Tiny House Tuesday // With A Little Help From My Friend

I mean, how hard could it be to install a metal roof?

We were convinced it wouldn’t be that hard⏤even with a roof that points to the sky like an arrow. Brian calls it a 14/12 pitch. I call it crazy steep.

Over the last several weeks, we’d framed, lifted beefy plywood via sheer willpower, and purchased more nails than groceries. Laying galvanized metal on top of twelve weeks of work felt like tucking a toddler into bed. The exhaustion was behind us, and now all we wanted to do was have a little fun.

 

Tiny House Roof Cap

 

But the roof cap was a party pooper.

 

This eighteen-foot-long piece of metal shaped like a pop-up tent was the last piece to apply to the roof and the toughest. Brian tried traipsing up the slick metal with the supposed “right” shoes but they turned out to be all wrong. We needed a professional.

 

But he wasn’t the friend.

 

That would be Shana. She is the person who “happened” to mention how she’d just had metal roof work done on her barn. I’d never seen Brian jot down information as fast as I did that Sunday morning.

 

But here’s the best part.

 

One issue stood between us and sanity: convincing this busy roofer to take time to do our small job. So when he called saying he could fit us in the following Friday afternoon we were surprised. Turns out, the roofer had Shana down for that time to finish up her barn.

 

But she gave up her slot for us.

 

What made her sacrifice even more special was that we’ve only known Shana for a short period of time. Something like this might be expected from a seasoned friend, but for someone to do it simply because she knew we had a need made it feel like a hug from above. It’s true, isn’t it?

 

Sacrifice is at the heart of friendship.

 

I fail miserably at sacrificing for others more often than I’d like to admit, but I’m thankful God never disappoints. He gave up⏤sacrificed⏤His Son so that we could experience the joy of being in relationship with Him for an eternity (beginning now!) and Jesus laid His life low so that we, in turn, could be lifted to this new life.

No friendship compares to the friend we have in Jesus. No one loves us as He does⏤no one possibly could.

 

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

“We measure the love and friendship of Jesus by the price he paid for us.” -John Piper

 

Mustard Seed

Sacrifice and friendship go hand-in-hand.

 

Name Your Fears For What They Are and See What Happens When You Do

Name Your Fears

I’ve never been a fan of anything that slithers.

Having lived in the burbs for most of my life where the outdoors consisted of crumbling asphalt and the occasional stray cat, I wasn’t sure what country life would bring. I know what it brought our first night⏤a colorful snake coiled up next to the steps in our garage. That went over well. (But the swarm of honey bees that swept across our backyard on a warm summer day was a sight for these city eyes.)

There’s only one thing I dread out here and that’s moving anything outdoors⏤flower pots, deck chairs, outdoor rugs, etc. With even the slightest movement, some creature inevitably dashes (or slithers) away. Let’s just say that my tightly wound shrieks have become as common as the cock-a-doodle-doo next door.

So earlier this year, when a lizard matching the color of mulch darted in front of me, I did what any 6-year-old-at-heart would do. I named it. What once caused fear now prompted a smile. How could you fear a lizard named Ricky? (Lucy, Ethel, and Fred soon followed.)

 

The simple gesture of naming my fear weakened its ability and strengthened mine.

 

Some fears are easier to name than others. Snakes and lizards are visible, but others bury down deep refusing to surface unless they’re called out by name. Like the time not so long ago when Hurricane Florence pounced the Carolinas. Reality set in that the tiny house could buckle under the high winds even though we fastened her down the best we could. All the what-if’s kidnapped my peace.

What if the tiny house is destroyed? What if she’s damaged and requires even more time to complete it? What if I can’t minister as planned?

 

If I wasn’t careful, the name of this fear would soon become idol.

 

That was hard to write, and an even harder truth to swallow. What begins as a godly desire to build a tiny space to write, play, and minister, can quietly slip beyond its well-intended boundaries without warning.

 

Anything⏤including good, godly things⏤if held too tightly can become an idol.

 

When I recognized my fear of losing the tiny house and more importantly, the why behind it, I named it⏤called it out⏤before the Lord. With that confession came a speechless comfort. And yet, I knew I needed to put a few safeguards into place to prevent it from happening again. So I sat down with my Bible, pen, a sheet of paper, and my recently humbled heart {ouch!} and put these three grace-laced steps into place:

 

Safeguard the Heart

 

 

Start mornings with Psalm 139: 23,24.

