Monday, February 10, 2014

Square Nails and 100-Year-Old Houses

Home improvements became a way of life when we moved into Quirky Cottage.  Anyone who has remodeled an older house knows that every project will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you think, even with a plan. The trouble lies in the surprises you uncover along the way.
Occasionally the surprises give us more respect for the old ways, along with renewed appreciation for modern tools. During one of many repairs, my master craftsman found these wonderful square nails. 

January marked the 18th anniversary of life in this house.  Instead of nine people sharing space Tetris-style, now we are four.  My youngest children have experienced the luxury of Their Own Space and a measure of privacy that my middle children could only dream of, while the older children could vaguely remember such a thing.  Those seven children gained much more than an appreciation of elbow room in this tiny cottage.  They learned deep and lasting lessons about the importance of Getting Along, and that People Are More Important Than Things.  

If you can get along with your family, you can get along with anybody. :-)

And what did I learn?  I learned that the promises of God are absolutely true.  The  "old" ways of raising children to put others first, to serve and honor one another, and to practice stewardship, stand the test of time. Now, my husband and I are enjoying the rewards of sticking to our convictions about raising our children, even when it was difficult and made more challenging by the extra inconveniences and burdens of a cranky old house, and especially when there were unhappy surprises along the way. 

So here's to you, Quirky Cottage. Thank you for sheltering my family, and for being a tool in God's Hand to teach us hard lessons and knit us together.  I guess small houses do grow tight families. ;-)