You don’t have to be like anyone else.

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While Ray has been recuperating, our latest home project has continued outside on the front porch. Over the last 19 years, storm after storm has knocked first one column and then another off of our front porch. Now that I see that in print, it sounds too dramatic. I think it has happened three times. The last time it happened, we decided to go ahead and replace all of the smaller columns. Obviously they were too weak to survive storms. Still we hoped to save the large columns by the front doors.

The bad news we got during the project was that the wood beams at the top of the columns were rotten and would have to be replaced. The good news was that the large columns were in great shape and could stay. We had been afraid that water had might have been trapped behind the plain, smooth aluminum that covered them, and that they would be rotten like the upper beams. The former owners had covered the entire house with aluminum siding in the 1970s. They did it to protect this old house, to help stay warm in it, and to keep from painting so often. All those were worthy goals, but we have slowly been removing the aluminum one project at a time to reveal the original wood underneath it. We are grateful that most of our surprises beneath the aluminum have been good ones. The surprise this time was another good one. Underneath the aluminum were details that I really like.

As you can see, the bottoms of the columns did need some work. The beige boards (which are still waiting to be painted) and the trim piece above them are new. However, I am pleased with how the columns look after their new paint job, especially considering that they are at least 84 years old (the original part of the house dates from the early- to mid-1840s, but the porch is newer than that and has been remodeled at least twice).

This is probably way too much detail to get to my main points. This is one of them:

People have different opinions about how to do things. The former owners liked to cover up details that were old and make things more modern; Ray and I like to strip those off and restore what we can. Our philosophy is to make our house as historically accurate as we can afford and as historically accurate as is possible for us to live in it comfortably. After all, this is more than a house to us. It is our home.

During one of Ray’s many medical tests, one of the proliferation of home shows that are so popular was playing on television in the waiting room. In between praying for Ray and watching the television, I read on my phone about modern home improvements. I was sad to learn that these shows are putting pressure on some modern homeowners, making them insecure about their choices and afraid not to follow the trends they see in various media. This brings me to my second main point:

Peer pressure is exceedingly strong. I am sorry to learn that it is so strong in the colors and styles people surround themselves with in their homes. I am even sorrier for the peer pressures that affect how people live inside their homes.

Enjoy your freedom. You don’t have to be like anyone else—not even another homeschool mama. The only model you need to copy is the perfect one, the Lord Jesus Christ.

. . . the one who says he abides in Him
ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
1 John 2:6

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual service of worship. 
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what the will of God is,
that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

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