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A new house!

Getting a new house is exciting, fun, and, well, challenging! Even when a home is move-in ready, there is all the bustle of packing, unpacking and finding places to put familiar things in unfamiliar places.

When the home is NOT move-in ready, that adds another dimension entirely!

We bought a bigger house in the same neighborhood (location, location, location!). In order to do that, we paid more than had we moved elsewhere (our b-i-l sells foreclosure/ renovated homes) for similar size with more yard and better condition. Staying here eliminated the need to start over socially, and kept us close to my elderly mother’s apartment to see her often.

We knew going in to this home that we would be doing work on it: we wanted to turn the separate -entrance basement into an apartment.

What we didn’t realize was that we would become nomads for two months!

Our living area of the home needed a lot of work we hadn’t anticipated: new flooring (warped floorboards from water damage), new paint to cover torn sheetrock, improved lighting. Then we noticed that the countertop was melted down to the wood by the stove, so new countertops too!

While the sheetrock, electrical, painting and flooring work was done, we moved from hotel to friend’s camper to Airbnb to b-i-l’s cabin 75 minutes away–quite a lot of traveling!

Admittedly, we prolonged the process a month by choosing a gorgeous grey bamboo hardwood flooring–did you know it needs to acclimate FOUR WEEKS to adjust to Utah’s dry desert conditions?

After seven weeks, our flooring–carpet and bamboo–was finally installed, walls painted, and lighting completed. We moved in. Sort of. We have a bed in the bedroom. A piano in the parlor. Everything else is in storage. Why?

Still no countertops, sinks, nor water hooked up to toilets! It felt like camping to use a bathtub as a sink, with no countertops, and the toilet flushed by pouring into it a bucket of water (from a tub faucet). My husband got a long-enough water connector so we had self-flushing toilets within two days!

It turned out that having Mother practically next door came in very handy while camping in our home. What luxury to use her washer and dryer, kitchen, and TV with couches, which she graciously shared. Sweet! (She lived with us for a year before this so we are on great terms. We also give her gifts and do nice things for her to make this temporary situation “win-win” for her as well as for us, intruding on her space as little as possible.)

Later this week our granite countertops will be installed. With sinks! Then we will be ready to really move in our household belongings from the two PODS in our driveway, where they sat since the twelfth of August, two months ago.

But before the countertops get put back, I am frantically painting the cabinets! The light oak clashed with the grey floors. So the cabinets get painted dark grey to match. White doors and trim. Quite an adventure for a novice refinisher like me!

While it will be nice to really settle in and enjoy our new home, I already talk to my husband about our NEXT home when we sell this one in a few years… He closes his eyes, puts a hand to his head and shakes it slowly: “Not another ‘new’ house!”

The Importance of Continual Learning

NOTE: This is the first of a four-part series answering a question posed to me by a friend. He and I are both members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints (LDS), so answers come from scriptures and other LDS sources as noted or linked. Scriptures can be found on lds.org. Further information on LDS beliefs including the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be found on Mormon.org. Today’s introduction introduces segments on Continual Learning, Personal Development, and Healing to be posted next week.

no_49_across_the_universe_by_derekdavalos-d5wcn4dThroughout life, I seek better ways to deal with things, people, and health. A couple years ago I joined a business that encouraged ongoing personal development. Recently, a worried friend wrote this to me:

“I have also been concerned about all the self healing classes and seminars you are going through. I have been personally trying to figure out why anyone needs all that if they are truly centered in the gospel and truly know and have a testimony of the atonement?”

Dear Friend,

I greatly appreciate your concern for me! I see your example and all you overcame through your acceptance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in your behalf! Your life is transformed through Him!

I reassure you that anything I learn, or hope to learn, is through the filter of His life and love. He is the pivotal focus of my life. Anything I do to better myself or my life is consecrated to Him and His purposes for me.

Part of my testimony is that He continues to give light and life to the world. He gives revelation to His prophets. He inspires people to help their fellowmen. As Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

In Alma 24:14, we read: “And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.”

God reveals truth to us, giving light and hope. He asks us to study and seek out learning.Latter-day_Saint_Scripture_Quadruple_Combination

Jesus in John 5:39 tells us to study the scriptures: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Further, the Lord in modern revelation asks us to study other good books and subjects, not necessarily from the scriptures. “Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

Hubble_Ultra_Deep_Field_part_d

“Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—

“That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:78-80).

Friend, the scriptures witness that everything we can learn helps us to fulfill our mortal missions and serve God more capably, if we choose to serve Him.