Burem Store and Burem Post Office, Rogersville, TN
Photo Credit to Randy Ball
My mom’s parents lived out in the country in eastern Tennessee — Rogersville, to be exact. When I was young, we would pass a couple of old dilapidated buildings on the road to their house. The buildings were once the old country store and the local post office. I had always wanted to walk inside the store to see what artifacts may have been left behind by an era gone by. Unfortunately, I never got the chance. I was very disappointed when, during one of my visits, I discovered the buildings had been torn down. I had always wanted to go inside and see what treasures may have been left behind underneath the sagging roofs and warped boards. I think our lives are much the same way. As we get older, our exterior gets a little more wrinkled and worn, but we all hold treasures hidden inside which some would just cast aside because the harsh storms of life have beaten on us a little harder than others. However, as long as we breathe, God can still use us.
This is probably one of the reasons I love reclaimed wood! I love the history contained in the boards. I love that these boards lived out their purpose for many years and, because of the storms they weathered, can be repurposed for something completely new and beautiful! When my husband and I built our home last year, I wanted a reclaimed wood ceiling in the keeping room off the kitchen. I could already imagine kicking my feet up and enjoying coffee with friends, spending time with God, and having friends and family gather underneath the barnwood ceiling to enjoy meals together. After lunch one Sunday, my husband and I found a young couple that tears down old barns and sells the wood. We immediately went to their warehouse, The Barnside of a Broad (I love the name!), and got the wood for our ceiling project. Since we were staying in town for Thanksgiving, we made the barnwood ceiling our project for the long weekend. I was very excited to share this project with my husband. Although we work together, I knew this special project would be more like quality time, and it would be something we could say we worked on together in the house.
As I said, I had this idea for a barnwood ceiling but, y’all, I have a very talented visionary of a husband that also happens to be a very skilled carpenter. So the barnwood ceiling exceeded all my expectations! It exceeds my expectations not just because my husband did a fantastic job on the design, but the room has become a very special place for me to spend time with friends, work on my Bible studies, and fellowship with friends and family. Whenever I spend time engaging in these activities, I’m inspired. God uses the conversations I have with friends to speak to me. I love encouraging and ministering to other women. So often, I’m ministered to by my friends in ways they may never know.
“As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].” Proverbs 27:17 AMP
One day my husband came home and called me into the room under the barnwood ceiling. He told me he felt God wanted that space to be used as a place for me to minister to others. He wanted to pray with me in that room. I was moved and humbled, as I felt my husband had released me into a ministry. So this space has come to symbolize my desire to minister to others with the blessing and encouragement of my Godly husband.
Though I never got to go inside those old buildings on the way to my grandparents’ house, I’m inviting you to come inside and join me in this space to see what it holds for us. My roof sags, the boards of my life are warped, and I show some wear and tear from the storms of life. But I hope you’ll join me in finding the treasures of life that lie under the barnwood ceiling.