Alex and I bought our first home in 2013. We had welcomed Harper six weeks before, and even though we knew our budget would be down to the penny every month, buying turned out to be the best option. We looked seriously at three homes: the first needed too much work, the second rejected the offer we put in, and the third was at the very very very top of our budget and we just didn’t know if we could take the chance. But when the first two options didn’t work out, we landed on the third and went for it. Prayerfully and nervously, I might add.
We walked in to a beautifully simple home with four bedrooms, a big backyard, a nice open kitchen and dreams of raising our family in that space. It was a house I never thought we could afford at the time, but we trusted God with our pennies and three years, two more babies, and a hundred memories later we made it a home.
I never want to forget the feeling of gratitude I had for that space. It was more than we needed then, and it has been everything we’ve needed since.
This weekend, we packed up all we own, got rid of half of it, and moved the rest into a little storage unit until our new house is ready for us. We’ve picked a new place to make our own; same size, different layout, and just because I want my fellow writers to be a teensy bit jealous: a writing room. With French doors. (I could be noble and tell you we bought the house because it had four bedrooms all on the same level, but come on, it was the French doors).
Still, as excited as I am for a new place, I can’t help but look at the one we just left and feel nostalgic for it. Our first home was the place Harper and Cannon learned to crawl and walk, and where they both found out quickly that as soon as they could reach the bay window, they could see daddy coming home.
It was the place Alex and I woke up early a million times to sit at the table together and talk about God’s word as the sun said good morning from the mountain view behind us. And it was the place we prayed fervently for our family, our friends, big decisions, and small anxieties.
It was the place we crammed more than twenty people into our living room for small group, where we had make-your-own-pizza dinners with friends, birthday parties in the backyard, and where, last summer, we devoured sweet red cherries from the tree in the front yard.
It’s where we fought and made up, where we all took plenty of timeouts, where we hugged and loved and laughed a lot. It was our home; simultaneously our clean and messy place, our put together and falling apart place, our comfort and growth zone place. And I think that maybe, that’s just what a home should be.
As we pray over the new street we will live on, the home we will all continue to grow in, and the people we will welcome through our doors, we want God to teach us even more what it looks like to love Him well with our place, to be brave in this world for His glory.
I'm so thankful for our first home. It will forever be that, our first place. What a privilege. A home is no small thing, it's a great thing. And the goal is really the same no matter where we physically are: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Let it be so.