To make a house a home…

I have been in packing mode for the last week and a half.  It is exciting and sad all at the same time.  As I take pictures and paintings off the wall and put away all the knick knacks, I realize the finality of what I am doing.  I am naturally sentimental, however, I have not been sentimental about this move until tonight.  (Let me reiterate, we are not moving out of town–just down the road.)

I walked with my friend, Diane, this morning, I realized I do have a lot on my plate right now.  Most of the time, when my plate is full, I tend to power through.  Tonight, it all hit me–my heart connected with what we are actually doing.

We have lived in this house for 8 1/2 years.  There has been intense life lived in these years.  INTENSE.  These are the years that I have grown into an authentic adult–through pain, responsibility, and struggle and deep growth in Christ.  Much prayer and study and laughter and conflict has occured in these walls.

I grew as a minister in these walls–ministering and being ministered to by many young women.  The first summer we lived here, I began opening our home to college women on Tuesday nights.  That study grew and deepened and moved nights.  Girls who met in that study formed deep friendships that are for a lifetime.  God grew me as a teacher and encourager.

Our marriage has struggled in the ebbs and flows of life and intimacy in these four walls.  It has been refined, and we are the better for it.  Days and weeks and months and years of prayer–in joy and struggle have occured in these walls.  These walls witnessed the week that Greg was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis–the sorrow, the pain, the fear and then the acceptance.

These walls have witnessed and sheltered us in our longing for children…and our waiting and waiting and waiting.  Sometimes this house has felt very empty in those times…the emptiness of a hurting heart.

These walls and this home have witnessed the entertaining and caring for my Daddy in his last stages of Parkinson’s.  (They witnessed the most embarrassing and yet funniest story I have about my Dad–which will not be written here:))  It makes me sad that he will never know the home that our son will grow up in.  (And never meet our son–cause they really would have loved one another!)

These walls witnessed our journey from young adulthood to middle adulthood–the wisdom and gray hairs have grown.  These walls have also witnessed my blossoming as an artist–parts of me that would not have bloomed without pain and time.  The pain has filled the walls with color and joy that will move with us!

These walls have witnessed Greg’s call to the local church–coming off the road and ministering to college students and then getting to do his dream job as a Teaching Pastor.  I am proud of his growth and maturity.

These walls welcomed our sweet Jack home this year.  He will never remember this house, but we will.  We will remember the prayers for him, the resting in God, the anticipation of his arrival, and the miracle of bringing him home.  I will gladly tell him of this house and these years and God’s faithfulness.  This house has truly been a home.  It is not impressive compared to other’s homes, but it has been consistent and a shelter and a place of life and joy–All that I wanted it to be and more.

I pray that our next house become a home to those who need encouragement, to those in pain, to those who are in need of Christ, to friends and family far and wide.  I pray that as much struggle and conflict and joy and laughter occur there so that Christ may be met and proclaimed and bring life.  All the while, I pray I not be content with what it’s walls can bring for they are not the end–may we long for the fulfillment of our eternal home.

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