Yesterday as I sat in the stunningly enormous kitchen of the Gold Monarch Healing Center in front of a roaring fire with my son Moses and niece Caroline Grace, I should have been overwhelmed with the sheer miracle of the situation.
After all, in less than 9 months, donations came in to pay for a breathtaking property as a retreat center to help broken hearts (and broken bodies) find deep healing and release from trauma, hurt, and pain. And even though Abilene, Texas is slightly different than the palm tree, trendy Los Angeles, California we moved from, we're humbled and honored to be apart of a healing center in honor of our late daughter, Luca Gold.
As of this current moment, me, Studhubs, and my son Moses have officially been living with my parents (wait for it…..) since JUNE.
After Luca passed away on March 5 of this year, we gave up the furnished place we had rented month to month last June—thinking we'd leave Abilene, Texas for sure and head back to our stuff packed high in a California storage unit, or maybe over to Nashville we were still own a place. But as the weeks rolled past, with Jesus failing to give us a green light to leave, we found ourselves living out of suitcases for almost a year, feeling more than a bit…..stuck.
We didn't know why we were in Abilene. And to be honest, we didn't really want to be there (I mean, there is ONE organic restaurant, which is quite difficult for me!). But we didn't feel released with peace to leave.
And now, we definitely know why we didn't leave with Gold Monarch opening its doors last month. We're definitely sticking around to help start and minister at the healing center. But it's been 8 months. I just turned thirty-seven. And the reality of the situation is, we don't live in the stunning retreat center that you've all seen pictures of on Instagram. The three of us are still living with my parents—in a three bedroom guest house that they just purchased on the back 10 acres of the Gold Monarch property.
I know in light of starvation, abuse, and the Christian genocide that continues to happen all over the world, my little problem is just that: little. But this problem is still cramping my creative, sometimes introverted, need-my-alone-time-heart—especially when I'm supposed to turn in a finished book in 3 months to my new publisher; I'm helping to start up and run a new healing center; and I'm still traveling as an itinerate speaker.
If this problem was as easy as finding a rental, or going out and buying a house that we loved, then we would do it in a heartbeat. But here's the problem…..
Nothing on the market in Abilene, Texas is remotely my style.
Our Nashville loft has 100-year-old wooden floors, exposed brick walls, and 16-foot-ceilings that inspires me to write, sing, and imagine. (Deep, creative sigh). Our Los Angeles place was modern with clean lines, a stunning California feel with a beautifully landscaped yard that we shared with some of our best friends, Abner & Amanda of Johnnyswim, and Chase and Tessa Benz—constant music, outdoor meals, photo shoots, and even records were being recorded in spare bedrooms. (Deeper, creative sigh). And for the same price here, I'm looking at dark wood everywhere, track housing, a lot of carpet, brass fixtures, and slightly less…..uuuummmm….creatively inspiring.
Our long-term plan is to buy land and build a farmhouse. We want to raise Moses with chickens, goats, possibly a cow or two. But that can't happen in the next few weeks or months.
But this can.
On the back of the Gold Monarch property is this metal storage shed that smells a bit like gasoline.
And we're thinking about converting it into a little 2-bedroom Barndominium. That's right, I said Barndominium. For those of you thinking I'm attempting to spruce up this idea with a fancy name, Google and Pinterest will help you realize…this is a real thing, people. Barndominium's exist. And we might just join the Barndominium club.
-Thirty-seven and still living with parents.
-Metal storage shed.
-Concrete slab that smells like gasoline.
-Sounds like fun to me!
In the days and weeks ahead, I'll be documenting our little hopeful renovation with pictures, blogs, and asking for help from you. Since my specialty is typing with my fingers, playing instruments, and speaking to groups of people, we could use your help, suggestions, do's and don't's, and expertise. Send me links to your favorite ‘do it yourself' blogs and websites. We're wanting to stain the concrete floors, put in an open living space with a kitchen, dining, and living space in the large area, then adding another metal building on the back concrete slab as bedrooms. And because this is a temporary living situation until we can buy land and build what we want, we're on a budget.
Which is why you have any tips, it would be EXTREMELY helpful.
The beautiful thing about converting this metal building into a home is that we already have a waiting list for Gold Monarch that includes 4 different countries, and we're going to eventually need more space to house people coming in a bit more long-term. If we do this well, this little building could eventually serve that need.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Let me know if you think we're crazy. Let me know if you've done renovations before, how you did it, and if it ended up costing you less than you thought, or more than you imagined. We'd love to do as much of the work as possible, with my bearded Stud of a hub salivating at the thought of using a saw and a hammer. We'd love to make our own concrete kitchen cabinets, and decorate a bit outside of the box.
Think I've gone crazy? Let me tell you…..living with five people in a small space will make you do crazy things. And even though I started to have a meltdown yesterday, Jesus quickly reminded me that I'm not crazy.
I can either be overwhelmed with my circumstances, or I can be overwhelmed by His elaborate, good, adventurous plan for me.
So I've decided to be overwhelmed by Him, and chalk this up to the adventure of a lifetime. (: