A Northern Exposure Life

Our house here is situated on the lot so the front of the house faces east and the rear (where the kitchen and family room are) faces west. I miss the wonderful southern exposure of our home in Portland; the main areas of the house were bright all the time, which was important to me when half the days were gray!

When we bought this house long-distance (after spending maybe 10 minutes in it) I thought the east/west thing would work out ok here though because there is so much more sunlight to begin with. What I didn’t take into account is between the porch overhang in the front and the patio in the back, there isn’t all that much natural light inside for most of the day. So here I am in a “sun-drenched” locale, with the lights on from breakfast to bedtime!

Even more strange though, is that the two rooms that should be the darkest are actually the brightest. The boys’ room and the spare room both face north. As far as I knew, that always meant they got the least amount of light. In fact, before we moved in I had those rooms painted yellow (one is called “Full Sun”) to make up for the external light I thought they’d be missing.

What I hadn’t noticed was that those rooms face the giant, new, two-story house on that side. And, it’s that house’s southern wall. And sand colored stucco is a great reflector of light. So all day long those two rooms bask in the reflected light from the house next door. Those are the only rooms that don’t need a lamp of some sort during the day; you can even see the glow all around the edges of the doors when they’re shut.

More than once I’ve felt like a Northern Exposure room. Unable to catch a ray of sunlight, needing artificial illumination all day long. Work pressures, friendships lost to distance or difference, family matters, financial troubles—all sorts of things can make me feel a bit internally gloomy.

It dawned on me (pardon the pun) that I need to be like north-facing rooms in my house. Even when my situation means I’m not getting a lot of direct sunlight; if I can reflect the Light that always shines on me, my otherwise dark passageways will be fully illuminated.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

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