By Kelly Dahman, Vocation Ambassador
Raised in a 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath house with a family of 7, I was taught that a house itself is not a home unless filled with the laughter and love of those you care about.
For the past few months, I’ve been part of a group that’s been hard at work renovating a house donated to the Ursuline Sisters. The goal? To transform the house into a space that will be used to serve young adults with their studies, interests, spiritual lives, and social lives.
While major renovations have been taking place on weekdays, our group of young adults has been meeting on weekends to complete smaller tasks.
This past Saturday morning, a small group met at the modest bi-level, located not far from the Motherhouse, to complete a project. The group included Sister Norma Raupple and four young adults -- Stephanie, Kristen, Melissa, and me.
We began by painting a piano left by the previous homeowners which we intend to keep in the house’s main meeting room. While we painted, we talked, joked, and told stories. Stephanie (our DIY expert) gave advice, Kristen supplied us with amusing narrations, Melissa (my younger sister) filled us in on teenage lingo, and I took an abundance of pictures and videos -- as usual.
When we had finished painting, we decided to have a “big reveal” walk-through of the house, as major changes had been made since the last time we saw it. As we opened the door, our jaws hit the floor. There was the carpet we had agreed on, the tile we “okayed,” and the table we had painted. What an incredible feeling to see your work and visions come to a reality.
The main room felt so spacious, as it only held a few furniture pieces until more arrive later. In this wide open space, Kristen and I danced and made yoga poses and Melissa began doing gymnastics. At this moment while we all laughed and spent our time together, I felt God’s presence and realized that this is what He had in mind for this house all along- this sense of community, this sense of family, this sense of home. All of our hard work was not just to make a warm and inviting space, but to grow in our relationships with one another. It’s not the things inside the house, but our relationships that make the home.
This space is going to provide us with the means to foster our community of young adults and allow us to encourage one another on our journeys through young-adulthood. I can’t wait to see what our future in this home brings!