How I'm Maintaining the Heart of Home in the Midst of Remodeling One

B E F O R E  &  A F T E R

Kyle & I are flea market frequenters. One of my favorite finds thus far is the industrial funnel pictured in the above right image, which was originally buried in a pile of old tools. I saw the rust-on-gray peeking out, unearthed it from the heap, & immediately had a vision for it to be a hanging lampshade in our living room. Before the colder months came upon us, our Saturday tradition was a half-day at the local flea. Sometimes we'd have prospective items in mind. For me, perhaps a basket or picture frames & for Kyle, a certain wood grain or a snow shovel (or really any another first time homeowner tool that you NEVER knew you needed while apartment living). But more often than not, we wouldn't really be looking for anything in particular, because we are a couple of bargain hunters with a love for the process (mainly, me) & a gift for the haggling (all Kyle). Countless times I would ask a vendor how much something costs, report it to Kyle, & then 5 minutes later he was walking towards me with a smile of success on his face & the originally $35 blanket in hand for $10. It amazed me every time! Still does.

Every item we bring home from the flea market brings a story—a memory—into our home. A memory the item holds as well as a memory of the day. A memory of the grin spread across my husband's face because of his victory for his wife in the form of a vintage Native American blanket. I have a deep affection for purchasing beautiful, used items with stories. Mostly because it's unlikely another person will have have these same, secondhand items in their home & I love the distinction that offers. I'd like to think it's a delight in individuality rather than a pride of differentiation (but I'm still figuring that one out...our intentions are a mighty tricky labyrinth).

Beauty adds value.
Stories add meaning. 
Singularity adds mystery.
& I always want these earthly things to stay "things", but while we walk & breathe & live in these temporary homes, may these "things" at least award us more joy/meaning than just the human curse of possessiveness & ownership. 

gifts on loan to enjoy & share > possessions to covet

The more we maintain an everything borrowed heart posture...the more we will enjoy our physical possessions, because we are looking to them as additions to our joy, rather than the source of our joy. 

With that said, I am so thankful for the gift & opportunity to remodel yet another part of our home in partnership with Color Cord lighting company, pictured below. Our hope is that our home would be a creative expression of who we are, while simultaneously being a welcoming place for family, friends, or strangers who will become friends. God is so kind to give us this space & the resources to make it our own & the grace to offer it to others. Last week one friend cooked a meal & took a shower while we were away. Another friend utilized the natural light to take some beautiful photographs. Few things bring me deeper delight & honor than somebody feeling welcome in a place God has loaned me. Though I fumble often, this concept helps me live out my inescapable conviction to live open-handed & open-hearted.  

At the risk of talking about open-handedness foreverrrrrr, I'll pause & say...enjoy scrolling through our living room lighting installation below. I love our ever-becoming home & the hands & freckles & tattoos & concentrated faces of the man in the snapshots. An entire lifetime with him will be not enough time to discover all the skills of his hands & the intricacy of his heart. 

& lastly, a very tired husband :) NAP WELL EARNED, Kyle Green. 

what we used:
3/4 inch iron flange
3/4 inch iron pipe 
△ 3/4 inch iron elbow
black & white zigzag cloth wire
2 porcelain sockets covered with 2 industrial socket covers
1 black basic socket (for the funnel light)
3 barrel cord grips
3 cord plugs
△ 3 Volta Bulbs
△  flathead screwdriver
△  wire stripper/cutter
△  pliers
△  level
△  drill
△  measuring tape

For a more in-depth look at the first steps of the light assembling, check out part one of the Color Cord collaboration.