This is one blog post that I’ve been looking forward to writing for awhile: looked forward to but also intimidated by. It’s a topic that has weighed so heavy on my heart and mind as we set out to build our home so that it perfectly fits our family. It’s a post that scares me because it makes transparent the desires of my heart and opens them up to be carefully watched.
“What good are wings without the courage to fly?” - Atticus Ah, what a conviction for my heart!
When my husband and I began our journey into marriage almost seven years ago, the house we now live in was the first house we came home to. During the period of our engagement Scott and his family renovated this entire house…and I mean stripped it bare…to rid it of its awful cat pee smell and magenta walls and floors. There is nothing original left in this house reminding us of its former life other than the outside facade. We moved into this “new” house that still wasn’t quite done as a brand new baby husband and wife. We began our journey here. We got through our first tumultuous year of marriage here. And one thing I always said when we lived here was that one day, we would own this house.
But then we moved to California. And then we got pregnant with our daughter. And then we moved to Virginia. And then we got pregnant with our son. All the while, whenever the question came up from others about whether we would ever move back to Scotland, the answer was always a resounding and enthusiastic NO. Never. Not a chance. Did we hate Scotland? Of course not! Scotland had held a very dear part of my heart for twelve years and Scott was born and raised here. But we were ready for a new adventure. So isn’t it funny (God is laughing) that we ended up back here after all and feel more at home than we ever have? Yes, God, you are such a joker! ;)
We’ve come full circle to being back in our beloved house. For all sense and purposes we probably shouldn’t be. This house went from being owned by Scott’s parents to then being bought by his brother who then lived in it and then rented it out to others when he decided city living wasn’t for him to then adding on an extension that went unfinished for five years. Why? Definitely not because of laziness but because to everyone else this house is just a house and not a home. This house could have been sold any number of times just to get it out of everyone’s hair. But it wasn’t. God’s plan? Yes. Absolutely.
For us, this house is full of deep meaning and memories.
But as we were deciding what we wanted our house to look like and how we wanted to design the unfinished extension that was to be our new kitchen and dining room, we had so many arguments over what we wanted and so many hiccups in what we thought we wanted. And every time that I talked with friends or family over what we had decided or the problems we were encountering in making our dreams a reality I kept getting hit with the realization: #firstworldproblems. Remember when that hashtag was a thing? Isn’t it true though? These issues of how I want my tiles in the kitchen to look and the woe is me that the tile I want isn’t available are such non-issues in the face of the world. Can I honestly look someone in the eye who doesn’t even have a home and tell them that it has been such a stress not being able to get the tile I want?
Lord, not a chance.
What this journey has forced me to look at is how this house that is such a blessing that we do not deserve can be used to bless those around us. How can I use my home as a way of changing the world, as a way of making the lives of those around me better? How can I use each decision we made on our house whether it be the wall color, tile, the environment, our garden to bless the lives of others through my business, my friendships, my journey through motherhood or the groups I join?
That’s a heavy calling isn’t it? I don’t want my home to be something that just me and mine enjoy. I don’t believe homes are created for that.
My deepest prayer and desire for my home is that it would be: a safe-haven for the weary,
a space for creativity, a castle for day-dreaming,
full to the brim of full bellied laughter,
warmth in the dead of winter,
and above all, love.