”
So here it is, Outside………………..