The Old Farmhouse of My Soul by Sarah Reinhard


Living in an old farmhouse takes care of my free time.  There’s always something, and whatever you have to do always leads to two other problems.  Putting in windows?  Ah, well, lookee here, we have a joint problem.  Need a new tub?  Not before that floor gets jacked up and reworked.  I’ve lived here enough years to have adopted an attitude of reluctant humor about the whole thing, but I’m still not used to the fawning “oh, an old farmhouse, you must love it there” responses of people who don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.  Love it?  Well, yes, the location is ideal, although we’d tear the bleeping thing down if we could afford it.

Nothing’s level, nothing’s finished, and we keep finding more junk.  Just when you think it’s whipped and taken care of, there’s something else.  All that needs done is larger than my mind can embrace, so I think of it in terms of bite-sized chunks, knowing that I may well be retired with great-grandchildren before the larger goals are accomplished.

All of this, stated in a spirit of humor and please, know it’s not with any sort of complaining (at least I have a roof!), made me think this morning of how God must look at me and waver between laughter and hysteria.  One minute, all this progress – new kitchen floor and the brand-new windows are washed up – and then, WHAM!  Off I go, on my path of sin and wandering.  Next minute, we’re doing better, really on the right path – plans on the floor for the bathtub to go in, scaffolding set up outside for attic work – and BOOM!  No fear, but she’s just started something crazy again and has rammed into something, causing complete and utter havoc.

All these plans, all these hopes, all very well.  If only the floors were level and the furnace installed.  If only the attic wasn’t full of birds and the upstairs was insulated.  If only I could let go and let God and leave the rest to him!

Copyright 2009 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


  1. My Bob and I started out 27 years ago in an old farmhouse. We painted, scraped, renewed and rebuilt many an inch of it, all at the expense of our landlord –who gave us a substantial discount on the rent for our efforts. Unfortunately, back then, interest rates were deep in the double digits and we couldn’t afford to buy the place when the owner finally decided to sell. Since then, two fixer-uppers later, we are quite the home-improvement duo… and I still get a kick out looking at paint chips and wondering what we’re gonna do next!

  2. Sarah, great post! When I was a child, I lived in a farmhouse, belonged to my grandparents. I think of it fondly but then, I was only 3 years old!!
    As for let go, let God, I am struggling with that one too. I look at it this way – I am a work in progress! Like your farmhouse! Like you, I am so glad God has a sense of humor! God bless!

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