Monday, April 22, 2013

on creating spaces

The porch sweeps around the house in a L shape, it's deep and covered. If you listen closely, you can hear the music from inside, the scratch of the record mingling with a spring breeze and sunshine. There is nothing like music dancing in the open air.

Here, I'm drawn to the simple, to empty corners and walls that hold one instead of many. I'm interested in less and fewer and the way it feels. Perhaps, because in settling in, we are saying, let's make this home, let's belong here, and while I find great comfort in that, I will always need the wide open; the balance of wanting to belong, while maintaining the roaring free that exists eternally inside. The two will journey with me for all my days, I am certain. And it's not about quenching one or indulging the other, because I need them both, and they must be nurtured, in their respective ways.

In the sitting room, on the wall across from the fireplace, my new painting lives, my first of North Carolina, and nothing else. Nothing rests in the corner or sits against the wall and when I see it, a deep breath sweeps through me. It says, there is room here and space to be and live and grow and love and create.

To discover.

To share.

To search.

To dream.

To risk.

To hope.

There is space here and we are free to do with it what we will.

In life. You and I. Today and right now.

As I walk down the hall, I am not struck my the emptiness, but by the possibilities that come when we leave room on walls, in our hearts, and our time. For where we leave space, things can grow and we need that, plants, humans, and dreams alike, space and air and nurturing.

It's a delicate balance, and it feels good here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The gift.

This place it feels like home and my heart is full with the awareness of His good and perfect gifts, in the way that he causes doors to close and open and lead us right to them.  It’s not the house we fell in love with earlier, or the one that we eagerly filled out the application for and nearly put down a deposit.  We found in when something inside urged, no, keep looking. The next morning, we walked in the door of this place, and there was no question in our minds.

I could go on and on about every detail, down to the fenced-in backyard, the deep wrap around front porch, the three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and the rent, which exactly what we paid for a two bedroom duplex in Minneapolis.  I could go on and it would sound like we previously had lived in a shack, but this is the first actual house we have lived in as a couple.  A house where no one lives upstairs or downstairs on the other side of a wall.

And each place before has been good for that season, but here, this is something special.

On Saturday, after all our friends were gone, Matt turned on a record louder than usual.  His first reaction was to say, “Sorry it’s kind of loud.”  I paused and responded with, “It’s okay, it’s not bothering anyone.” And before I turned the corner and took a step down the wall, my throat and eyes welled up, because that feeling of not having shared walls with anyone at all, it’s magical, like you’ve just been handed keys to a whole new world.

In our last place, we had one bathroom the size of the second bathroom here.  It was cozy, which is a nice way of saying tiny and you can imagine that anytime more than one person needed to be in there took great maneuvering skills.  Here we have a master bath, that could fit a chaise lounge.  I know that huge bathrooms don’t matter in light of eternity, but it’s one more detail that is above and beyond.

In the middle of the house there is the rectangle hub where doors and hallways meet, my friend said, you have a space that is just for walking, it doesn’t need to serve any other purpose.  It’s not a hall/laundry/storage/kitchen/studio/playroom combination, it’s just for walking.  Sure, it’s just walls and floors, but it’s space to be and breathe and feel overwhelmed at the provisions of a God who loves us and knows our desires.  

I can’t help but feel it, when I walk down the hall or feel the breeze on the porch, or stand in my massive bathroom. It’s a gift, a beautiful gift, and it says that not only is it possible that we live in North Carolina, but we also get to live in this house and have space to enjoy it and to share community and be a blessing and to gather inspiration and create. 

And on and on and on.

He loves us, oh how he loves us.