This month we finally took the first step in a long journey. We began remodeling our house. 

We bought this house in August of 2015 and since then have spent most of our time settling in and organizing our belongings. We love this house, but we purchased it primarily for the location and the property. We are less than one mile from where my wife Kim grew up, so she has tons of fond memories of this area. It’s a twenty acre plot in the woods, on a dirt road, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, which is how we like it! The property is great, but the house definitely needs some work. Now, before I start talking about our plans for remodeling, I want to briefly explain our mindset.

We believe that everything we own should serve a greater purpose than our own satisfaction. This house is a little bit bigger than we currently need. It is a two story house, with a full sized basement underneath. But Kim and I want to have a home with doors wide open, offering constant hospitality to anyone in need. We want this house to be a safe haven in a world of craziness. In order to achieve that, we need to remodel some things. 

The house was technically “move-in-ready” when we purchased it, but it is definitely old fashioned. There is wallpaper with whitetail deer on it, cheap black and white linoleum, and thick, dark green carpet with triple padding underneath. (Ok, that part is actually pretty comfy…) In order to be hospitable, we want to create an environment that is bright and welcoming and one that provokes thought and good conversations; not one that makes you feel uncomfortable as you squint your eyes in the bad lighting. (Our living room had no lights wired in before this remodel.)

So that is the reason we are choosing to sink time and money into our property. It’s not to look fancy, it’s not to make us feel more important than we actually are… It is to be able to serve those people who are put into our lives the best way we possibly can. 

Even though I firmly believe that… It is hard to remember at times. Every time I make a trip to Menards or Home Depot, I have to remind myself of the purpose behind our project. Otherwise, I am tempted to buy the best of the best, get all the newest gadgets, and buy the most expensive brands. In fact, one day I came home with a super nice sound system from Best Buy. It was awesome. And it would have really perfected our living room if I would have installed it. But as soon as I got home, I realized what I had done. So I returned it the next day. Now hear me out… I’m not saying there is anything wrong with buying nice things, or spending tons of money on cool technology… But my heart wasn’t in the right place. I bought that sound system simply because in the back of my head I was thinking, “Man, I bet everyone who comes over will be impressed by this!!!” (facepalm.) At the end of the day, what matters is that we have a bright, simple and inviting space. So that is what we are shooting for. 

So far we have removed all of the drywall on the ceiling, wired in twelve can lights on dimmers, installed new drywall on the ceiling and hired a drywall finisher to tape, mud and sand everything... But we still have a lot to do! I will continue to update you all on our progress and look forward to sharing this journey with you all!

Some of these thoughts might not even make sense to you. But I thought I would share what I have learned through this process anyway. Hopefully it will inspire at least one person to think about the motives behind their actions. Have a great week and stay awesome! 

Ethan

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