Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Friday, April 15, 2011

Love Grows Best in Little Houses.

Have you ever heard that sweet song?

Love grows best in little houses,

With fewer walls to separate,

Where you eat and sleep so close together,

You can't help but communicate,

Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss.

Love grows best, in houses just like this.

I love that song.  It's an older country tune.  It always took me back to my childhood and where I cozily grew up, with my parents and four siblings.  Now it puts me in mind me of my own, little home and family.

It's April now.  April usually means rain.  Rain usually means a leaky laundry room.  Oh, it has been a frustration of mine for years... leaky basements.  UGH.  But every time my little laundry room gets damp with the water of a heavy spring storm, I'm reminded how much I love my house.

It was another one of those God stories... how we ended up moving into our home....

Years ago, when our firstborn was only a baby, we moved into a little condo in the area.  We were closer to our church and to my husband's job.  It was a big step for us.  We'd only lived in apartments, but we hadn't bought a place of our own, and although it wasn't a house with four free-standing walls, it was still ours.  We were thrilled.  We had so much more room... and I could paint my walls anything besides WHITE!  We planned to stay there just long enough to get settled into the area and move into a house before our son started KG.

How does that saying go?... We make plans; God laughs.  :)  We added one more little boy to our family while we lived in that tiny condo.  And surprise!  ...we then, added a THIRD little boy to our family while living in that condo.

What used to be roomy, now felt stuffy and small.  I had no yard where my children could play.  Our home faced a busy road, where traffic buzzed back and forth at all hours of the day and night.  My children were still only babies, but they were growing quickly, and I had very little space where they could keep their clothes or their toys... let alone have space of their own!  The basement leaked incessantly.  And we had trouble with spiders, but couldn't get rid of them, because the neighbors in the same building didn't treat at the same time we did... Oh, the list goes on and on.  I'm ashamed to admit my ungratefulness.  We had a roof over our heads, which is more than others can say... but I was ungrateful. 

We'd done some house hunting, but to no avail.  It just never seemed right.  In the meantime, we made do... (or we made "due"... which is it???)

Then, in God's timing, we began a moving adventure.  :)  It was strange, the way He orchestrated the details.  Friends of ours from church had come over to our home, to share the sad news that they'd been called to serve in another church, and would be moving away very soon.  These were good friends of ours.  We all served in the same areas of our church home.  We were all part of the same social circle.  We'd spent many an evening, fellowshipping in their home (and vice versa).  In the saddness of the conversation, my husband attempted to lighten the mood by jokingly making the statement... "Hmmm... Well, if you're moving, then maybe we've found our new house!"

That's how it all began.  It was a joke!  But that night, our friends went home and did the same thing we did... had a conversation with one another about the potential of that statement..  Could that actually work out?  Such a business transaction among friends?  And we women had different concerns... the emotional attachment seemed unreasonable.  How could I move into my friend's home and ever consider it as my own?  Would our other friends feel sad when they came to visit, remembering the memories they had of our old friends who were no longer near us?  And on the practical side of things... Was this even the house we were truly looking for?

The rest of it was kind of a whirlwind.  Our husbands worked out the details... They handled it all very well, in fact.  We basically agreed that if this was supposed to happen, God would swing the doors wide open, and we'd know if it was His will.  Our condo was up for sale, and within a week, we had a buyer who agreed to our asking price.  We were moving.

Funny thing?  As I said, the husbands handled the business end of things.  They went around the whole house in detail, where every nook and cranny was discussed... in pursuit of FULL disclosure.  I, on the other hand, had never even seen the inside of the closets before I was signing my name to the purchase agreement.  Weird?  Yes.  But that's just the way it worked out.  While I believed it was God's will, I was still tied up in my emotions.  My friends were leaving.  My son would have to change schools.  And while I was excited for the new start, I held so many reservations.  How would I make it MY home?  I didn't really care about the cabinet or closet space at the time.

That was four years ago, this spring.  Our friends are happily settled in their own home in Kansas City, and here we still are... And, yes, I managed to make this place my own (although, just last week was the first time one of our friends did NOT go to the kitchen pantry to find the trashcan where our old friends used to keep it. :)  HA!  I guess everyone has finally adjusted to the transition.)

Oh, I so love it here.  We live in an older subdivision of the area, and it's just beautiful.  The trees are grown and mature.  The season changes are so lovely and full of color.  Every house is a little different from the next, and in a short drive to take my boys to school in the morning, I am able to soak in God's creation.  Our home is not huge.  Some would even consider it too small for our family of five (plus two dogs).  We have plenty of repairs to make.  The kitchen needs remodeled, the laundry room is still leaky from time to time, the bedrooms are not ginormous, and we still need to complete the flooring project we began months ago.... and I couldn't be happier.  I hope to live here for the rest of our family's days.  We'll change and grow, and maybe one day, my boys' cozy bedrooms will become the place they'll come home to visit with their own families.

Who knows what the future holds.  The older I get, the more content I've become in being thankful for the sweetness of today.  I've even learned to be thankful for that little condo where it began!  We made lots of memories there, and it only made me all the more thankful for the blessings God has in store for me later. 

How wonderful and gracious He is to bestow so many undeserved blessings.

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