Monday, November 12, 2012

home, dear, sweet home

dear home,

it has been an amazing 7 years, and i'm having a hard time leaving you. even though we've been praying to move, and even though this move will be best for our family, saying goodbye is harder than i ever imagined. this is a great house and we poured so much love into it making it our home. we lived here, and i mean really lived here. you embraced us, made us feel safe and secure, you are warm and comfort. 

as the years have passed, we've watched the little tree in the front yard grow strong, the flowers at its base bloom, and the shrubs thicken. the driveway has been a canvas for countless chalk creations, a playground for after-school energy, a raceway for matchbox cars, a safe place to wait for the ice cream truck. almost every evening before sundown, the front yard, driveway and sidewalks were our retreat.  

both of our babies learned to crawl and walk on your cold tile floors. both of them fell down the stairs, but only once. your 'formal dining' room was their playroom, your study their schoolroom. the colors on their bedroom walls were carefully selected- shy blossom and baby blue. you wore their smudgy handprints up the stairwell and i shed a few tears when i painted over them. big girl loved to slide down the railing, the toes of her shoes scraping the wall all the way down. 

your kitchen has seen more parties than i can count. to say you are a great home for entertaining is an understatement. first birthdays were celebrated there, 30th birthdays were celebrated there. bible studies and baby showers, graduations and Christmas, cookie baking and cake decorating, card playing and homework, play-doh and budget meetings...stories, hugs, laughter, tears, and food-fights, right there in your kitchen. so many meals, so many moments, so many memories. 

the sticky back door that we always wished had a doggy-door, was also the gateway to backyard adventures. the playground in your backyard was our babies first swingset and slide. there was their personal fort and clubhouse, their own sandbox digging site, insect homes, and leaf piles in the fall. host to our house-warming BBQ just weeks after we moved in, venue for my sister's May wedding, summer plastic-pool playdates, Fourth of July fireworks watching, spring picnics, an okra garden, firefly-catching, family photo shoots, and so much more. the kids sled down the snow-covered hill and built big snowmen back there. the path leading to the patio is Jeff's labor of love. and when the giant tree fell down in a storm, we mourned a loss. and then we planted a sapling. the dogs ran and ran and ran. armadillos dug. snakes hid under rocks. skunks sprayed. caterpillars cocooned. windchimes sang.

we made wonderful, dear friends here in this home, and i pray our friendships endure. who would have ever thought we'd be the family playing in the driveway with neighborhood kids every night before dinner? i'm forever thankful for our neighbors: the kind of neighbor-friends that kept our dogs for a weekend while we went out of town, who went to my house when i wasn't there to make sure i didn't leave the straightening iron plugged in, who will lend you me egg and a cup of flour, who cooked dinner for us when we had a baby, who prayed for us, who took my kids to the park for a few hours so i could pack boxes.

i never want to forget you, our first home. your beautiful rounded archways. your burnt orange accent wall. the custom window coverings and coordinating throw pillows. the closet we huddled in when tornado sirens went off. duct-taping towels over counter edges when the kids were just tall enough to hit their heads on corners. the white noise fan in the master bathroom. the windows in the gameroom that overlook the woods. changing out the welcome sign on the front porch. the dogs head resting on Big Girl's window sill, watching the neighborhood. the perfectly worn carpet. the smell of home. the feel of home.

saying goodbye is bittersweet. it was a beautiful season there in our home, sweet, home. and now we step in faith into the next season of our life...because home really is wherever we are together.


He has made everything beautiful in its time. 
He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end...there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 
Ecclesiastes 3:11-12