Thirteen years ago our family moved into our dream home. The excitement had been building for a year as we anticipated the move. It’s a good thing we cannot see into our own futures. Since we are selling our home, it has caused me to reflect. If these walls could talk, what would they tell you…the importance of loving your family.
The first day was an unbelievable memory. As I rounded the corner into the kitchen, I found my son Eythan who was eight, with his arms around the dishwasher, “AAAHHH a dishwasher.” He was tired of taking his turn doing dishes after supper a couple of times a week. I still smile today at that memory.
Our realtor asked if I could write something about our home to leave for people who are coming to view it. Well, yes I can since writing is what I do almost every day.
One of the bottom drawers in our kitchen is broke. It’s been cracked for twelve years. I’m not fixing it. I actually wish I could take it with me and install it in our new home. Eythan was too short to reach the cupboards when he was eight and he would pull the drawer out and stand on it to get a cup – after a year it broke.
When Charity was a teenager she switched rooms with Kyle when he was going through a bad spell. Kyle has severe autism. We told her she could paint the room any color. She decided to just throw paint at one of the walls, in many colors and there was thick gobs of paint. I didn’t want to thwart her attempts at being the next Picasso and held my tongue. Eventually, she moved back to her old room and hung pictures of Audrey Hepburn on her walls. A much better choice, I thought.
Charity went through quite a few years of trying to figure out why her health was so bad at a young age. The purple room is where she prayed over and over for God to give her answers, in the quiet of her bedroom. It eventually led her to become a nutritionist. You can read about her amazing health journey here: Dying Inside
Her former bedroom is now my office where I write books and keep up my website – my happy place!
Our driveway looks wide but somehow our son Devyn manage to dent the car he was driving and the one he smashed into on the same day – when he was distracted. His dad calmly went out and told him how to avoid this type of accident from happening again.
Devyn understood grace and forgiveness from that car crash-moment. A beautiful chance to show a family member how much more we cared about them than our possessions.
He’s since become a much better driver. Devyn is a kind and sensitive soul and yelling at him would not have been the answer. Vance chose a gentler approach and Devyn still remembers this day.
I’m sure it will also make Devyn into a wonderful dad in the future.
Aryanna my sensitive little girl, spent a lot of time in her room. She was my quiet child. Her bedroom is the light blue one. When a boy at school was bullying her, I took the letters of her name and wrote something I loved about her with each letter and hung it above her bed.
This was to remind her of how truly beautiful she was inside and out. This gave us another chance to show a family member how much they meant to us.
If her brothers teased her too much, Aryanna would scream Bossy-cat at them and slam her bedroom door. Oh, the times we had a good chuckle during these meltdowns!
Kyle had his toughest years in this house. We thought we would lose our oldest child. Autism and epilepsy together are a terrible combination. You will see Kyle’s room is covered in a unique waterproof surface. This is to prevent him from flooding the house if he stuffs anything in the toilet.
Kyle came through his worst years in those rooms. We REALLY learned the importance of loving your family in his room. Kyle taught us so much about unconditional love and hanging on to God when hope seemed to be fading.
Our love survived the hardest and most stressful tests, and Kyle came through. Our family stuck together during these tragic years, and our bond was strengthened and seemed to be better for the journey and the mountains we climbed. read more about our journey with autism: My Brother’s Keeper.
You will want to put those rooms back to normal so your own children can make wonderful memories in there.
The purple and black bedroom used to be Charity’s room. It was once filled with love letters and wedding attire. She and Dan dated long distance for four years, they were married in our front yard after dating five years.
The day was amazing and joyous. We set up six big tents in the backyard and had dinner with 220 people. Greenwood Public School, a mile away, is where everyone parked and we had a school bus drive friends and family to our home.
It looked like a storybook wedding. The day couldn’t have been more perfect. How to love your family, was easy on this joyous day!
I warned Vance ahead of time he wasn’t to cry on Charity’s wedding day, it was to be a happy day!
I sat crying in the front row, Vance handed me a kleenex and grinned at his wife’s mascara smeared eyes.
