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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 Tuesday // The Walls We Build

Tiny House Tuesday

 

The tiny house sat flat on the hill.

It sat this way for a few months. We didn’t want to rush the foundation and who could forget the tropical monsoons that blew through our area in May?

 

But then came June and with it, the first wall.
Tiny House Wall One

With one hefty hoist, the tiny house began to take shape in all of its 9′ x 16′ glory.

 

Then came the second wall and with it, the first corner of the house.

Tiny House Wall Two

 

This is the corner where I’d planned to place the mini-fridge and above it, the mini K-cup coffee machine. But it quickly became evident that this corner would give just enough room for the kids to climb the ladder to their loft, and no more. It’s funny how space seems so much larger on graph paper than in real life.

 

A week later, the third wall and with it, my 8′ window facing the mountains.

Tiny House Wall Three

 

This hoist was the heaviest of all because of the bracing required for that size window. Thank goodness for our neighbor who was kind enough to come over and help.

 

And finally, the day came. The fourth wall was put into place, and with it, a dream began taking the shape of reality.

Tiny House Wall Four

 

Sometimes our circumstances can feel like walls. They close in, suffocating the very life from our lungs, not to mention the peace from our mind. At every turn, we’re reminded of the what if’s, the could be’s, and the plan B’s. It’s often when we feel surrounded with no way out that we look in the one direction where our circumstances don’t cloud our vision: Up.

 

To you, I lift up my eyes, to you whose throne is in heaven.  Psalm 123:1

 

I recently had back-to-back situations where I felt enclosed by my circumstances. In the first situation I was completely helpless. I’d done all I could do to fix a situation but the results were out of my control. After a day of pure panic, I finally looked up. And what came down was a strong sense of security, strength, and peace. Being assured of God’s love and presence allowed me to not only scale the wall of circumstances but to also tear them down.

 

Are there circumstances in your life that feel like they’re closing in? Lift up your eyes, my friend!

 

 

 

Tiny House Tuesday // The Waiting

I stink at waiting.

But I knew waiting was part of the deal when we set out to build our pocket-sized paradise on the hill. We are weekend warriors, after all. But it was the month of May that put me to the test.

 

So, why the wait?

 

First, God opened the floodgates last month. Then, my week-long writer’s conference quickly followed, and finally  we needed to wait on the tax refund check to help with the window purchases.

Ah, the windows. We finally decided to go with two panes over one, a shorter width and a longer length to give it the desired vintage vibe. (I’ll share pictures on Instagram when they arrive.)

While all the windows are energy-efficient due to the books and papers to be stored in my creative space, there are two favorite components which will be vintage: the front window and door. See what you think!

First, the window (minus the wreath), which will sit to the left of the front door. We’re trying to decide if we want to paint it white to match the others. But I love the patina on this window so I’m leaning toward keeping my one black window. Thoughts, anyone?

Tiny House Front Window

 

And then, there’s the front door. I love the larger-than-normal four panes in this old find. Once again, the patina tugs at this old soul but I’m not sure I want a multi-colored front porch. (The Underground Salvage Store in Brevard, NC for the win!)

Tiny House Front Door

Here’s the thing.

We would’ve preferred to continue working on the tiny house but instead, we had to wait. And yet, it was the wait that freed us to discover our vintage treasures.

 

Sometimes we see treasures in the wait that normally escape our notice. Click To Tweet

 

As I type, I await a phone call. Thankfully, it’s not a medical issue⏤and yet, it is an issue, to say the least. I can’t see how something good could come out of this situation if it goes south, but God is meticulously grand at this sort of thing. So, I bow the knee…and trust.

 

I suppose you could say I continue to find treasures in the wait.

 

But these treasures aren’t constructed of wood or glass. Instead, they are truths, gathered from hard lessons that are undergirded in hope.

 

“…that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2,3

 

What treasure(s) have you discovered during a waiting period in your life?

Tiny House Tuesday // The Anchor Holds

Tiny House Tuesday

 

 

And holds, and holds…us up.

 

The anchor holds

At first glance, this auger (anchor) appears to be an innocent bystander with its curved staff-like silhouette⏤but don’t let it fool you.

Anchoring the Lil Red Writing House into the ruddy clay ground has proven to be the most aggravating and time-consuming part of this process by far. Because the winds whistle to their own tune on the mountainside all year long, we decided to use six augers on our 9′ x 16′ tiny house. I mean, installing six of these bad boys couldn’t be that difficult, right?

