Commitment!

The bank sent us the Mortgage loan commitment today! Yay!

Brenda and I signed it and sent it back!Yay!

So the Vicarage project has taken another step forward.

Now we can get this fixed!
And this fixed!
And this!

Friday we are meeting with the whole design team including…

Plumber

Electrician

Siding installer and vendor rep

Painter

Mason

Finish Carpenter

We’ve been asked to make some choices on styles of kitchen that will match the new footprint. I like this one.

Kitchen we love.jpg

We’ve also been asked to think about siding or painting. A lot depends on price but if we side I think I want something like this.

Queen Anne RevivalA 1902 Queen Anne-style house in Franklin, Indiana regains its turn-of-the-century charm
Photograph by Nathan Kirkman

Or this…

Do you like shake siding or straight siding?

Day to Day and On the Way

Last week in my post IN THE WAITING, I said that I was waiting to hear back from the loan company about what they needed for paperwork from us beyond the application.

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I had most of the usual things put together in a packet just waiting for the right e-mail to send it all to. The info came on Friday night and I sent it off on Monday.

More waiting….

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But it’s not like there has been nothing to do in the mean time. This new job is very different from my other work in ministry as an assistant.

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There’s a lot more praying needed (and that’s saying something).

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There’s a lot more strategic planning.

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There are a lot more meetings (and that is saying something again).

Yesterday I started the day with a few hours of prayer

Then a voice lesson

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Then I had a meeting about elder care.

I began planning the next month worth of worship services.

I met with a couple to help them fill out conservatorship paperwork for a disabled parent.

Spent some time on the porch talking with Brenda before making supper

Then I finished up the night with a meeting on strategic staffing for the next 3-5 years.

And then…..

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I am loving this new work. It fits in a way I never expected it would.

In the middle of all that, a message came that an appraiser will be at our house on Monday to take pictures and walk the property.

The next step has arrived. And so now I must clean!

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In the Waiting

I called the bank today because we were supposed to get an e-mail confirming the submission of our HELOC application. We did not. Our banker, Deb, is checking on things, and I am in the waiting space.

Not that there is nothing to do in the waiting. Life doesn’t wait for the waiting spaces and even in them there are deadlines to be met as we continue to walk by faith toward our upcoming renovation. Besides the day to day stuff, we have a lot of projects to do before the renovation itself begins. I still have to chop out the rest of the bushes around the stone porch. I am leaving the hundred year old antique hydrangea though. It’s so beautiful and if we can help it I really don’t want to lose it.

Our forest garden is so beautiful this year….and the fragrance! I wish I could bottle it and save it for winter.

I mowed this morning and pulled some more of the gardens away from the house. The yard is full of herbs in the afternoon heat.

For the rest of the day I will work on the gardens to prepare them for the stone porch renovation. I am taking this slight delay as God’s way of blessing me to give me time to get all the work done by schedule.

Pathways At the Vicarage

Today was mowing day at the Vicarage. I love the smell of the forest garden when it is freshly mowed. There is one place where the mix of Bishops weed, wild carrot and goldenrod mixes to smell like cilantro. In one corner of the yard, the mown clover smells a little bit like what I imagine Heaven must smell like. When I mow the catywhompus garden the chives and oregano start to smell a little bit like the North End in Boston. Fragrance in a garden is probably more important to me than the look of it.

If I am being authentic, transparent and vulnerable, I have to admit that I enjoy sitting and gazing out at the forest garden almost more than anything else in the world. I love to breathe in the fragrance and listen to the animals chirp and twitter. I especially love in that symphony of nature, to listen for the deeper and quieter voice of God.

One of my side dreams is that the Vicarage would become a destination for people desiring to seek the voice of God for their lives. I can envision holding small prayer and meditation retreats or even hosting individuals who just desire to sit in the gardens to pray.

The Vicarage is not a very big piece of property but pieces of the forest garden are thick enough that a person can go into it and be completely sealed away from the sight of others.

Right now. I have two prayer spots on the property and a bunch of paths that go nowhere. But this renovation has me thinking that

these paths could be cultivated to twist and turn deep into the forest garden, leading listeners to sacred spaces that could open the very heart of God to them. I think that beginning this renovation process has awakened some dreams in me that must become part of the purpose and vision for the Vicarage.