Friday, July 12, 2013


Today our stucco contractors mixed sand and cement and slapped it on the side of our house making me very happy.  It’s called a scratch coat, and it is the first step in a long process to finish the exterior of our new home. 
Hester when we bought her.

We've named our house Hester – after Hester Prynne, the longsuffering heroine of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.  She, like our house, was the misunderstood heroine who sinned in a community where sin was not allowed.  Our Hester is the "ugliest house on the block" - we are in the process of bringing back her natural beauty.  Our neighbors are very grateful.  

Our house is the victim of long-term neglect. She was owned by someone who did nothing to keep her up for the last 25 years or so.  By the time we bought her, she was falling apart.

Restoration is not easy.  It takes time and each step is little by little;  I hate little by little!  This process has been a good lesson for me to remember that God transforms us from a run down, misunderstood victim of abuse and neglect into a restored version that is even better than before.  

This process is expensive, and it sometimes doesn't feel worth it. 

Today, though…it feels worth it. 

The mud of the scratch coat is the culmination of many steps - making the house habitable for us.  

Making it a suitable home.  

The outside used to be vinyl siding - underneath it was old stucco and underneath that was untreated wood that had rotted.  The bottom half had to be rebuilt with treated wood.

The siding did not survive... gladly.

The inside was pretty dated - complete with mis-matched tiles and the most hideous cabinets I had ever seen.  

Before                    After

We have been back since March 15 -nearly four full months.  In that time I have reconnected with family and began the process of rebuilding relationships.  

This is not done all at once.  It’s little by little as well.  I’ve also learned about humility, forgiveness, and grace on new levels. 

I have spoken aloud my gratitude many times…how grateful I am to be in the process of being restored. 

I have gotten honest with myself – dropped a lot of weight (mostly in my head) and learned all over again the importance of God’s Word.  I also have rediscovered GRACE – did I say that?  Of course I did…I did rediscover grace again. 

Websters defines grace as: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification;  a virtue coming from God. 

Me and Hester – getting restored.