Our first home as newlyweds was a yellow house with black shutters. It had three bedrooms, a super tiny kitchen, an unfinished basement, and a sweet little loft. The best feature was the screened-in porch in the back. I would sit out there with my coffee and Bible almost every morning. I breathed in the fresh air, and even as the days grew cold, I wrapped myself in a blanket and sat on the glider that belonged to my grandmother.
The yellow house had a lamp in the front yard. On winter nights, with snow flurries in the air, it reminded me of Narnia, the White Woods, and Lucy. Our neighbors were kind, friendly, and so generous. They left a card and a peanut butter pie on the doorstep when we came home from the hospital with our second child. I still have the recipe.
The house was perfect. It was the house Jason and I came home to after our honeymoon. It heard the good and bad conversations that filled our first year of marriage. I walked through that front door when I became a new mom. I was able to make it my own by picking the curtains, the paint, and the pictures to hang. I remember the small child’s bedroom with the Noah’s Ark mural Jason’s aunt painted for us. I can still see the piano against the wall, the treadmill in the living room, and the toys strewn across the floor.
Then we began to look for another house because I was pregnant with our third child. It became too small for a family of five. We drove around our neighborhood looking for the “For Sale” signs. We loved the area and wanted to stay there. Suddenly we saw it. After driving home from our friend’s house, we rounded the corner and saw the sign.
“Oh!” I said. “That is the perfect house!”
The yard, the brick, and the potential were so great. I emailed our realtor about it, but the house was in contract. We wouldn’t be able to see it. A few days later, we got a call. The potential buyers were backing out. As we stepped into the living room from the front door, I knew. It was perfect. I loved it.
I can still see the moving truck. We moved into our new home when I was a few months pregnant with our little girl. It took a while for this new place to feel like home. I missed that little yellow house every day the first few months. We had to drive by our old house to get to the new one, so our sweet little four-year-old would comment how he wanted to “go back home.” There were days I did too. The new house felt big, empty, and so different. The flaws we overlooked at the beginning bugged me. I just wanted my cozy yellow house. I felt like I was living in the wrong house. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for me to start to feel at home again.
One Aspect That Makes a Home
After visiting missionaries in Honduras one winter, Jason said something I can’t forget, “Home is where our kids are. Home is where you are.” Now we are living in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from my Mountain State and the loved ones I’ve loved for a long time. Would it surprise you to learn that my entire life prior I had always lived within a five mile radius? I’ve never lived anywhere but Charleston, West Virginia – until now. The transition to the mission field forced me to learn a new definition of “home.”
Home isn’t a place, a building, or even people. It is a feeling of rest and security, a place to find shelter for our heart and soul. We lived in that brick house for eight years so when we left, we shed a lot of tears. We didn’t cry over the house, but for all it represented. Home isn’t things and the home for our hearts isn’t visible. The things that make up a home, I’ve learned, are found in God Himself.
Can we still praise God if we were stripped of everything? Thanksgiving is not only about what God does for us but all God is for us. Friend, there are lots of things God does for us for which we can give thanks. I mean He does so much! Salvation, listens to our prayers, and provides our needs. We can give Him thanks for all of these things, but I believe there is more.
As I reflect back on this year I want to remember all God is instead of thinking about what He’s done. Yes, I am thankful for all God has given me and done for me, but I want to be thankful for just simply who He is! Will you join me? For the next fourteen days let’s read verses in the Bible that remind us of God’s character and spend some time rejoicing in our God who is beyond compare! Download the free PDF here!