Sitting on my well-loved leather couch, I am taking in the small home I have lived in for 13 years. The carpet is still blue, the kitchen is still pergo, and the cabinets are still ugly. However, these are the few remaining things we have not given a facelift over the years. We have painted, drywalled, and framed. We've added a timeless, hand-stained mantel and built a gorgeous deck where I have drank many a cup of coffee and completed countless books. Our yard has been throughly redone, complete with rock wall, bounced-on trampoline, blossoming hostas and cute shed. I have borne and raised all my toddlers here. I carried my angel baby in this place.
A recovering sentimentalist, I have learned to not count my memories by the things I keep, but by the pictures in my brain and emotions within. Life is enjoyed more by not hoarding trinkets but treasuring the moments represented by them. Says the girl who used to have collections out the wazoo.
So...I look, I feel, I listen. I remember and hide the memories deep within, and entrust them to the Lord.
We are moving. Not too far. But far enough. It is a place of greenery, acreage and beauty. It would be lying to say we are not thrilled with anticipation to spread our wings for bigger space for my children to run all over.
But I want to take a moment to soak up the love we have enjoyed in our little blue rambler. My personal first home to own, where we immediately settled into after getting hitched. We asked God wherever we lived, that it would be a place He could use us to reach out to those around us. And He has answered that prayer. We have witnessed so much life in our very own neighbor's lives. We've hosted Bible club, and kids have heard about Jesus. We've taken friends to AWANA. Many precious relationships with not just those in our cul-de-sac but down the street, and around the corner. It will hurt our hearts to say good-bye. That is what I will miss most...the people. I pray that God would love these people with others who love them just as much as we do. If I could teach something to my kids it would be to invest in those around you. Never take for granted the people God places in your life.
A Christian family lives next door. The best neighbors one could ask for. We asked God to use us; well, God has blessed US through THEM. Their granddaughters play with our girls almost every day. They give us fresh produce, little treats to my children, gifts at Christmas. They are so kind and we can't even understand each other half the time (they are Ukranian)!
We have allowed all kids in the neighborbood to play at any time. A safe, loving, open door for them. There have been difficult ones, but did you not know it is Jesus coming to our door in even the most difficult of children or adult? God has taught me much through that. If I could do anything over again, it would be, be more patient with the "hard" kids.