Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The House I'm Building

I was feeling pretty good on Sunday.  After church, I said, let's head north... so we did.  A spontaneous adventure.  We live relatively close to Hearst Castle, but we hadn't been since our honeymoon eighteen years ago.   Scurrying, we caught the last bus for the six mile ride up the winding hillside, overlooking the sparkling blue Pacific.

We were greeted by the familiar edifices I remembered.  The ornate construction.  The European influences.  The extraordinary architecture.  Relics of old mixed with modern conveniences.

Each space superbly engineered.  Attention to every last detail.  A marvel, really, to consider how these artifacts and raw materials were transported to this remote location to create a modern day palace.

Foliage entwined with concrete and tile.  Details reaching even beneath the eaves.

The indoor Roman pool completely covered in mosaic tiles.  Gold leaf accenting the cobalt blues.

The stunning Neptune pool, surrounded by colonnades, beckons even the fully clothed swimmer.

There were many important and influential women in William Randolph Hearst's life.  His mother, who inspired his love of European architecture and antiquities through a grand tour of Europe. His wife, Millicent.  Their honeymoon inspired the desire to publish his first magazine, starting his media empire. She also gave him the legacy of 5 children.  Marion Davies, his girlfriend (bummer), who was perhaps his muse.

But the relationship that truly intrigues me is that with Julia Morgan, the master architect, who partnered with Hearst for 28 years to build the elaborate buildings and grounds known today as Hearst Castle.  I can scarcely imagine the degree of commitment and ingenuity it must have taken for the two of them to pull off such an incredible dream,  leaving behind them a legacy of dedication and beauty for the world to enjoy.

While I have never had the desire (or talent or resources- ha!) to build something of such grandeur, I want to build my own home with such deliberation and care. 

"The wise woman builds her house,  
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
Proverbs 14:1

Although my physical house will never boast such affluence, the home I'm building can exemplify so much of God's riches.  Towers of praise-filled prayers, exalting His name.  Choice words like golden apples that build my family up.  A place to refresh and feel renewal, like the cool, shining waters of the Neptune pool.  Comforting arms, instead of rich, velvet chairs.  Peace-filled conversations, like beautifully appointed gardens.  

That type of building takes years and years of dedication and commitment, too.  It takes the partnership of two people, who are willing to see a purpose bigger than themselves, who are willing to overcome obstacles along the way, to gracefully wade through the mundane, and to keep working toward what would seem impossible this side of heaven.  Morgan and Hearst ended up redoing the outdoor pool three times before they were satisfied with the scale and ultimate resulting beauty and function.  Sometimes it is necessary to do that to, too... to return to a solid foundation and rebuild firm and true.

Ultimately, I want God to be the master architect of my home.  I want to draw from His beauty, wealth, depth, and creativity.  

I know that what He establishes will last.


{cuppakim} said...

i LOVE LOVE LOVE hearst castle. seriously, one of my favorite places in the world. so magical!

Cassi said...

Oh what a beautiful analogy

CoachZ said...

Love the Audrey Assad title reference ;-) This stood out to me in my run/cycle today out of all the songs I heard "You are a shelter for every misfit soul
We are the four walls and You're the cornerstone
You are, and You're the solid rock that we are built upon"

Love ya hon! Your heart for the Lord is very evident in your writing!

Anonymous said...

The pool makes me think of The Great Gatsby.

Megan said...

Ohhh yes, I LOVE Hearst Castle, there are so many intricate details and things to discover. Love the photos :)

Jodi said...

Well I feel silly, I had no idea there was a castle in the States besides at Disneyland! Lovely post, Linda :)

Linda Z said...

Good job catching that, MrZ. We must be connected or something! :) How cool that you were listening to that very song yesterday! :)

Tamara said...

I totally thought of the Audrey Assad song when I saw your title too :) Lovely post. And beautiful pictures! Did you take all of them?

Jen said...

Beautiful post. Seeing your pictures of Hearst Castle brought back memories of our one year anniversary. We spent the weekend in Cambria and the castle tour was the number one thing on my list to do. I too was fascinated by Julia Morgan and her vision/talent for creating such a beautiful structure.

Heather said...

I have been visiting my parents up there for 9 years and I have yet to go to Hearst Castle. One of these visits I MUST go. It looks spectacular! I love what you said about building a deliberate home. That is beautiful and something I need to be more intentional about.

xoxo said...

great photos! looks like it was a special trip :) sending LOVE your way... miss you! xoxo, julie

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