This is one of the first verses I memorized but haven’t paid nearly enough attention to in recent months. He longs to show us the way and help us get back on the right track.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

On an index card, write a scripture verse that speaks to the issue, one biblical quote, and a scripture verse on God’s forgiveness and mercy.

I try to bookend the cards with scripture because the point of confession is not to receive an emotional “beating” but rather, to reconcile with a loving heavenly Father. The enemy would prefer us to believe otherwise, so putting this safeguard into place serves as a constant reminder to rely on truth, not feelings.

My current cards include:

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14

“It (idolatry) means turning a good thing into an ultimate thing.” – Tim Keller

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

 

Pray a tiny {but powerful} prayer.

Memorizing scripture and seeing truths can change the trajectory of our days. But prayer instantaneously melds our desire to be on the right path in one breath with the power of God, the One who makes it happen, in the next. For me, it was as simple as⏤You alone, Lord, You alone.

 

Mustard Seed

To name our fear we must first recognize what lies beneath it.

 

Do you have a go-to verse when you need to be reminded of God’s love and forgiveness? If not, that’s okay! I encourage you to find one, memorize it, and take it with you wherever you go.

 

Thank you for making your way up the hill to hang out with me for a little while today. You’re always welcome here.

 

This is the final week of giveaways in celebration of The Tiny House on the Hill blog launch and I saved the best for last. After all, what better gift to celebrate the blog than these beautiful artisan *mustard seed* earrings?

To enter the random giveaway, simply share with others. For every share, you receive an entry. If you’re a subscriber, you receive two entries for every share. Be sure to tag me!

 

Mustard Seed Earrings

 

 

Tiny House Tuesday // The Tarp of It All

Funny how hurricanes force you to re-think everything.

We were one sheet of underlayment away from having the base of the roof covered before we left for our beach vacation. Apparently, Hurricane Florence decided to follow us home. Before we knew it, forecasters were predicting sustained winds up to 50 mph and possibly 12″ of rain. This could be the first test of the Tiny House on the Hill’s survival despite the fact that summer storms march over these mountains like soldiers going off to battle. The wind, the rain, the wind.

Thankfully, Brian secured her to the ground with these bad boys early on in the process. We felt she’d stay put, but with the potential for tropical downpours, it was vital to find a way to protect the interior of the house. Although empty, we prefer she stay dry for obvious reasons.

A few of the tarp grommets popped off during a recent storm so our confidence was waning. Let’s just say it didn’t take long for Brian to work his magic, aka, head to Lowes.

He purchased four overly-sized straps and a sturdy rachet system. Two straps hooked together created one large enough to wrap around the entire house. We buckled her down at the front of the house, as well as the back. Finally, a thick sheet of plywood was bolted over the door opening.

No, it wasn’t her prettiest moment, but it certainly was her most secure.

Tiny House Hurricane

While we had no control over Florence’s path or destruction, we rested in knowing we’d done everything possible to secure her well. Thankfully, Florence skirted around us, but our hearts broke for those who faced her head on.

 

Pre hurricane sky

Pre-hurricane sky with no filter.

 

The broken, but well-braced tiny house, reminds me of us.

 

None being whole, perfect, or complete. Missing pieces in the form of loss, feeling invisible, waiting, or the gaping hole within us that longs to know or draw closer to God.

Being a Christ-follower doesn’t always protect us from diseases, accidents, or hurricanes. Few people explain this better than John Piper but suffice it to say, when our spiritual positioning is under the umbrella of Christ, we can know that He covers and protects us in such a way that we can find rest during any storm this life may bring.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 NIV

 

Mustard Seed Moment

God covers it all.

 

Is there some way I can pray for you today? Nothing is too small. If you prefer not to share your request in the comments section, feel free to email me via the envelope icon in my sidebar. I count it a privilege.

 

 

Glass Magnets

Thanks for stopping by the Tiny House on the Hill! 

Welcome to the Tiny House on the Hill // Because Mustard Seed Moments Matter

Tiny House

I never saw it coming⏤this dream becoming a reality.

