Thursday, May 24, 2012

The House that Built Me

This is the house I grew up in...
It has three bedrooms, 1&1/2 baths, kitchen, family room, living room and a small laundry room.  Yes, you read it right, it only has one and a half baths.  There was no master spa like bathroom, it was a small 1/2 bath off of my parents master bedroom.  It was my mother's of course, that's where she kept all her make up and perfumes.  

The farthest window to the right was my bedroom.  There was rainbow wallpaper in there at one time.  I sure hope someone has taken that down by now.  I had a unicorn and rainbow room.  Seriously y'all I did...I wish I was joking, sadly I am not.  You can barely see it, but my dad's shed is still there just behind the house.  We also had a well worn dirt basketball court back there too.  Many a game was played in that backyard.  Somehow I was able to beat almost everyone I played on my "home court," everyone but my dad.  

My grandparents lived a block away in this house...
When my grandparents were here, there was a huge oak tree in the front yard.  It provided shade over the whole house and my granddad hung a swing from one of it's branches for his grand kids.  It doesn't even look like the same house to me without that old oak tree in the front yard.  There were big beautiful rose bushes in the backyard. I can still remember the sweet smell of my grandmother's roses in bloom.

My Aunt and my cousin lived about half a mile from us and then the church we all went to was only two blocks away.

This is how I spent 17 years of my life.  No one gets to live like this anymore, do they?  I mean so close to family, church and neighborhood friends.  I remember walking or riding my bike with friends just a couple of blocks away to the 7/11 to get candy and Slurpee's.  I remember playing "kick the can" in front of my house with the neighborhood kids until our parents called us in at night.

Mr. Wilson, who lived on the corner, would give us candy and our parents didn't have to worry that he was some kind of child predator.  He was simply a sweet old man that liked for us kids to come visit him from time to time.  We rode our bikes or walked everywhere we went.  We played in each others yards and went to church every time the doors were open.

This was the neighborhood I grew up in, this was my childhood home, but most important was what was contained in those four walls.  There was my dad who worked two jobs (and I think at one point he had three jobs but I'm not completely sure) so that my mom could stay at home with me and my sister.  That was important to them and now as a stay at home mom myself I know how blessed I really am.  Family and friends surrounded us in that house and I felt safe and loved there.

I have now been away from my childhood home longer than I was there, yet it grows in significance year after year. I think back on those sweet days and even ache to be back there on particularly difficult days.  The years I spent there were not in vain, however.  Everything I have seen, done, experienced and accomplished has been to prepare me for these days.  Our Sovereign God knew what would happen on November 3, 2007 and I believe everything in my life has prepared me for this time in our family's life.  

I want these years to mean something to my boys as well. God willing they will look back on their childhood one day and know how much they are loved and the importance of walking that road less traveled with our faithful Lord. 

Psalm 36:5 "Your love, Lord reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies."   

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