Archive for October, 2011

It’s C. S. Lewis Friday!

Yes kids, once again I have decided to just willy-nilly invent a special day! I read a quotation today by the oh-so-quotable C.S. Lewis and I wanted to share it with you guys. Then I came across this picture:

…and ol’ C.S. was just so dang adorable, I decided to make this a weekly event! (And by *weekly* I mean *whenever I remember to do it.*)

Anyway, maybe it’s because my mind is so wrapped in up HOUSES these days, but this quote just jumped out at me today:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

When I was younger, I was so much surer of so many things. I would get a clear idea of something I wanted, would pray for help, and then just go after it! I didn’t spend a lot of time dithering about trying to discern God’s will for me, because if I wanted something really, really badly (and I’m not just talking about material things here, it was the same for life decisions as well) it seemed impossible that it was not something God would want for me as well. More than once, my will and God’s will didn’t exactly synchronize and I found myself in the position that C. S. describes above, not understanding why He was knocking the house about in such a hurtful way and wondering what on earth He was up to.

Life has kind of kicked the certainty of youth out of me. I no longer assume that if I feel/want something strongly, God is automatically on board. But since I am not one of those people that ‘hears’ from God on a regular basis, or gets all kinds of tingly feelings that tell me I’m making the right call in any given situation, I have to rely on the kind of faith that often truly feels like I am stumbling around in a room in the dark, looking for doors. I cautiously make moves towards what I THINK is God’s will for me, praying all the while that He will open a door if I am to proceed and slam it shut if I’m not. It’s kind of like carrying a candle that will only light my way for a few steps ahead of me, instead of having some huge spotlight illuminating the path that I should take. But instead of feeling less sure of God’s involvement, I actually feel much more peaceful and willing to let Him guide my steps. If I blow it or get off-course, I count on Him to redirect me.

This whole move-to-Columbia thing is a case in point. I truly feel that the reasons behind our decisions are valid and wise and even God-given. We’ve found a house that we all have fallen in love with. However, there are A LOT of things that have to fall into place, and be timed just so in order for this thing to work, and honestly? There are very few of those things that I have any control over whatsoever! So all I know to do is to be dead-honest with God, tell Him how very much we’d love to sell this house for a good price and then buy the other one and move– but (and this part is sometimes said through clenched teeth) if that plan is NOT what God has for us, I will not only accept it, I will (eventually, probably in hindsight) appreciate it. I’m not saying I’m going to like it if His plans are way different than mine, and yes, there may be some bitchin’ and moanin’ going on and some tears shed, but ultimately, I am asking for and counting on His direction. See, these days obedience is rarely the issue in my spiritual life. I’ll obey– what I need is clarity!

So, to personalize C. S. Lewis’ analogy, I am trusting that if my comfortable little cottage plans start to fall apart, it is because the Master Builder has another set of plans for me. And maybe His idea of what it takes to build a palace and my idea of what I want that palace to look like are two different things…

OK, those are my Deep Thoughts on this particular quotation by C.S. Lewis– I would LOVE to hear yours! What jumps out at you, how do you interpret and relate to this?


So today was the first day the house officially went on the market and we had FIVE showings, thank you Jesus! This house is so clean it’s scary, but I guess it’s paying off because everything went great and people said all kinds of nice things. Now we just need one of ‘em to show up with a dang contract.

Ok you guys, I have to tell you something funny.

I’ve mentioned my next door neighbors, the Master Gardeners, right? The ones with the tiered rose bushes, koi pond, fountain, manicured lawn and cutting garden? They are such sweet people and great neighbors; I’m really going to miss living next to them. Well anyway, about two years ago I looked outside one afternoon and saw Mr. Master Gardener and a white-haired gentleman I didn’t recognize both walking across my back yard very deliberately as though they was measuring it, or marking it off or something. Later that day, he approached me with a big smile and said excitedly, “Russ is a golfer, isn’t he?” I replied that yes he used to play a lot, but he had gotten so busy he rarely took the time anymore. Mr. Master Gardener’s face lit up even more and he said, “Well, pretty soon he won’t have to go any farther than his back yard!” Apparently he and the white-haired gentleman (another neighbor, but one I’ve never met– retired Naval officer) had plans to install a 9 hole, par 3 private GOLF COURSE, incorporating several neighbor’s back yards and the common area that ties them together. And darned if he didn’t!  Within a matter of days, (and for no apparent reason) I had an actual putting green complete with a cup and a flag at the edge of our back yard below my garden boxes.

Here’s the deal: I always thought if you wanted to live by a golf course, you bought a house by a golf course–so to suddenly have one out behind my house with a hole actually in my yard was kind of weird. But sweet Mr. MG was so excited and proud to provide this for his neighbors that I didn’t have the heart to put a damper on it. I mean, what was the harm? He totally takes care of the whole thing, including the green in my yard– waters it daily and trims it himself with a push mover and clippers. It’s just a lovely-looking lush manicured green circle at the bottom of my yard… that people rarely use. I’m talking only a handful of golfer/neighbors  have actually played on it in the two years it’s been here, so it has certainly not been any kind of imposition or nuisance. Frankly, I don’t give it much of a thought one way or the other– until we listed the house! When we were cataloging all of the assets our home has to offer, I suddenly remembered and almost apologetically I told Lynne, “Oh yeah, there’s also kind of a little golf thingy in my back yard, but we could probably get rid of it if we needed to…”

So you can guess how this story ends, right? Yep, that little afterthought is now known as Selling Point #1: a private golf course! Everyone seems to be so intrigued by the idea, it’s one of the first things people ask about. They can’t believe that they don’t have to pay any kind of fees or dues, and that someone else takes care of it completely. Lynne said when she showed the house today it was a big hit, especially with the men. Yes, thanks to my sweet neighbor I now have a wonderful asset in my back yard, instead of the faintly embarrassing white elephant I thought I had!

I’m kind of a marketing genius that way.

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