[Note: Last week’s letter including the Prayer of Relinquishment struck a chord with so many of you. Though none of your comments questioned it, there’s a caveat: If you are in a situation where you are experiencing physical or emotional abuse, please set boundaries and seek help. Surrendering to God that which we can no longer hold does not mean remaining in an unsafe situation.]
And now, drumroll please… it’s finally done!
Over six years after purchasing our home here on Peace Ridge, Mike’s passion project – converting an old storage space into a bunkroom for the grandchildren - is finished. Complete. Fait accompli!
The Big Reveal was on Christmas Eve when our New Jersey grandchildren arrived. Almost before they removed their coats, the kids charged downstairs and tore off the paper wrapped around the door to their new quarters.
Squealing with delight, they each claimed a berth and then spent long minutes cross-legged on the floor, studying the Hobbit-themed wall mural our gifted neighbor Patty painted.
(Wanna see project pix? I’ll post them at the end so as not to interrupt the conversation here.)
In this season of life, Mike and I don’t need a room designated solely for storage. We prefer to possess only that which we actively use. There are exceptions, of course – Christmas décor, summer gear, tools – but we’d much rather house bodies than stuff.
Over our eight-month room renovation, we discovered something: There’s deep satisfaction in using an old house and its contents in new ways! While moving items from storage into a donations pile, I poked through drawers and cupboards in the rest of our home as well.
The vintage glass relish tray that was mom’s? It now holds powder room essentials.
That mini-muffin tin I hadn’t used in years? Perfect for corralling pins and earrings.
Old picture frames with dated prints? Keep the frames and update those family photos.
And while you’re at it, there’s another sneakily subversive thing you can do when it comes to finding new uses for household items, and it’s way more significant.
How about repurposing your life?
Not that there’s anything wrong with what you’re doing right now. Some of you are full-time caregivers, employees or volunteers, and the rooms of your life are already overflowing, thank-you-very-much.
But maybe, just maybe, for others of us it’s time for a walk-through with the Owner. The Creator who built that all-purpose structure that houses your soul. The Architect who made what he loves and loves what he made.
The image of our physical bodies as a home finds its origins in Scripture. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” 1 Cor. 6:19
Paul reminded the believers in Ephesus that Christ would make his home in their hearts as they trusted in him. (Eph. 3:17)
He also recognized that our physical bodies are temporary structures meant to accommodate our needs on this side of eternity alone:
“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” 2 Corinthians 5: 1 NLT
If by chance you find yourself with a bit of extra space in your days - those interior ‘rooms’ not fully inhabited by current family needs or standing commitments – try asking the Lord if He might have a new purpose for that tent of yours.
A bit of bodybuilding, if you will.
We’re not talking Extreme Makeover: Self edition here. You’re already equipped with most of what you need. But with some clearing out of old stuff in your schedule, you might find that structure you’re carrying around makes a pretty good fixer-upper.
And I cannot wait to see what God - and you – get up to.
Now it's your turn! Is there something in your home you've found a new use for lately?
With so much love,
- Maggie Wallem Rowe, 2024
(Click on photos below to enlarge.)
Friend Jim & brother Dan helped Mike design the room, which now hosts 4 bunks and a staircase. Neighbor Patty painted this 8' x 12' mural of The Shire!
Mike's sister Linda sewed the fanciful coverlets. The room is long and narrow - just enough space for a dressing cubby.. The kids are fascinated by the mural!
Maggie Wallem Rowe is a speaker, author and dramatist who writes from Peace Ridge, her home in the foothills of the Smokies. She made sure each bunk was designed for kids to read in bed. Of course!