Being honest, thoughts about our home

To be honest, I have really struggled with this home repair.

I really, really want to be as Nicaraguan as possible when it comes to my home, but at the same time I want to provide a comfortable environment for my kids.  Like it or not, we are accustomed to American style homes with American amenities.  For us to be reasonably comfortable, I felt like our house needed to have some “American-ness” in it…not like a flag or anything, but some familiarity.

To that end, I chose colors for the walls that are more American than Nicaraguan.  We used cooler, pastel colors for the inside of the house because of the heat.  Even though it’s mostly mental, we didn’t want to have yellow or orange walls when we already feel warm!  The main room is a cool blue, and the rest of the house is shades of green and blue, with white trim (instead of the original dark brown).  As I started painting, I found myself getting discouraged and frustrated that each color I opened ended up a lot darker than I had planned, which meant that I had to mix a lot of white into each gallon of paint to make it the way I wanted it.  In fact, not a single color in this house is reproduceable, all of the colors are very, very custom made!

As I was painting (and mixing), I started noticing myself having some pretty negative feelings about how long things were taking, and I realized how selfish I was sounding.  We are so fortunate to have a house to live in, regardless of the condition.  We have a home.  And to my recollection I have never seen a Parade of Homes: Orphanage Workers Edition on HGTV.  Or Cribs.  To top it off, if there was such a thing we would probably qualify to be featured on it because this home really is very, very nice.  Yes, there are critter issues, etc, but it is a very sturdy house.  We have tile floors.  We have four bedrooms.  We have a kitchen, and two bathrooms.  We have a porch.  We have a roof that doesn’t leak anymore.

The bottom line: we are terribly blessed.

I think the kicker for me was when the kids started coming into my house, looking around at the walls together (formerly there was a lot of mold/rot/burn damage on the house so we put up several sheets of drywall) and said, “This is a beautiful house!” even before I was done painting!  Honestly, this house is probably in the best shape of all the houses here.  And the staff and directors didn’t reserve it for themselves, they gave it to us.

Our house is a beautiful house.  As I enjoyed the sunset from the corner of our yard last night, and the continuous stream of kids and co-worker/friends visiting our house, I have come to believe, heart and soul, that this is not just a beautiful house, but it’s becoming a beautiful home.

Our home is beautiful because it is a community centered home.  Our fridge will always be holding food for friends who want to store it.  Our door will always be open.  I hope that our porch is always full with kids wanting to come over and see us.  I believe our spare rooms are always full of family, be that our biological family who is visiting, our dear friends who have become family to us, or the kids here that are considered family.

God bless this home, and all who enter.

About mjstearns

We are Mark, Jenni, Tate and Theo Stearns. We currently live in Beaverton, Oregon, but are planning to move to Nicaragua within the next six months. We'll be serving as missionaries to Verbo Church, a non denominational church with several Nicaraguan locations. Specifically we'll be working at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage run by the church, assisting in vocational training and transition programs for the older boys.
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1 Response to Being honest, thoughts about our home

  1. Oh Jenni — this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey. I cannot adequately express how it has touched me, but I can be honest and say that I brushed tears from my eyes 🙂 Love and hugs, Rhonda

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