Heartbroken today. There is a precious little brick house beside Elizabeth Church on the map of my heart. When I dream of home, it's the one I dream of most often. We lived lots of places growing up, but that one is, for me, the place where "us" resides. Jeff, Jane, Quinne, Paige. So many funny, wonderful, hard, precious memories there. The faces of dear family and friends - hours spent around the table laughing and loving and becoming together.
I remember Mom re-making the bones of that house - even with the old, green, shag carpet. Before we even knew it, our "new house beside our new church" became home. Dad's workshop was set up, Paige and I had our spaces defined and personalized ^_^ and Mom had the whole place singing "welcome" with her "just a little something" touches.
I learned more about hospitality there. Living right beside the church, across the little grove, driveways linked -- it was a crossroads of sorts. And I watched my mom and dad welcome everyone. My definition of life in Christ grew as I watched them gather in whoever came to call. Precious ones from our church family come to visit, dear hurting ones come to ask for prayer, a word of encouragement, sweet old friends from far away come to say hellos and to deliver long-missed hugs, wonderful family come to laugh and play and stay and celebrate.
I remember when the church decided to remodel the house - lol! Waking up before 7am to men on tall ladders outside my bedroom windows. Bidding farewell to that awful, adorable shag carpet. Having permission to choose the wallpaper for the upstairs bathroom - Paige and I chose very well (and very colorfully), to be sure - and the laughter that crazy wallpaper brought every time we proudly showed it off.
Yellow ribbons on the trees welcoming Dad home.
Cooking in the kitchen and laughing till we cried with Mom, Paige, Grandmother, Grandma, and Sarah.
Meals innumerable with the Blantons and the Selfs.
Racing across the grove to church, because no matter how hard we tried, though we lived so close, we always seemed to be running late for church - lol!
Hours in the yard, helping Grandma.
Raising a tiny little goat barn in the backyard with the neatest crew of friends ^_^
The trees around the yard in the spring... in the fall... and dancing for joy over how they looked with piles of snow on their bare branches.
This coming Monday, the house will be torn down. And every time I stop and think for a minute, that fact pops to mind and I am in tears again. Honestly, until I heard the news last night, I had no idea how many of my heart strings were still firmly anchored to that place. I do understand that it is not the wood and brick that hold my heart, but it is the home that was made there. And home is where the people we love are. I think it's just saying farewell to the "us" that still lives and breathes and is so, so gorgeous there in my heart and mind.
To each one of you who helped to make it so, I am sending love today. Thanking God for the time there and the ways that He can make every single thing beautiful and good ♥