Only months ago, while enjoying breakfast with dad at Panera, I shared a story from the internet of a teenager who built his own tiny house. My excitement must’ve been contagious because he inspired me to get started on my own tiny space. The best part was his willingness to come help whenever possible.

And then there was my hubby, who sacrificially set aside his hard-earned bonus and a ton of hours, for both the planning and building of this tiny beaut.

With plans in hand, Brian and I trudged up the hill one brisk March morning. I quickly learned that the term weekend warriors is code for slow and steady. Currently, we’re about halfway finished, but the Victorian tiny house above is our end goal.

 

So you might wonder why the NEW site design is launching before she’s finished.

 

I suppose I could have waited for the final step {say, the propping of my favorite books on the antique mantel} but I decided not to for two reasons:

 

  • Joy is in the journey. What if we waited to celebrate the birth of a baby until his arrival? The gender reveals, baby showers and shopping would move to the back burner. No way. Let the celebration begin! I appreciate all the excitement you’ve shared over this tiny house journey and I can’t imagine doing it without you.
  • Most importantly, the foundation of this blog is built on Someone much bigger than a tiny structure built by man.

 

What Are Mustard Seed Moments and Why Do They Matter?

 

Like you, I marvel at the unique ways God uses seemingly insignificant moments in our daily lives to draw us closer to Him. While we may or may not ever encounter a burning bush moment, we encounter small ones every day. Like a word aptly spoken, a glass of water, a simple hug, or a gathering of two or three for prayer. Remember, it was a single tear from a baby that moved the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter. (Exodus 2:6) Nothing⏤absolutely nothing⏤is too small for God to grow for His glory.

In future posts, you’ll find a Mustard Seed Moment Takeaway that includes a seed of truth to plant in our daily life. You’ll know it when you see this symbol at the bottom of each post:

 

Mustard Seed Moment

 

Few things this side of heaven inspire and spur us on more than recognizing the power of our own mustard seed moments. Click To Tweet

 

And that, my friend, is the underlying purpose of this community. Together, we will continue to share creative ways to connect with God, inspire creativity in daily life, and invite meaningful reflection on the small but marvel-worthy moments God places on our paths.

 

What Happens When the Tiny House on the Hill is Complete?

 

The future is an exciting one! Here are some plans in the making:

  • First and foremost, I plan to dedicate the house to the Lord with a prayer gathering of friends surrounding the Tiny House on the Hill. Want to join the circle of prayer? You’ll have that opportunity closer to completion. {Thank you!}
  • Depending on the season, an Open House opportunity might arise. This may or may not coincide with the prayer gathering.
  • I’ll take subscribers on a private behind-the-scenes tour. *love this community*
  • Online Bible studies hosted from the house, and hopefully an in-house {tiny} study can happen too.
  • Writers and readers alike can share the {tiny} space for a day.
  • Down the road, a pocket-size podcast just might blossom!
  • And last but not least, a memoir-ish book is also in the works based on our Tiny House on the Hill experience. The number of people who’ve shared interest in this journey overwhelms me. {Thank you!}

 

Some might argue that, without a kitchen, this Tiny House on the Hill doesn’t meet the requirements to be called a “house.” Perhaps this is true for architects, but not for us dreamers. We know that the true definition of a house isn’t confined to walls, floors, and kitchen sinks.

 

A house is where our soul feels at home to explore, create, and simply be.

 

Make yourself at home here in the Tiny House on the Hill.

 

Monthly Letter

 

 

  • Join our {tiny} community and receive A Monthly Letter from the Tiny House on the Hill. Here, you’ll find words that inspire and encourage, along with behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of the tiny house progress. And the monthly giveaway isn’t so bad either. *wink* In addition to the Monthly Letter, all new subscribers will receive a free copy of Ten {Tiny} Prayers that Offer Great Hope. Did you know that some of the most powerful prayers have the tiniest word count? To become a part of the community, the subscriber box is in my sidebar. You can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Ten Tiny Prayers that Offer Great Hope

 

Celebration

Each Tuesday through October 16th, watch for a NEW giveaway posted here. To enter each week, simply share the post with your friends and social sphere of influence. TAG me on each share and you’ll receive a vote for each share. {Subscribers, you’ll receive a bonus point for each share!}

Facebook: Tag me!