Vance cried for three months after. He knew our family would never live together again. He’s not been the same since. Charity’s wedding day somehow changed Vance for the better.
We will be grandparents in December 2018, as we anxiously await the arrival of Charity and Dan’s first baby. This little one already has Grandpa wrapped around their finger and isn’t even born yet.
In the basement is a bedroom painted green. This is Eythan’s room. He went through some tough years.
We prayed so fervently for Eythan. He wasn’t a kid who opened up and talked about his feeling much. He tended to keep it all in. Then he met Jazmin and it changed his life. All the sadness he had experienced was lifted and replaced with joy.
Your family’s love can be tested during the teen years. These are the years your kids are going to need unconditional love, a listening ear, and a truckload of your patience.
We were all in our kitchen – our whole family hugging – after he said, “I’m going to ask Jazmin to marry me.” We stood like that for a while, a few tears fell and somehow we knew we had our Eythan back.
Now he and Jazmin come for visits at least once a month from Sudbury. My son gave me one of my most cherished gifts – my new daughter Jazmin. I didn’t realize how much I would love two kids I never birthed, Dan and Jazmin.
You can go to Jazmin’s website and read about her continuing battle with cancer she has had since she was fifteen. Her story is beautifully told here:
Our kitchen has fed hundreds and hundreds of people. Our dining room has been bursting at the seams some nights. I never knew, and still don’t know, who will come for dinner, or who the kids will text and say they are bringing with them, and needs a bite to eat.
We played board games around this table and laughed so hard we cried. Vance and I listened to our kids tell us about their new boyfriends or girlfriends, we planned vacations, weddings and futures, as we shared a meal.
All I’m going to say about the bathrooms is: even though we had five of them, I always seem to be pounding on one of their doors. You can never have too many bathrooms. But my sincerest apologies; you will have to clean all of them, once it’s your own home. Try not to hate me for that.
Our front porch has a sign ‘Free porch therapy’.
If you make a couple of mugs of coffee and invite a family member or friend over for a visit, they will pour their heart out to you on the porch.
You will hear birds singing or maybe watch thunder, rain and lightning, and no matter what you’re going through, you will feel as though life will be okay because that’s what porches are for… thinking about, and enjoying life with our family.
If your not too busy and you take the time to sit out on the porch, and live a slower paced life, you may see bunnies, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, raccoons, bears, deer, or fox. The porch is the perfect place to pour your heart out to God and if you listen closely you will hear him whisper back.
Beautiful sunrises can be seen from the front porch and gorgeous sunsets from the back deck.
We sat on both porches watching our kids play lawn games, laughing and talking to each other. Sometimes their friends joined in.
I imagine heaven will be a bit like living on a porch.
I always thought our home would be a great place for people who had suffered something traumatic. A place to unwind, collect their thoughts, have their hearts healed, build new memories and just be quiet and restful.
We don’t really desire to move from this beautiful oasis we have called home, but we know it is time. There is a family God has chosen to come here and be spoiled by nature and beauty. He ministered to our souls in this home and we are not the same people we were when we moved here…we are better…much, much better.
There is a spot in this house I love more than anything in the world. It’s in the pantry. I cry typing this because I don’t want to leave it behind. You will see I measured the kids here. The wall is dirty and has smudge marks. When we had the house built it was painted in non-scrubbable paint – unbeknownst to us. Most of the rooms have been repainted since then.
But you will see my kids names beside each tick as I measured them over the years from small children to grown adults. A lot happened between those marks. My children grew up.
I can’t take the growth chart with me, but I can take all the beautiful memories we have made and tuck them in my heart where I will cherish them forever.
You are the person who bought this new home and I am praying for you. I am praying God is bringing your family here to heal hearts, build relationships, maybe have babies, or grandchildren, dogs or cats, raised in this home.
But I pray more than anything that you learn about love – true love. If these walls could talk they would tell you a family learned to love when people weren’t always lovable. We learned to forgive when we were hurt. We learn to laugh and cry together, support each other through the good and bad.
This home is a new beginning for you…cherish it. But cherish your family more than your home, because once you move from here your family will go with you…
If you have learned the importance of loving your family.