I love the idea of having a house by the lake⏤just not a tiny house.
When we chose the place where she’d perch, we took a lot into consideration⏤which direction to face, what views not to block, and how to prevent our galvanized roof from blinding our only neighbor. One thing we did not take into consideration, however, was the direction of the river that flows down the mountain behind us, over a berm, and directly by the tiny house.
Once the house is finished we’ll find a way to re-route the river in order to make way for the cottage garden that will include old-timey plants and an iron gate, Lord willing. But before I get too ahead of myself…
Our winter plan included finishing out the exterior by installing the soffits, corner trim, siding, and painting the front door. Brian managed to squeak in soffits and trim despite the downpours, but without a decent stretch of sunshine, the Tyvek continues to show and my front door still stands well-worn red.
Yet all is not lost. Inside the tiny house, wiring for electricity and insulation have begun and once the exterior is finished, we’ll move indoors full-time. Now that it’s lighter longer at day’s end, we’ll extend our weekend warriorship to an occasional weeknight.
Although the Ark-worthy rain has tested every ounce of our patience, it’s also set a simple but significant truth before us and that is the weather is completely out of our control.
And this realization prepares the knee to bow to God’s sovereignty.
Because here’s the thing. He knows the excitement that rumbles through my heart like a freight train at the thought of using this tiny place for His grand glory. Either I trust His timing or I don’t.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV
And I do.
So, this is usually the spot where I share the latest picture of our progress, but without any noticeable changes in the past several weeks, serious consideration was necessary for choosing a *tiny* picture for today’s post.
Okay, maybe not too serious.
Oompa Loompa Doompa Dee Do…
Gotta love a man who dresses up Willy Wonka style to prevent bringing the insulation fibers into the house. Thanks, babe.
I realize that trusting God in the timing of a tiny house build is a small act of faith compared to what you might be facing today. If so, I welcome the opportunity to pray for you. Simply leave your request in the comment section below (so others can also pray for you), or feel free to email me confidentially using the envelope icon on the home page.
Thank you for sharing a few minutes of your day with me⏤it’s an honor.
- Did you miss last month’s Tiny House Tuesday // A Tale of Two Gothic Windows? Check it out here.
- Subscribers! Don’t forget to print out your spring/scripture inspired tags created just for you. It’s included in the March Monthly Letter from the Tiny House on the Hill.
At least that’s how the story began.
Last April, before May floods meandered their way over the Swannanoa banks, we headed to the Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville NC, in search of a Gothic window. We explored aisles of primitive ladders, glass knobs, and bird egg blue cabinets until we spotted the distinctive curve peeking over nearby antique relics.
Or should I say curves? Turns out, there were two.
We asked to buy just one, but the seller wouldn’t budge⏤purchase the pair, or nothing at all.
A Gothic window isn’t an easy find, especially on our budget, so we paid the money and skedaddled back down the mountain.
We decided the now two windows could bookend the tiny house. One in front, perched over the porch, and the other, nestled in the back. Because we were nowhere ready for installation, (which begs the question why did we go shopping for them in April?), we wrapped the windows in beach towels and leaned them on my great-aunt’s bed frame in the garage.
Finally, on a bitter cold day in January, we introduced the windows to their forever home. Brian, aka, my Genius, devised a way to frame the window without having to cut curved pieces of wood, saving valuable time, and dare I say, frustration. *wink*
Brian installed the first Gothic window over the front porch. Around the same time, we needed to decide where to install the split unit for heating and air. While compact and uber-convenient, the interior part of the unit takes up a bit more space than expected, leaving us with only two choices: mount the unit over the antique mantle, or on the back wall.
Let’s just say the mantle won.
I couldn’t imagine having a split unit hovering over the vintage mantle, especially when two lovely alternatives are vying for that space. The second window was returned to the garage until further notice.
If this weekend warrior is learning anything during the building process, it’s to be flexible and to always have a Plan B. Notice I said learning, as in, the struggle is real.
