Redemption: It Isn’t Just for People

We live on 1.2 acres of what was a portion of the homestead of an early hop growing family. This part of Washington now raises 78% of the world’s hops and is littered with the area’s history. Ours is the original house which has been built onto a number of times, the playground of many children and grandchildren, the last home to several generations of grandparents and parents, including mine.

The pictures are of the origingal hop kiln, the processing facility we affectionately call “the hop barn.” I am told that ours is one of only five or six of its kind left in the region. Like the house, it has been repurposed multiple times, however, except for wind damage and elemental exposure, its exterior remains [mostly] unchanged. Its stately presence presides over the activities shrinking the agricultural landscape surrounding it. Grape vineyards, apple orchards and pasture grass have been recently replaced by new homes and asphalt.

Fall 2009-Summer 2011 112 ????????????????????? IMG_20140424_162634_184

Frustrated over yet another fix-it project, I lamented to my husband a few days ago, “I’m sick of old!” And yet the promise of reclaiming a former glory stirs my passion–which is why both my attic and the cavernous interior of the barn are full of this heirloom and that material waiting to be turned into my vision for their next incarnation. Admittedly, I am less adept at execution (which is why both my attic and  the cavernous interior of the barn are full of… Right?). But there is no limit to my inventive imagination! It should be no surprise, then, that I also have a vision for giving the hop barn yet another life…Who knows?

Here’s an example of someone else who’s done it. I can’t wait to visit.

Dahmen Barn in The Palouse

It is this refusal to give up on things that draws me to spiritual formation, contemplation and listening prayer: God constantly and creatively bringing restoration to original, Divine intent in us as individuals, and in our many, mini-universes, through our participation and cooperation. It is why I love the work of spiritual direction. I provide an intentional space in which people can tell their ongoing life stories. Together we notice and respond to the redemptive activity of the Spirit, resulting in their more full and joy-full participation in this “making [of] all things new.” My wish is that it may be so for you.

Blessings, Gwen


BONUS:  Habitat for Humanity’s REstore is one daughter’s favorite place to shop. Take a look here at some of the ways used up and discarded items are being reclaimed and transformed.


COMMENT: (Under post title)  Are you as enamored by possibility as I am…or am I just a sentimental sap?! How are you participating in the “making of all things new” in and around you, literally and figuratively? Do tell! Pictures? (I assume you can post them here…not sure.)

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