Our journey towards self sufficiency has recently led to the conversion of our heating system. Our oil fired boiler, which was at least 30 years old has now been replaced with ground source heating, (Phil’s planning to do a separate, more practical post on this subject 😊).
We do have a lovely home, but it is one which rather leaks heat. We do plan on fixing this problem over the next few months, but in the meantime I am becoming a huge fan of thermals! The children and Phil don’t seem to feel the cold though, I think I must just have poor circulation.
Today was a turning point towards that much dreamed of warmer house, as our log burner was fitted. In the space where our old boiler dwelt within a 1980s kitchen cupboard, was a space calling for renovation. Behind the cupboard front was an alcove, with a chimney directly above it, just waiting for a log burner. I suspect, thinking back to the original building, it would have been used for the stove. In a way we are taking the alcove back to its original purpose, especially as we have a cooking plate; tonight it was used for curry, but we have plans for porridge, pancakes and maybe a wood fired pizza?!
When we ripped out the old boiler we uncovered the beautiful tiles which had been hidden for decades, since the addition of central heating to the house. We both agreed that we didn’t want to replace them, as we wanted to keep part of the old farmhouse. The wall tiles were just in need of a clean, but the floor tiles were covered in thick layers of paint that required chemicals, a wire brush on a drill and a knife to chip off the last of the paint.
What we have uncovered and restored has brought beauty and warmth to our home. We have created a place where people can gather and breathe deeply, as the warmth draws them in; but this was not achieved without painstaking work. Chipping the paint off the tiles was a slow and sometimes painful job, but the end result has made the effort all worthwhile. It reminds me of how God wants to uncover in each of us, the hidden beauty within. He helps us to remove the facade, that we put in place to convince the world we are worthwhile, and he reveals our inner beauty. This is not an overnight process, but it takes a lifetime of God slowly and lovingly, often through our discomforts, ‘chipping’ away our old self to reveal the people he created us to be; people who will be carriers of his light and his warmth into people’s lives.