Everyday Encounter with God

Pastor Sylvia's Encounters with God in the Midst of Everyday Life


A weekly column that is short, pithy and relevant. It deals with Pastor Sylvia's encounters with God in the midst of everyday life. 

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Living in Tiny House

Husband and I own a vintage split-level that badly needed some upgrades. Working with our favorite contractor we decided to first tackle the central floor—kitchen and living room. By taking out the wall between them we could look from our front door through to the French doors of the patio and beyond to the Koi Pond and waterfall. Putting hardwood floors in both areas would add to the “open concept” that is popular today.

I probably should have asked how long this would take… and added to the estimate.  

With expectations high we watched the wall come down, moldings pried from the walls, the ceiling re-texturized and painted, and a number of details I had never considered when visualizing the finished product.  

Two rooms of furniture were moved to the patio under a tarp. It rained, and rained again. Every time work stopped to allow paint to dry I became irritable, counting on my fingers the number of days we had lived without kitchen appliances and comfortable living room furniture.

Then we had to move into the basement while the flooring was installed. My laundry room became our kitchen. The half-bath was utilized for washing dishes. The bedroom was multi-purpose for us and our cats. We called it “Tiny House.” And although we had everything we needed, it wasn’t access to the abundance of stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. I became more irritable and spent even more time counting on my fingers.

The floor guy rarely arrived before noon. Two days he didn’t show up at all. We peeked through the windows and his work was exceptional. But I counted and silently fumed. I asked God, “How long will we have to live in ‘Tiny House?’” 

When He was silent I asked Husband. “How long?”

Husband’s answer was unappealing. “As long as it takes.”

“As long as it takes to finish the floors or for me to learn something in all this?” I bemoaned.

“Yes,” he replied and sauntered off before I could argue. Sometimes Husband is a man of few words. Too few.

I gradually began to see house remodeling as similar to childbirth. A couple decides to start their family and they are really excited when the pregnancy begins. They figure out where to put the nursery. They paint and arrange furniture. But very few first-time mothers realize that nine months is a really long time when their lower back aches, their bladder only holds a thimble of urine at a time, and their feet swell beyond reasonable shoe sizes.

As the due date arrives, most women cry out to God, “How long will I have to be this child’s ‘Tiny House?’”

God’s reply usually sounds similar to Husband. “As long as it takes.”

Initially the mother is focused on her expectation: a beautiful baby nine months later. She rarely considers the difficulties and delays. And yet, something miraculous occurs: her expectations are transformed into anticipation. That is, an excitement that exceeds the discomfort along the way.

By the time our floor guy finished late Saturday night, we had a choice where to spend the night— in our “Tiny House” or move up to the “Big House.” We chose to stay where we were, awestruck by God’s generous and abundant love for us. 

We were finally living not in an expectation, but in anticipation of what we would see the next morning.

Our remodel is breathtaking! We are slowly moving back into our house. God and the contractor have exceeded both our expectation and our anticipation.

“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…” (Proverbs 13:19)

ARCHIVES

Another Nationally Known Pastor Takes His Own Life

Through the Valley

A Breach Unhealed

I Choose Healed

Why Does God Permit Suffering?

Why Were You Created?

God Made You and Loves You

The Lion King (part 2 of 2)

The True Lion King (part 1 of 2)

Could Animals Teach Us More?

All The Difference

The Sin We Don't Discuss

Everything Has A Reason

Graduating Another Generation

My Father's Daughter

Woven By God

Home Improvement Time

Spring Beachcombing in Oregon

Confessions of a Lostologist

Find My Friends

Broken and Beautiful


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