The Journey Blog

Reflections on the art of leading

About a House

We are in the midst of a makeover of our mid-century Rancher in Castle Rock—our home and the home of the ministry we've named Provisions Group. We're reinvesting some of the resources with which God has so generously provided us through the sale of our home in North Carolina. The formerly dated, frumpy face of the house now smiles through new windows, doors, and a new paint scheme. It beckons through a new front entry patio, and supporting posts we designed. The old stoop was demolished, formed, poured and finished in less than a day by a crew of hard working Latino men who then shared their lunch with us. We've added a bay window: a micro-addition that gives more light and a peek at Pike's Peak. Soon we will give our home a heart transplant—a remodeled kitchen with the tools for Karen to practice her culinary gifts to God's glory.

Why are we doing this and what does it have to do with Provisions Group, and coaching? What's the point?

Though it would be easy to think this is peripheral to caring for pastors, quite unimportant in the greater scheme of things, it is actually the opposite.

It is at the center, the very heart, of what God has called us to do and even though we are utterly persuaded that this is true, we find we have to fight to keep our focus where it belongs....

We are creating a place of beauty, rest, and welcome as a statement of faith in the great God of Creation and Redemption; a tiny foretaste of what the Renewal will be.

We believe that God has called us to this: to renew and recreate this place. All that he has called us to do in relationships flows outward from this center. This is where we experience, and offer, God's beauty and creativity and bask in his goodness. It is where we experience community. From the young family of four in our flat downstairs to the friends who walk their kids and dogs down our street. We want this place to communicate to neighbors, friends, and guests something of his goodness and love, that points to his beauty. One day we'll use that little flat downstairs for guests who need rest and care, or just to share God's hospitality.

To our surprise, our neighbors, and strangers from all around the neighborhood seem to have gotten a glimpse. They stop and tell us they love what we've done to the house and the yard. Often when we're out in the yard, they wave as they drive by.

Before there was a bit of grass, a lot of dirt, native weeds, and two terribly overgrown trees. The two big trees had to come down, but we honored them by casting their chipped limbs into a deep layer of mulch that covers a large area for xeriscape, and surrounds tiered raised beds for vegetables. Now the yard has been opened up, and it draws looks as people walk by with its gently curving beds and contrasting colors. In place of the trees...a Serviceberry, an Apple tree, a Cherry tree, a Gooseberry and soon a patch of native wildflowers will germinate and draw birds and butterflies.

There are raspberries transplanted from Montana, French Tarragon, English Lavender, Sage, Russian Sage, native Silver Sage, Rosemary, Italian Parsley, Marjoram, English Thyme, Chives, Horseradish, Rhubarb, Hard Neck Garlic, all survivors of our deep sub-zero winter.

On the front porch sits a potted bay laurel that has followed us through many moves, as have the scented geraniums, and a Mexican lime tree.

A dear neighbor from our previous sojourn in Castle Rock dropped off a couple of dozen perennials, all of which looked dead when we planted them last fall, but quickly perked up, and they are now poking their heads back up after the deep freeze. It is all quite incredible to see.

The front garden is becoming a riot of living things. It will flow into the eyes, and the herbs and veg will fill our stomachs.

And God will fill our hearts, and the hearts of our guests, with his wondrous love and goodness in a place of beauty, rest, and welcome.