Instagram: @cathysbaker

Twitter: @cathysbaker

Launch Giveaway

Launch Giveaway Starbucks

Starbucks Giveaway

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.”
Izaak Walton

 

{A special thanks to my favorite techie, Susan Stilwell of Fistbump Media, who made this re-design possible. She can make even the dullest of stars shine.}

Tiny House Tuesday // Framed Glory {& An Exciting Announcement!}

Tiny House Tuesday

There it was in all its glory.

One moment, I’m handing Brian tools and the next, I catch sight of the glorious sky framed for a private viewing.

 

Sky Framed in Glory

 

Working on the tiny house this summer has offered moments of both victory and defeat. At times, it’s easy to become bombarded by the details of the build. A break is needed and mine is taken in the doorway-to-be because mountain breezes have a way of making a person feel at ease.

But tiny frames of glory do too.

Like the bright violet patch I discovered behind the house that flooded my mind of grandmother’s backyard all those years ago. Or the day we saw a fawn run across the yard, not so far from where we stood. And then there was the bee that thought he was a hummingbird. Turns out it’s an uncommon sort of bumbler that’s found only in particular regions. We never know what we’ll see while working on our tiny house on the hill.

These days, we’re busy nailing down mega sheets of plywood in preparation for the metal roofing. One by one, the sheets slowly obscure the framed sky which I’ve grown to love over the months.

 

Yes, the sky is wide open and hard to miss when you step outside, and yet, there’s something about having it framed in all its glory that makes one pause to take notice.

 

It makes me wonder how often I go about my day missing God’s framed moments of glory.

 

Yes, stop and smell the roses, but for goodness sake, let’s not stop there.

“…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord…”

Psalm 27:4 NIV

 

What’s one beautiful sight the Lord has framed for you this week?

Exciting News about the New Blog with Tiny House design

Next Tuesday, September 18th, I am scheduled to re-launch the blog with:

  • A NEW title (Hint: If you enjoy Tiny House Tuesday I think you’re gonna LOVE it!)
  • A NEW image
  • A NEW gift for subscribers
  • A NEW monthly letter

If you’re wondering what will stay the same, I will prayerfully continue to:

  • SHARE creative ways to connect with God and others
  • INSPIRE creativity in daily life
  • INVITE meaningful reflection on the small {seemingly insignificant} moments when God makes Himself known

Join me next Tuesday to celebrate the re-design! There will be {tiny} fun giveaways and a NEW gift for subscribers. And if you happen to be as excited as I am, I’d love your help in sharing it! {Thank you}

Tiny House Tuesday // Cut it Out!

Tiny House Tuesday

 

The windows, that is.

 

I couldn’t imagine a more exciting moment on our tiny house journey than when the walls were raised. But I was wrong.

Seeing “windows” punch through solid walls brought out the inner cheerleader in me (and I do mean inner!) I shouted as if it were the last lap of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s career. Oh, you didn’t know I was a closet NASCAR fan? I watch it from my air-conditioned, non-smoky, fuel-free den with a frappe in one hand and a book in the other. I am a fan nonetheless.

But I digress.

It’s one thing to measure, draw, and pluck a plumb line in all the right places. It’s a whole other baby to catch sight of toppling wood chunks the size of windows.

My favorite window, all 8′ x 4′ of it, will sit to the left of the front porch. The desk will run its length to make way for mountain views and guest writers. Here, Brian finished cutting one of the back windows in the reading nook. Next up, the desk window.

 

 

And now, the desk window view, seen from the inside out.

 

 

The windows that will sit to the right of the porch are tall and slender, giving a nod to the windows of yesteryear. It is a Victorian tiny house, after all. {Not pictured}

The three back windows will be larger, giving readers a plentiful place to perch as they turn their pages.

Tiny House Back Windows

Minus one tiny corner gap that was soon covered.

The newly cut “windows” allow the warmth that was once tightly held within the walls to flow outwardly.

 

“…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippian 2:3b-4

 

First, we look up but then we look out.

All we have⏤health, home, family, spiritual gifts, talents, ministry⏤are to be released, not clutched within the walls of our wants.

I {often} have to ask God to cut through my selfish tendencies that hinder my ability to see those He places on my path.

Is there anything hindering our ability to see⏤really see⏤others?

 

Tiny House on the Hill

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