Monday, February 6, 2017

river house #12: wall of windows and a homeless ministry

Y'all, this River House is going to do me in.  My hair is going gray and this project is probably why.

Don't get me wrong, I love it.  I have the vision, and I'm ready to see it come to life!  I wish I was moving in tomorrow!

But oh, the days and weeks just drag on, and it feels like our wallets are empty and we are still in framing.

This project has become so much bigger than just a house.  Oh no, it's giving us stories.  It's giving us connections.  It's giving us ministry.

It was a sad and discouraging day when we had to let our former contractor, Mr. Larry, go.  The bills were just getting too high.  And through friends of ours who are also in the business of renovating properties, God brought us Mr. Jim.

Mr. Jim
"Mr. Jim," as our kids call him, is our new contractor and we love him already.

10 years ago, Jim lost his son at age 16 to suicide as a result of childhood bullying.  Through that tragedy, he admits he lost his marriage and he lost his faith.

But every year on the anniversary of their son's death, Jim and his former wife (they're still best friends) host a party in his remembrance.  And this year, being the 10th anniversary, was the biggest yet.

They hired magicians for the kids, they had pinatas and lots of food and candy.  We were so honored to attend, and we are praying for Jesus to carry Mr. Jim through so much pain.

In just a short time, Mr. Jim has made quite a splash at the River House.  
Remember the large great room that didn't even have windows yet?

(Designing the focal wall of windows for a river house is a little intimidating to say the least...)

Here it was the night before windows....

And here it is AFTER.  The windows took my breath away when I walked in and saw the view for the first time.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  

NOW it looks like a River House.

Those windows are so great, you'll be able to see all the way to the back wall of windows as you walk in the front door.

Jim also put the window in that will go above my tub.  I can picture it now.... ahhh....

Beginning of fireplace wall

getting essentials together for the homeless man
It turned out that Mr. Jim had compassion on a homeless man who happened to stop by one day and ask for work.  But after he worked at the house all day, we caught the man trying to sleep on the dirt floor under the house.  (so, so sad.  He just wanted to stay out of the cold.)  It's a long story, full of twists and turns over the next few nights, but I'll just say that a ministry to the homeless wasn't exactly in my plans when I bought this house...

Obviously God had other plans, and it was a good opportunity to wrestle with what it looks like to live out the Gospel we claim to believe... especially when the person literally shows up in your house.

It was a very tangible reminder that our own Savior himself entered this world with no place to lay his head.  He, too, was relegated to a dirt floor.  

Great Room
So this is where the open Great Room currently stands.  Isn't it GORGEOUS?  Can you envision it?
Looking into the dining room and kitchen

Burn, baby, burn

Instead of hauling a bunch of wood scraps to the dump, we decided to burn it one day.  (I'm not sure we realized the fire would get so big??)

The kids absolutely loved playing "firemen" with the hose, though!

If anyone has a crew of construction workers and about $100,000 sitting around,
we'll take it...

To be continued.

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