Monday, February 16, 2015

2nd phase of renovations...and the Lenten renovations of our hearts...

God has provided, through many generous hearts, enough funds for our building campaign so that we were able to begin the 2nd phase of our project on February 2!  This phase is the biggest component of our project: the complete renovations of the south half of the monastery.

These are the main goals of this phase:

  • Rewire the entire monastery (eliminate danger of fire and bring up to code)
  • Widen kitchen three feet
  • Increase counter space
  • Redesign for more usable layout
  • Replace old, unsafe stove/oven
  • Create space for refrigerator and freezer in kitchen
  • Update appliances
  • Create pantry space
  • Create four bedrooms for nuns (an increase of two bedrooms)
  • Create a double bathroom (an increase from current single bathroom)
  • Convert single garage into a space for laundry and exercise
  • Repair roof over office
  • Raise and reinforce sagging floors

View photos of the renovations

These past two weeks have been exciting, but also challenging!  Some of us have struggled with the constant packing, moving and rearranging, some with the lack of control we feel, some with the inconvenience of moving to a different, smaller kitchen, some with the constant answer: "It's in a box somewhere!," some with the noise, some with the dirt, some with the daily surprises of unexpected problems and decisions, and one of us with living temporarily in a room that we all walk through!

And in the midst of this commotion, we enter the Great Fast (Lent)...the most intense period of the liturgical year.  But actually, this ascetical period is related to our renovation struggles!  During this time of increased fasting and prayer, we will often be uncomfortable.  We will feel the pinch of hunger, the strain of the prostrations and longer services, and the weakness of our will.  We will be stretched to the limits of our bodily and spiritual abilities.  We will feel out of control--unable to "stay on top of" the demands of our monastic Lenten regimen.

Yet, there is a beautiful goal!  When we recognize and accept that we can't do this on our own, then we can make room for God to work in us.  When we loosen our grip on the things that we lean on that make us comfortable, then God can be the One we lean on.  Then, and only then, can we grow in union with Him and therefore be able to truly love.

If we five nuns stood in the construction zone all day we would greatly slow the renovation process!  (Not only would we distract the carpenters and electricians by our goofiness, but we would also get knocked out by two by fours...)  :)  We have to stay out of the way and let the masters of the trade do their work!  It is the same in our relationship with God: our selfishness, our ideas about what holiness should look like, our desire for control over our life, our attachments to things that are less than God, block the work of the Master in us.

So, this Lent, let's not be afraid to allow ourselves to be uncomfortable, for this is the place of encounter with the One our hearts really desire--the One who is capable of renovating them.


  1. Let the external & internal renovations begin! :) Praying for you all! Please pray for us!

  2. Love what you wrote! It's so true that we ourselves get in the way of growing in holiness, more than anything else ever could. And how exciting to see the renovations under way! Keep us in your prayers this Lent, we will remember you!


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