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Our Home Remodel Story | Beauty from Ashes

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Sometimes there is a specific moment in life where everything changes. You know in that very second your life has been altered. Sometimes it is for good and sometimes it’s not. But it’s what you do with that realization that is important.

So, today I wanted to share my moment. At least one of them, as there are a few. This is our home remodel story. The story of God’s miraculous protection over my family and the blessings He bestowed in the aftermath. Along the way you can see some before and afters that mark the amazing transformation God provided.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

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Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Building Faith Through Fire

Jump back to 2012. The economy was still in the dumpster. My husband and I had one precious little boy. We were planning to get pregnant with our second and wanted to spread our poor little wings and fly to a bigger and better house. More space. More land. More privacy. And we fell in love. At least, my husband fell in love.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Welcome to the home we purchased in 2012 in all her cherry wood glory. I tell ya what, this house was cherry red from top to bottom. The moment I walked in I hated it. Though, to the house’s credit, I usually do hate the houses we buy before I get my hands on them.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

So my husband encouraged (ahem….politely badgered) me to reconsider the home he was in love with. The more I thought about it the more I could see a future here. It had all the space we desired and then some. Plus, it gave us room to grow our family and enjoy the outdoors without being on top of our neighbors. So we took a leap!

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

We bought this fixer upper, rented out our first home because the market was too bad to sell it (which was the largest mistake we’ve ever made….but that’s for another day), and set our sights on renovating the cherry red out of this place over time.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Fast forward a year and a half. I had just had my sweet daughter and we were living life in the poor house. Remember that first home we rented out? Yeah, well a slew of bad tenants, double mortgage payments and constant damage to be repaired strapped us more than I ever imagined. We were contemplating bankruptcy on our first home so we could keep the home of our dreams. And then it happened.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

The Moment Time Stood Still

One night in November my husband and I were turning in for the night around 10:30 p.m. We had recently installed a high-efficiency wood burning fireplace to supplement our high propane bills. As we settled in for the night with a roaring fire I started to hear what sounded like a dog scratching on the siding. I sent Aaron out to check to see if a stray was at the door trying to get in.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

After investigating he came back to bed without finding any issues. I was uneasy even though he assured me he couldn’t find any problems in the house. But the noise persisted. I asked him to go check again. Something wasn’t right. The amazing husband that he is, he trusted me and went to look again.

He was gone for about 5 minutes. Too long for everything to be peachy. So I got up and got dressed, feeling like the entire house had all of a sudden heated up to temperatures much too warm for November in Michigan. I came out to find him looking at our fireplace. And I remember him saying,

I think the house is on fire.”

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

He quickly showed me outside the smoke billowing off our rooftop where the chimney stood. It was too much smoke to simply be from our burning fire. However, without any smoke inside the house we were confused. You see, our smoke alarms never went off. All of the smoke had been contained in the attic and the noises I heard were pieces of wood burning and cascading down inside the chimney.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Immediately we got the kids out of the house, who were both sleeping and terrified. Aaron called 911 and we waited at the bottom of our driveway in the car for the fire department to arrive.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

God’s Leading Hand

Friends, God worked so many things out that night. I fully believe that He was the one who kept me awake. He was the one that saved our family from a burning attic and roof line crumbling onto us in our sleep. He was the one who sent the off-duty fire chief to our house because he lived less than a mile away and heard the call. He was the one who orchestrated three fire departments to come to our rescue from that chief’s call that there was an urgent fire that needed to be contained.

You see, when we called 911 we didn’t know how bad it was. We could see smoke but no flames. So the chief went on the roof and quickly discovered the entire roof line was on fire. Without the off-duty fire chief arriving first they would have only sent one truck. And we needed many more.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

I remember my husband coming down to the car where I sat with my children and the look on his face as he told me that we might lose our house. It was worse than we thought. There aren’t even words to convey the feeling of losing your place of security. And with a 2.5 year old and 4 month old in the back seat holding the only possessions we could quickly grab, their blankies, we were all of a sudden homeless and possession-less.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Beauty from Ashes

I could tell you every detail of the next 6 months of our home remodel story from that moment. I could dwell on the legal battle with the company that installed the fireplace that caused the fire. I could talk about the endless hours I spent documenting everything in our house for insurance. I could rant about how horrible the restitution company we worked with was and how many mistakes they made that delayed us going home. I could cry over the emotional tole it took on our son who began his battle with anxiety because of the fire, and still battles it to this day. And I have. I have done all those things.

