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This is it, I said to myself, closing the front door behind me. My cheeks flushed, my breathing quickened. The second look confirmed my decision to lease this two-bedroom bungalow, despite having no experience caring for a house, despite my seventy years of age. Now that I was retired, I needed a quiet place to finish my book. This was 2006.

But I looked around again. The space I could handle, but the rest of the brick bungalow was an eyesore: the appliances, old; the walls painted in the drab colors of nineteenth-century peasants, with the exception of cherry red for the dining room; the hardwood floors, were scuffed and stained where once carpet had lain; discolored blinds, some blades bent, covered the windows. The infrastructure also needed renovation, together with a new roof.

Mature shade trees and perennial flower beds enhanced the exterior, however. Still, I heard myself say, “This is it!”

And the bungalow still is. Everything about it was a challenge from God: to replace the unlovely with beauty; to seek contractors for major repairs; to learn how to care for my bungalow until I’d arranged a circle of helpers. Every room contains multiple stories and when put together, express the woman I have become and who has actualized much of her birthright, before making my transition.

With the renovation of my bungalow complete; with my closets and drawers largely emptied, save for what I’m actually using; with my on-going psychic work protected with solitude and silence; with the bare minimum of loving helpers, most days, I feel deeply content and grateful for new growth. And my simple bungalow serves admirably as the container: God’s preeminent gift.

What could He have in store for me? For all of us?

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