Home is Where The Heart Is
The Place We Call Home
Home is where the heart is... you've heard this saying right? This describes perfectly how I feel about my home.
It has always been a top priority for me to make my house a place where friends, guests, and especially my family know that they are accepted, safe and loved. I believe a home needs to be a safe place and a get-a-away from the chaos in the world.
We have moved many times as a family. In each new city we found a place to call home. With each new place I invested my energy and took on the challenge of decorating, tweaking and forming it into a harbor of peace.
I have always thought of the home as the woman's domain. My home is a reflection of my own tastes and labor of love. Each room reflects my heart and the work of my hands which created my idea of a beautiful respite.
I am also the cook in our home. I relish the opportunity to prepare foods that pamper my family and guests. I go to great lengths to choose healthy, yet yummy foods that will draw the crowd to the table. Many memories are stored up inside of gatherings around the dinner table. Laughter, stories and sharing from the heart most often happened around our dinner table.
As I am typing my description of home I can imagine what some might be thinking ... What century are you from girl? ... Get with the times! My answer to you is .. No way Hosea! I feel so much has been lost in our society by minimizing the role of mother and wife. I do believe, with all of my heart, that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
A woman who takes the role of wife and mother seriously has the ability to be the rock her husband turns to when his world is shaken. A mother holds the power to influence and equip many generations by her wisdom and strength of character. She will teach her children well and they will grow up to change their world.
We all can testify to the flip side of this - mother's who spit kids out but have no time for them. Mother's and Father's so wrapped up in themselves that the children grow up unnoticed, unloved and alone.
These children grow to be adults who often search their whole lives for someone to love them. That love should begin in the home and come from parents who are tuned in to them.
Okay so I got sidetracked a bit but I feel passionately about the role of parents in children's lives. Now let's trek back to the Home.
I believe that a home needs to be tended to and loved. A woman works hard to bring charm and creativity to her home. A home carefully tended to carries personality, beauty and comfort, It is a lovely, inviting place that calls out to family ... come home, rest and be loved. The world can be hard and treat you bad but at the end of the day family finds refuge in a place we call home.
I truly love my home; Allow me share a corny secret with you. Many days I have pulled out of my driveway while looking at my house. As nostalgia squeezes at my heart, I'll wistfully whisper, "goodbye house, I'll see you soon." Each of my homes hold so many memories and stories and if those walls could talk ... my what stories you would hear.
Now allow me pull back the curtain as you peek into our first two houses; places I loved and made into our very own home.
The Love Dare
A month before my husband and I got married I moved into our first home. It was really a campus apartment, but I treated it with all the care I would give to a home that I owned.
It was the place where the man I loved would live with me. This home was conveniently located On-Campus, nestled in amongst other newlywed apartments. Gary continued his studies and I went to work to put hubby through his last year.
This was a house of firsts. The first, and I hope only, time to live with a man in the sacred bonds of matrimony. The first meal I ever prepared for my husband, the first time I entertained my friends (I was so proud to have them visit and spoil them with dinners and delectable deserts.)
Great conversations, secrets and laughter were shared in that first place. It was the first time I cooked for my in-laws - it was a flop! I was so embarrassed when Gary tried to carve the chicken (well, I thought it was a chicken) but couldn't break through the skin. It was a tough old bird - a stewing hen. How was I to know the difference? My in-laws got a kick out of my disastrous attempt to feed them. We laughed and throughout the years they would recall the event with fondness.
In our first home, as newlyweds, Gary and I took baby-steps in learning how to love each other. We had our moments .... believe me. We had been two young and selfish singles with stars in our eyes. It was in this first house we had to learn how to share many things including ideas, procedures, housekeeping, responsibilities, the blending of two very different family systems. We argued over some really stupid stuff like who would decide which way to roll the toilet paper :) ... it was a process which included some pretty passionate discussions. In fact one day, the young man who lived upstairs told Gary ... "ya know sound travels really well from your place to ours upstairs." YIKES ... we were red faced and admonished to manage our young tempers better.
As Gary worked to complete his bachelor's degree, I worked full time to put hubby through his last year of college. I managed the house, cleaned it, polished it, planned meals and cooked. I cleaned and cooked all day on most Saturdays. I would make meals for the whole week and plop them in the freezer. Every day when I would leave work I would call Gary and ask him to take a meal out of the freezer and put it in the oven. I still remember the heavenly aroma's that greeted me and my hungry stomach upon returning home from work.
In this house Gary completed his Bachelors Degree with honors. I gladly worked and took care of the house because I loved him and wanted to see him succeed and do well in school. He so appreciated my decision to put my education on hold so he could complete his. Many nights he held a study group in our home. On those nights I would drift off to sleep listening to the hum of their intellectual conversations..
Our first home was definitely a time of growing up together and supporting each other. It was so nice to know we never had to part again.
Love as a Way of Life
After College Gary was called as a Youth and Music Pastor to a Church in Ohio. A sweet couple from the Church offered their upstairs apartment for rent.
We started out our ministry with no children ... yet our home was always filled with kids. Our home was a safe hangout for some very interesting and lovable teenagers. We opened our home and our hearts to the youth group. The teens were free to come over any time and they knew they would always be welcomed.
Although this home was not big ... it was plenty big to pack 10 to 20 kids in on any given night. I remember the upstairs house fondly. The bright kitchen and homey living room. The large bedroom with three windows. I picked out my first pair of curtains and matching bedspread in this upstairs home.
I remember the tall boy with the Afro and winsome smile, the handsome boy with the problem so personal ... yet he entrusted it to us, the athletic girl with the knockout smile and sincere heart, the adorable couple whose innocent love made me smile, the senior Pastor's son who wanted to be cool without rocking the boat of his father's house, the trouble making girl who would push all your buttons just to prove she was unlovable... didn't work... :)
It was a house filled with love and a safe place where our teens could hang out, study the Bible, ask their questions, fight (yeah we had a big one one night), play games, celebrate birthdays together and so much more.
The creation and delivery of our first child, a boy, happened in that first house. He was a beautiful child with lots of dark curly hair. He had mischievous big brown eyes and a contagious smile. Daniel loved the teens and the teens loved him right back. At any given moment I would find him in the arms of one of our youth smiling, kissing or hugging their necks. Such wonderful memories were made in that Upstairs House.
Houses Hold Memories
Does your house hold memories? These two houses hold memories galore. I only shared a broadstroke view of each one but tucked inside my memories are detailed pictures that bring me great joy.
I hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to share stories about your home too in the comment section below.