"what's in a house?"....

... Someone said that to me the other day, when I mentioned that we're moving, again, and told them we've moved a lot since getting married. Honestly, it doesn't bother Jason, me, or our kids as much as it seems to bother other people. Apparently updating your address book is harder than packing up your home and moving your life to a new home. Who knew? 
However true the statement is that your home is just a place where your family dwells {and I do believe that statement}, it still holds a lot. If your family life and its memories hold much for you, then any home you live in will as well. Its the reason when we go to our old stomping grounds, we typically drive by the homes we've lived in. I do, especially, but I'm more sentimental that way than Jason is. 
My husband has the gift of being led, going with it, and never looking back. I think it can be a gift and a curse at the same time. I'm the complete opposite {also a hidden curse} and together we make an in-the-middle mix. 
I have the "gift" of holding on, not wanting to let go, hating good byes, wishing things could stay the same, wanting to keep every smell and memory alive, as if it really happened yesterday, not wanting to forget anything and becoming quite aggravated when I realize I am forgetting; even things I said I'd never forget. There's a reason every September 11th, I re-watch all those horrifying clips from that tragic day in 2001. I don't want to forget an ounce of it and I know how easy I will, if I'm not reminded, often. 
Communion is this way for me and its why I'm SO thankful our church does communion every Sunday, post service. I don't know about you, but I need that reminder every week. Big time.
Where I admire and appreciate Jason's gift of moving on is when the little, every day mundane things don't get to him the way they get to me. He's not easily offended, he doesn't hold onto grudges, and unless he feels convicted by God, he really doesn't pay much attention to the critics we bump into along the way. He doesn't understand the waste of time that is worrying about what others think. And in that way especially, he has been amazing for me. Because I am often too worried about what people will think, what they say when I'm not there, making sure everyone is happy and likes me, etc... and over the past 4 years of understanding these are problem areas in my life, and that God is going to help me work through and add grace where I need it most. 

Back the main topic... our home. 

We're packing up our current home, getting ready to move on to our new home. Each day I pack something else; take a picture off the wall, patch over the hole, sweep out a cleared corner, dust off a surface that was so high, it hasn't really been touched in the year we lived here. I'm struck by the intense emotion that comes over me. This home holds quite a bit of emotion for all 5 of us, and I think we feel more attached to it than some of our other homes, because it was our first home, in a brand new place - a brand new life. In many ways this home has been our steady anchor here in a new State. Its been the 'familiar' in what was completely new and unfamiliar. Its been a place where our 'old' California life has come to visit us. A place where we celebrated, for the first time, all the major holidays just the 5 of us. For those of you about to go through that or looking to go through it someday, its not nearly as depressing as some made it out to sound. In fact, for us, it wasn't depressing at all. There's so much more to life than holidays. Don't make mountains out of mole hills. I think things are as depressing as we make them. 
This home is where Ethan turned 5, learned how to ride a bike and how to read. Its where Rachel turned 4, where she gave herself her first hair cut, and where Kara grew a year older and developed in more ways than you'd want me to list in this post. Its where Jason and I first felt like we officially grew up. Where it was literally just the two of us, on our own - such a new journey for us. 
So as we close the door to this home, we close behind us memories of our very 1st year in a State we now call home. Its amazing to me what 12 months can hold. I have to say I have a lot of anticipation with regards to 2011. I'm eager to see what God has in store for us. I'm excited about the ways He plans to use us, teach us, help us, feed us. We're already in the planning stages of a couple areas and its pretty exciting. Two at the top of my list would be our family vacation {still trying to figure out where we want to go, but way up North has been an idea we both like} and, becoming members at our church. We're both really excited to begin that process. We've been there 1 year and I cannot express to you how much God has taught us in the year we've been there. Its been one of the biggest blessings for the two of us, since getting married, outside of our 3 amazing kids. God's ways and His plans aren't always clear to man and they're not always even made known until they're happening. But God certainly knows far better than we do and He plans far better than we ever could. He has "everlasting eyesight" as Ethan puts it :) So instead of seeing the here and now, He sees what will be best for us, in light of Eternity. 

Since the next two weeks look jam packed with our daily schedule, plus moving, this is going to be my last post until the dust settles. Also, looks like we're going to be moving out and in a week ahead of schedule. So that means this is our last week in this house. Craziness. 
I'll see you all on the flip side. 

6 {comments}:

Sunny said...

What a nice reflection on the places you have lived! Hubby and I still think about the first home we owned, which was back in the St. Louis area... all the hope and promise and struggling and joy and disappointment... we found out we were expecting our first son there. I thought he would be raised in that house (for early years, at least) but we transferred out here half-way through the pregnancy. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we had stayed in that house, but we are so happy here that I have absolutely no regrets!

When the dust settles, let's reschedule the playdate!

Stef said...

This was a fun, but emotional post for me to write. I think I often just don't think about this stuff because I am such a sentimental fool :)
We had those same thoughts when we bought our first home in CA! Figured we'd be there until we burst out the seams. God knows though.. and like you said, I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Yes, we for sure need to do a play date. I'm guessing sometime in November. Are you super busy in November?
So exciting that your parents found a place!!

Carrie said...

Your post reminds me of a scene in the movie, Date Night. This girl was upset about leaving their home and the boyfriend pounds on the picture of her on his chest and says "This is home". So cheesy, but true.

Erin said...

How about Billy Joel's song, "You're My Home"?
-You say, use my body for your bed. And my love will keep you warm throughout the night. Well I’ll never be a stranger and I’ll never be alone. Whenever we’re together, that’s my home. -
I feel the same way, though, about sentimental feelings about places & things that are associated with special memories. It is SO hard to move & "leave" those behind.

Charlotte said...

This was beautifully written, Stef. I am also the sentimental, emotional one, and hold onto all the little things; perhaps more than I should.

I'll be praying that these next couple weeks go smoothly for you and your family, and can't wait to see pics of the new place!

Charlotte said...

This was beautifully written, Stef. I am also the sentimental, emotional one, and hold onto all the little things; perhaps more than I should.

I'll be praying that these next couple weeks go smoothly for you and your family, and can't wait to see pics of the new place!


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