Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ode to a Little House (a farewell)

This could be a really long post about how we have lived in a little rental house for a really long time. It's a familiar story: people move into a rental home and intend to move the next year. Instead. they stay and stay and stay and stay and stay. Six years later they decide that now is as good a time as any and the kids aren't getting any younger and they pray and look (as in look at mls listings every single night) and wait and pray and look. . . and then they move!

I'd like to document all the ways that we've seen the Lord's hand in this moving process. I intend to! It will be a long story, however. An Ebenezer story. That's all I wanted, really- for our home story to be a God story, a story of provision and timing and blessing and goodness that could only be from Him. I was kind of hoping that we would be gifted a house (we WERE gifted a van!), even though I knew it was pretty outrageous to pray that way. Yet, I do feel this house is a gift and I see Father's love in the details, the finances, the timing, the location. The house we are moving to is so much better than I expected and I'm really overwhelmed by gratitude.

And yet. . . we will be leaving this little house we have lived in for the past six years. I'm not really sentimental. My friends seem more sad about us leaving this house than I feel. And still, I've worked to be grateful here, to give thanks and appreciate this house as a gift and I do see it as such. There are unique benefits to living in a small house and some of those things I have come to appreciate and value and I will miss.

Goodbye, little house.

Goodbye Little House where G was born.

Goodbye Little House where our kids grew inches and hair and teeth and new bodies.

Goodbye Little House where I could call names and everyone could hear me, no matter where in the house they were. Where I could stand in the kitchen and see the entire living area. Where my bedroom was only nine steps from the boy room. How many nights have I walked that hallway! Carrying sleeping boys back to their beds from my bed, soothing boys who have bad dreams or sore throats or tummy aches. Calling boys from that room for heart conversations, discipline, and instructions. How easy it was to hear their coughs or sniffles (or arguments!) and take care of my littler ones- what a gift!

Goodbye Little House, where I had to be creative to find quiet. I've hidden in my bathroom, in the garage, sat in front of the washing machine to have light for reading my Bible, and walked circles around you while on the phone. I've even locked myself in the van to have a few quiet minutes.

Goodbye Little House, so easy to clean! What an easy life I've had with only two bathrooms and wood floors and not too much to manage. I'll miss the simplicity of a small space when I attempt to keep a larger space tidy (not that I ever really succeeded here!). We never even unpacked everything from our Lynchburg house... trying to keep things simple and uncluttered was really a boon.

Goodbye Little House, so close to things we enjoy! We walked to the pool nearly every summer day
for swim team and recreation. I've walked miles and miles and miles of trails, gone running, kayaking, played tennis, soccer, used the ball fields and playground and pavilion, biked to the post office and to church and to the gym. . . Things were convenient and easy here.

Goodbye Little House, with the wonderful landlord who became like a grandpa to our children. Mr. B
can fix anything and was so quick to take care of us. He remembered birthdays and brought treats for the kids, was so generous with his garden vegetables and baking, invited us to swim at his pool, took the boys hunting and to work with him, and endeared himself to us.

Goodbye Little House where we made so many memories. We enjoyed nights by the fire inside and a few nights at our fire pit out back. The kids spent hours and days on the trampoline out back and we've used scooters, bikes, and flying turtles on the driveway and down the cul-de-sac days upon days. We've had over 40 birthdays here and celebrated feasts together. We've had friends over for dinner, for covenant group, and just because. We've learned together, worked on school, read so many great books aloud in this living room. I've rocked a new baby while watching the leaves fall outside my bedroom window. We've shoveled snow and planted grass, raked leaves and spread mulch. We've had hard conversations and tears and disappointments. We've also had celebrations and happy dance parties and turned the music up loud just because. We made so many friends in this neighborhood and it became our community. We had a van show up in front of you, Little House, as a gift. We've grown older here and learned a few things.

Goodbye Little House. You didn't feel like our home because you weren't, and we knew our time with you was limited. But you served us well! Our needs were met, we learned to be content and thankful and we see how blessed we were to live here for a season.

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