Wrong. I’m convinced I burned enough calories for a honeybun just watching Brian churn the blades into the ground. His entire body weight rested on top of the handle while he went round and round. Today, only one stands above ground. Apparently, that auger made friends with a rock at some point on its journey four feet down and now refuses to budge. But the rest of the augers are where they belong…up to their necks in dirt clay.

But once they’re all in, we’ll use steel wire and turnbuckles (I love that word!) to secure it to the Lil Red Writing House. Knowing she’s anchored brings us comfort on those days the winds rip with such velocity that our metal gliders slide across the deck with ease.

 

Augers aren’t installed once a house is built or when the winds begin to rally their forces. We install them in preparation for the winds that sure to come.

 

Life, like ripping winds, can sometimes threaten to unhinge us but biblical hope assures us that no matter what circumstance comes our way, we are anchored in the promises of God. Click To Tweet

 

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey! If you’re not following me on Instagram, I’d love to meet you there @cathysbaker. If you enjoy all things tiny house, stop by my Pinterest board Future Tiny House Ideas. It receives 701K monthly views so surely there’s something there for you to enjoy! 🙂 If you’re on Instagram or Pinterest let me know in the comments.

And if you missed the backstory post to this tiny journey, you can read it here. Once a month, I create a newsletter that includes a thoughtful word, helpful links, a pretty sweet giveaway, and a new column called Tiny Tidbits. Simply add your email address in the sidebar slot on my blog to receive your monthly copy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Interested in receiving a monthly newsletter that focuses only on the #lilredwritinghouse journey? I’m considering the idea of creating such a thing so if this would interest you, please take a moment to hit the contact button in the top right corner and let me know. Thanks!

 

So, which promise of God are you leaning into these days?

 

 

Tiny House Tuesday // Foundational Truths

Tiny House Tuesday

As we begin building our tiny house, I’m learning that one of the first things that must be determined is the foundation.

There are options, after all. If you want to travel with your tiny house, you’d opt for a trailer. If you want the option to move it at some point in the future, it would most likely be built on blocks or some other propped up way. And if you’re serious about staying where you live, you might cement that sucker to the ground.

Although we don’t have any plans to move in the future, we chose to use cement blocks for a couple of reasons. One is the flexibility to move it and secondly, it is much more cost efficient than a concrete pad.

Tiny House Foundation

So, a couple of Saturdays ago, Brian and I trekked our way up the hill to determine where the tiny house would go. We took into consideration three things:

  • The view from my desk
  • How we could avoid blocking the pool view
  • How to allow sufficient room for a future picket fence {framing old-timey flowers!}

It’s times like these when I’m reminded how blessed I am to be married to an engineer. While he was spouting out mathematical equations in an effort to get the corners square, I was sipping coffee thinking how much easier it would be to line things up by eye. I guess you could say the tiny house falls under that blessing as well.

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed a red element in every tiny image. In the photo above, I wrapped the measurements in red in hopes of making it easier to visualize the perimeter of the house (9′ x 16′ + 4′ for the front porch.)

Determining the placement of the house, nailing down stakes, tying strings, leveling, and measuring took several hours but it’s worth the time. If the foundation is off, everything else will be as well.

 

Tiny House

The next to-do was not nearly as much fun, especially for the hubster. He dug down into the southern red clay a few inches around each block, added gravel and stacked flat solid concrete blocks as close to the level string as possible. I enjoyed hauling off the dirt in the wheelbarrow. It reminded me of days when I spent a lot of time working in the yard. And my back reminded me the following morning why I need more exercise.

Tiny House Foundation

Tiny House

Finally, the leveling is done. What made this Saturday workday so special was having my dad come over to help. Can you believe he’s 76? Growing up, we enjoyed doing a lot of projects together. We planted tomatoes and peppers in the backyard greenhouse, cared for an organic garden (before organic was cool), and fished on red banks of clay. I’m thankful the memories continue to build as we work on the tiny house together.

Dad gave me a firm foundation for life and now I see how this also ties into the building of my #lilredwritinghouse.

Structural integrity is required for life and tiny houses alike. Without it, there will be little to show for it in the end.

Tiny House Foundation Scripture

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey! If you’re not following me on Instagram, I’d love to meet you there @cathysbaker. And if you missed the backstory post to this tiny journey, you can read it here. Once a month, I also create a newsletter that includes a column called Tiny Tidbits. In it, I share behind-the-scenes tidbits that aren’t told anywhere else. Receive your copy by simply adding your email address in the sidebar slot on my blog. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Is there something in particular about the journey you’d like to know or see? I’d love to read your comments!

 

 

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