Now, the Tiny House on the Hill sits with the Gothic window in place⏤a space designed just for her.
To have a tiny space to call our own is good for the soul. It doesn’t have to sit on a hill out back. It can be as simple as a cozy corner in our home, a closet where we create, or a place in our garden where we meet with God.
“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.”
Psalm 119:114 MSG
So, where’s your space⏤the place you go to create, rest, and recharge?
*Tiny subscribers, if you missed February’s Letter, you’ll want to check out the exclusive video of Brian installing the Gothic window.
Come sit a spell.
It’s an invitation to come on over, take a seat, and rest awhile. It’s a saying my spinster great-aunts spun while rocking on the front porch that hugged their century-old home. Family, friends, and those strolling on the nearby sidewalk were invited to join them for conversation while they shucked corn and popped peas.
That was over forty years ago, but the charm of the front porch remains.
And it’s one of the reasons why I chose a Victorian style tiny house.
Turns out, our *tiny* front porch was one of the easiest projects to date. Or maybe it just seems that way because it came on the heels of the toughest. The best part of building the porch? Brian kept both feet on the ground and it was completed within a couple of Saturdays.
The porch floor was added earlier so searching for the right columns and roofing were our only to-do’s. Early on, I’d imagined columns with some heft to them. You know, the kind you can hold onto and swirl about? But since I swerve more than swirl these days, we decided to bypass that requirement and go for full-on character, which the smaller ones offered.
The porch roof was an interesting undertaking. My engineering husband put his skills to the test as he researched ways to build a slanted roof while making room for the Gothic window that will soon perch just above the porch. It was a happy day at the Baker’s house when he discovered a galvanized roof like the main one, but with deeper channels to keep the rain flowing in a downward direction.
The left image is from November’s Tiny House Tuesday, and the right is December’s. Oh, the difference a porch (and door!) can make.
Now all she needs is a bit of frill in the form of Victorian scroll work in the corners of the posts.
I doubt my *tiny* porch will offer enough space for the large wooden-slat rockers like my great-aunt’s way back when, but the door will always be wide enough for friends and family.
So come sit a spell, won’t you?
Okay, so it was more of an ice event. Still, it was a milestone for the Tiny House on the Hill.
In 2018, we’ve seen her bare naked, dressed in walls, and covered in wrap. But this is her first clothing of white. She wears it well, don’t you think?
Before the first line was drawn on the tiny house plans, my mind ventured into the future, imagining a space the size of a twin bed tucked within her walls. There, we pile in with the grandkids, blankets, and books to snuggle and watch snow fall outside the surrounding windows.
Perhaps this will come to fruition before winter folds into spring.
But today, the tiny house is bare and bone cold. Vacant walls can only dream of the Decembers to come, Lord willing.
So they dream.
She wears her finest hand-me-downs borrowed from Christmases long ago: Antique postcards clipped on cords, stretching from one end of the eight-foot window to the other, a silver pom-pom aluminum tree adorned in Shiny Brites and a pink vintage ceramic Christmas tree that casts a warm glow on God’s goodness.
Dreaming of future Decembers in the tiny house is a delight. But it’s the honor held in the here-and-now that holds my attention.
On this day, I join in the silence and wonder of the season as I’m reminded of another small space that once stood vacant. It didn’t hold dreams. It held my Deliverer⏤and yours. One who traded splendor for skin, bearing our sins, and equipping us to move beyond simple dreams that we might embrace a new reality, Christ in us.
“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” – C.S. Lewis
Merry Christmas from the Tiny House on the Hill!
In celebration of the first snow, I picked up this “dashing” Starbucks gift card. Who couldn’t use a warm cup of coffee or tea this season? Simply leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway. Thank you for being a part of this *tiny* journey. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us all in 2019. Blessings!
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.
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
Sacrifice and friendship go hand-in-hand.
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.
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 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
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.
Thanks for stopping by the Tiny House on the Hill!