Love absolutely lives here, within our home, within our hearts and in our memories. If these walls could talk they would surely tell you stories of courage, bravery, sadness, overflowing joy, goofiness and laughter, lots and lots of laughter. We have filled these hallways, rooms and walls with so much love I can feel every moment, see every memory almost as if I could reach out and touch each one of them. Since we first moved in 12 years ago, on June 30, 2005, my birthday to be exact we've built a life together. Within these walls we've watched our boys grow, celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, promotions. We've seen our boys prepare for homecomings, prom and graduation, sent them off to college, watched them walk out the door and come home again after the first day of a new job, gathered for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and sat down to family meals almost every night. We have grieved together, disagreed together, laughed uncontrollably together, prayer together, shed tears together but most importantly we have lived and loved together. Our memories live here and by God's grace we've been blessed to put roots down in this house together. Our home has been a mighty source of both comfort and joy. I am convinced of this truth, "It's not about how big the house is. It's how happy the home is." I have to tell you it's crazy for me to think we've been here in this house for over a decade. Seriously in one place, in one home for so long. For a world traveling wanderer, an adventurer and a girl who's moved over 21 times in her lifetime there's something to be said about that believe me. And if we have our way one day we'll welcome our own grand-babies into this very same home, the one we've raised our boys in.
This house has seen many things. These walls have experienced loss, grief, death, fear, job loss, breast cancer, and the list goes on. Yes, we have come close to losing everything and yet we have everything. The reality is even if this house was to fade away, we'd be OK. Why? Because we'd still have our home, we'd still have each other. God, well He's more than idea in our home, a once in a while guest. Jesus Christ is the foundation of our home, the architect of our lives, of every hope and every dream. He is the light illuminating from within and He's the One who fills our home with unconditional, compassionate, forgiving love. Not a one of us is perfect, not a saint, because truly we are all sinners. We are human, with human problems and human predicaments, plights, quandaries, dilemmas and mishaps. But that is where unconditional love come in. 1 Corinthians 13:13 is a reminder of this. It says," Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." We don't demand much in our home. We've always allowed our kids a safe zone to be themselves, finding too many expectations or ruling with an iron fist to handicap a family causing an inability to grow. However we do ask our family to love unconditionally daily, to forgive regularly and to show compassion always. This is simply who we are and who we will always be.
Through the years, we've made so many amazing memories together. I've lost count really but many of them are captured on the walls of our home while others are simply found in a moment, thought lost then remembered turning a corner or entering into a room. I am so blessed to have been called to raise such beautiful young men, to have been given the privilege of seeing them both grow into adulthood and begin lives of their own. God has been good to me, blessing me with an additional 10 years of life following a TNBC diagnosis. A life we have loved, a love we have experienced and so many memories we have collected together within these walls are just beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I pray long after these walls have grieved my passing, given way to new pictures on the walls and this house has yet again created new beginnings that these three things will still remain...Jesus, unconditional love and joy. A strong home, not a perfect one is built upon beautiful, ordinary and heartfelt moments. The kind we share together, not the material things which we fill it with but the heart that beats within it. As Brene Brown says so perfectly, "Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary." What I know in the deepest part of me as a mom is I want our house to always be a home. A home that's filled with unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance. I know our boys will start their own families, and build their own lives. But I pray with all my heart they will take pieces of our heart and some of the roots we've grown together with them. My greatest prayer as a mom is something beautifully said by Soul-fully Beautiful. "When my children remember their childhood I want only for them to remember their mother gave it her all. She worried too much, she failed at times and she did not always get it right...but she tried her hardest to teach them about kindness, love, compassion and honesty. Even if she had to learn it from her own mistakes she loved them enough to keep going, even when things seemed hopeless, even when life knocked her down. I want them to remember me as the woman who always got back up." Now I know I may not always be the mom of the year, or even a Wonder Woman of a mom, as my boys call me from time to time but I am their mom, and I do love them, their father and the home we have built together.
There's a saying by Sara Jane. It goes like this, "Let's fill our homes with memories instead of things - Moments instead of distractions." So I have to tell you it's almost serial, watching our house transform. I say house because while it's true the structure and the scheme is in the middle of a metamorphoses, our home will forever stay the same...warm, welcoming, and a place where love lives and breathes. This has been years in the making. We have put our children, and the memories we've made together above all material things. And we have never regretted it. But now as I've begun to work full time, and the boys have finished high school we're able to do a little more than ever before. I tell you it's such a heart warming feeling knowing as the walls change color, as the carpet's are replaced by wood, and as our house evolves into a brighter, more contemporary canvas the heart of our home is still the same... full of unconditional love, contentment and happiness. Our home is a place filled with Jesus, built on Texas soil, our country roots dug in deep around us and our love for all three hung proudly on our door. Our home, is a place where we can be ourselves, no pretenses. Whatever the day or night our children can find safety from the outside world. Any given afternoon you can hear drumming coming from upstairs or find a small group of recent high school graduates gathered preparing for a Melee tournament. Our house is full of life and I wouldn't have it any other way. As the late Paul Walker once said, "You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae." And he was absolutely right. I may not always agree with my kids or my husband, but I love them, completely and that's all the really matters.
What I know is this: we have a beautiful life. Even in our worst times, God has been good. He has secured and strengthened the ties that bind us together with His own hands. Whether we have everything this world could offer us materially, or simply the unconditional love and the memories we carry with us, we are family. I'm going to repeat this one more time because it's so important and Sara Jane explains it so well. "Let's fill our homes with memories instead of things - Moments instead of distractions." And this truly embodies the message of Life Lesson #169 ~Love Lives Here. These walls, these rooms and hallways are not made of gold or filled with unimaginable worldly treasures, those things do not make a home. What I can tell you is our home and our heart as a family has been filled to overflowing with love, memories, laughter, tears and genuine happiness. Love absolutely lives here. Love lives within our walls, within our hearts and inside the unconditional love that is not only our foundation but the center and the pulse of our home.
"It's not the home I love but the life that is lived there." ~Unknown