But today, I want to talk about the good instead.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

It’s been 4 years since our fire, but it was one of those events that changes you. It took me a long time to see past the bad. The “woe is me” mentality was strong in the beginning. But time changes things, and God changes hearts.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

In the aftermath of the fire we basically had to rebuild our house from the studs up. The fire department was able to save the structure but it had to be gutted from smoke and water damage. Have you ever had to redesign a house when you weren’t planning on it? With limited time and two kids under 3? And a job? Let me tell you, it isn’t fun. It was stressful and I had NO clue what I was doing. I never knew how many decisions had to be made to design a house.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Working All Things for Good

However, looking back I can see how God has worked all things for the good. And let’s not make that synonymous with life being easy. Good doesn’t always equal easy, my friends.

He protected my family, first and foremost. Many families who go through house fires end in tragedies much greater than the loss of worldly possessions.

He strengthened our marriage and our family through one of the most stressful times of my life.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Our home was remodeled top to bottom, fully paid for, into my dream home. And that is where this little blog got her start. Do you think you all would follow along with me if my home was still cherry red with nasty carpet and outdated fixtures? Would I have anything to inspire you with? Maybe eventually, but honestly, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the type of remodel we did without insurance covering it.

And I honestly believe that my love of design came from this very remodel. Before I had to be intentional about design for the remodel, I didn’t pay much attention to my home decor. I always wanted my home to be welcoming and look nice but it never was top on my priority list to make it beautiful. I didn’t even know the love of interior design existed in me until God pushed me into it.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

Now, I get to share my passions with all of you. He has given me this platform to share my faith, to share my love of design and decor, and to be inspired and encouraged by so many beautiful people I’ve met through the process. And our home remodel story is where it all began.

{If you’re new to Grace In My Space, you can learn more about me here and view our full home tour here.}

Grace In My Space Was Born

Do you know why I named my blog “Grace In My Space”? Because of this. Because of His never ending Grace. Because He does work all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Because I want to be able to share that grace is not only the answer to salvation, but to so many other situations in life.

Home remodeling is not a new phenomenon. But what do you do when it isn't planned? Today I want to share with you my home remodel story and the lessons learned during the process.

So let’s show each other some grace today. Let’s show ourselves some grace. Let us have an attitude of grace as we struggle through difficult circumstances. And let’s be eternally grateful for the ultimate Grace God shows us through His son, Jesus Christ.

Sarah Signature

{For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9}

23 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! It’s such a beautiful thing to look back at all the struggle and heartache and even though at the time it might not have seemed it… He was there, He was working and He had a beautiful loving plan. ❤️

    1. He did indeed! It is always easier to look back to see Him work than while we are in the midst of trial. But I’m grateful He sees us through even when we don’t understand it.

  2. Wow God bless you and your family, what an amazing testimony you all have, what an amazing inspiration, you must have had an awful scary time and been stripped to the core emotionally – but I suppose that’s how God moulds us into what He needs us to be. Your bravery and faith and trust in the Lord has brought you through and is truly amazing thank you for sharing what I’m sure is a very emotional, personal experience God bless Karina x

  3. Hello Sarah,
    This story is my introduction t your blog and what an encouragement! The hand of God was protecting you and your family as well as steering you into directions you may never have chosen. Your talent with interior design attests to that. Keep it up and thank you for boldly sharing your story!

    Warmly,
    Rachel

  4. Love your story and how through this blog and post you glorify the Lord which is what it’s all about. You are precious and I’m so glad you started the blog and have testimony full of grace. Love what you’ve done. Sorry it took so long but isn’t it crazy how God works? Bug hugs!

  5. Wow what an incredible story. I can’t imagine dealing with such a tragedy, but it’s once again amazing the way God turns all things for good. Thanks for answering my question about when you started to love design/decorating. It’s wonderful getting to know more of your story and the way you be been able to impact others through it and through your blog.

  6. What life changer! Wow. ! Again so thankful that you all for our safe. I didn’t know the story, but how amazing that God works his miracles even through out darkest days. We are blessed! Thank you Sarah for sharing this. Thank you for all you do with your blog to help so many. I am blessed! ?????????

  7. Did you paint the windows or did you replace them? I have wood/brown trim windows and I am looking for guidance on how to paint or deepen the color of them

  8. Love your story! God is so good. I feel so blessed by your testimony, your blog and Instagram account! Thank you for sharing your heart ❤️

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