In our life and home there is a lot of love. A lot of good times but usually not a whole lot of extra money. Unexpected doctors appointments and surgeries are just some of the things that pop up and eat any extra or put us into a bit of debt. Also our vehicles we drive are always older. I can not tell you how many transmissions and engines we put into our old buses and extended cargo vans that we drove to haul our family around, thru the years. We are happy and always have our needs met. We always have a bit when we need it to do a little something special. We are simple and the things that make us happy are usually not to expensive anyways.
When we first moved to the farm we were very heavily in debt from Tim's being sick and us finding out he had Addisons disease and some debt from our life style choices before he got very sick. Glory to God Tim was saved by God and he is here and alive. When we got settled here on the farm, we had very few worldly possessions and a huge amount of debt from hospital bills. We got settled into life again and opened back up for foster care in our new home, a single wide trailer. It was a four bedroom single wide but we had a lot of children. We went years with Tim and I eating at the counter in the kitchen and the children eating at a very small table that would fit in the kitchen. We went years with no living room furniture. We needed the space in the living room for school areas and a play area for the children. We sometimes even had to use that space as a bedroom. We were a bit squished but very cozy and happy. Everything was put into perspective in our lives for good back when Tim almost died. So just knowing God, having salvation, Tim being here and having our family all well, was enough to keep us happy and grateful.
After years of paying things down we had adopted Antonio and realized that his equipment took up a lot of room and that we needed to plan carefully for his care as an adult and as Tim and I aged. We needed to make things as easy as possible as he was growing rapidly and getting heavy to lift in and out of a tub or put onto the toilet. The small trailer bathrooms had no room for a lift and the bed rooms no room for a hospital bed. When we had gotten our debt very low we decided to start saving to add onto our trailer. I drew up plans and we decided we did not want to go into great debt to do this but would save till we had a enough for each part and do it in stages as we could afford it. We would add down the back of the trailer making a room for the boys big enough for all Antonio's equipment and hospital bed and design a bathroom that would make his care easier and allow room for his lift. We also would add a few bedrooms and a bigger kitchen and laundry room.
I spend a huge amount of time in my kitchen. There is the making cheese from our goats milk to grinding wheat and making bread. To doing things with produce from our garden all summer. I really needed a larger kitchen. My trailer kitchen was 16' X 12 feet! With the cabinets in there and fridge and we had a deep freeze too. Then also the washer and dryer were in there! I was grateful for a home at all after Tim was sick and we lost our house. So no complaints here all those years with that kitchen. I just felt very blessed to have come to a time I could have something larger someday. So we added on over many years. Things still aren't all finished to this day. But it is almost done.
Once we had the whole addition on we slowly finished off the rooms by priority. The boys bedroom first. Then the other bedrooms and handicap bathroom. Then the laundry room. The kitchen...well we just never seemed to come up with the amount of money to do the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets and such are so expensive. So we used it as a play area/schooling area and I just used the trailer kitchen as always.
I prayed about it once in a while but not fervently. I figured eventually we would put it in and it was not of a huge importance so didn't think to much about it. We were just so grateful for more space!
Then one day (2008) I got a call from a lady that had been Elizabeth's nurse several years before. She asked if we had ever gotten around to putting in a kitchen for me. I laughed and said "No, it is still a huge playroom." She said she was remodeling her kitchen and wondered if I wanted her old kitchen cabinets. She said they were well used and they were dark forest green. I was excited and said, "Of course! Thank you so much!" Tim and a friend went over and picked them up and brought them home. When we set them up...They fit the space we had designated for cabinets perfectly!! I also had been carrying around a huge, old, white, porcelain, kitchen sink for years every where I lived. I kept saying someday I am going to build a kitchen around this sink. We trimmed out the sink hole that was in the counter tops and the kitchen sink fit perfectly on the cabinets where it was supposed to be. Yippee! I had cabinets. I had the paint matched and the nurse we had working for us offered to give them a quick new coat of paint and we were just thrilled. We had the beginnings of a kitchen. I was thrilled. We moved the stove over from the old kitchen and brought over the refrigerator and we bought a family sized table and had a kitchen! I gutted the old kitchen and turned it into a school room.
Here are the cabinets. This picture was taken a few weeks ago. You can see we are hard on our kitchen and they could use another coat of paint. I love the country look of them and am so grateful for them.
I was just so pleased with my new kitchen. One day Tim and I were just sitting around casually dreaming about stoves. He and I both do a lot of baking and the trailer oven was very small. It did not hold a large sized casserole pan or large cookie sheets. We actually went to Home Depo and looked around at them but saw the prices. Tim looked at one and said, "that is the stove I would want if we could afford it." It had a huge oven with a convection cycle and had one of those flat glass tops. It was pretty but cost a pretty penny. With in less than a week I got a phone call from our speech therapist saying her neighbor came over excited that she was having her kitchen remodeled in stainless steal. She never used her white oven much and it was in great shape but her new one was being delivered today, did she know anyone that needed one. It was 100 dollars. She knew we had a large family and did a lot of baking... were we interested? Tim and I went right over to get it. It was just like the one Tim wanted at Home Depo! Our kitchen just could not get any better!
With in a week I got a call from the builder that built our home. He and his wife are amazing kind and he patiently built our home in stages as we could afford to do it and pay him. He said he was remodeling his kitchen for his wife. She wanted him to build her new cabinets. Did we want the old ones? He said they were the ones he built for her that went around the fridge. We had absolutely nothing down the wall of the kitchen with the fridge on it. We tried and tried to pay him and he would have none of it. He brought them over and installed them for us around our fridge.
I was so humbled with what I was seeing. God was building me a kitchen. Every piece given to us or provided low cost and it all fit perfectly as if designed just for my dream kitchen. How amazing when God does something how perfect it all is.
In a few months we got a call from that same builder and he asked if we had cabinets for over our stove. We did not. He wondered if we wanted some that went over the stove as his wife wanted something different. He said that he had built these to match the part he gave us already! He brought them over and installed them as well.
Over the years God has put my kitchen together for me with nearly no effort at all on my part. He has blessed me with wonderful inexpensive pieces of furniture I have found antiquing with my dad or were heirlooms and given to me by family to fill the rest of my kitchen.
My favorite kitchen in the whole world is my own kitchen. It is spacious beautiful and functional but the best part is it was a gift from God. I am grateful for it every day. It is a testimony to God of His hand and faithfulness in our lives!