For 7 years and 7 months we’ve called this place our home.
This place where I sit now, where I watch my kids laughing on the couch, snuggled neck deep in goofiness and a blanket. This is a good place.
It is this good place that we will say goodbye to in a short month and half. Places matter to me. They matter because you build your life in them. You bring babies home to them. You share countless meals with friends under their roof. Homes become more than material, they become a reflection of the people that live in them, the people that share them, the people that write on their walls.
Which is why heaven will be so marvelous. It will be a home perfected by Jesus and His Righteous people. A place where we can put down roots that never get pulled up. It will be a glorious place with walls and streets and everything that makes a home a home–most importantly, the people, the Person.
Can you say thank you to a material thing? Sure, but it’s pointless. Can wood or stone hear you to receive the praise? But you can say thank you for a material thing–thank you for the rooms, the wood, the brick, the concrete that holds it together. Thank you for the ceilings and walls, the oven and fridge, the lights and windows. And the thanks all belong to God. He’s the Giver.
So, here is my tribute to our home, my thankfulness to God, which I boast in, because of all He’s done, because of the story He’s told of His glory here, in this place.
For the open doors that welcomed three new babies and kept us all warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The doors that opened for family and friends and neighbors, even when the doorbell was broken, I give thanks.
For the rooms that held sleeping babes grown to children. For the number of bedrooms that forced them to share, so that they have never known differently and wouldn’t change it if they could. For the storage space turned “cabana room” under the stairs that has seen every kind of play and a hundred kids’ movies. For the family room and dining room where the Word has been opened and our hearts have opened as well–opened to you, Lord, and to one another, in weeping and rejoicing, opened in songs, I give thanks.
For the kitchen, the place where I learned to enjoy cooking (at least some of the time) and to try new things and to delight in the children who are wanting to help. For the hours and hours of school work done here. For the oven and stove that worked, whether clean or not, and prepared hot food for many in Jesus’ name. For the sink and dishwasher that washes every night–one new mercy that meets me in the morning, I give thanks.
For the lights that kept us glowing in the dark months and the windows that kept us sane, with a view to bigger things. On days when I thought I wouldn’t make it, this gift of a home has always let the light in and the Lord has snatched me out of darkness to the true Light of His Word and Jesus who is to be found there. For the windows and the light, I give thanks.
For my journey with orchids here, that has been analogous to my own story. For the orchids that have died under my care, that remind me of all the dying I’ve done here–the deaths purposed by my Caretaker–deaths of selfishness and pride and envy and all kinds of ugliness. Deaths that will continue wherever I go. And for the one orchid that has lived here, blossoming, going dormant, and blossoming again, I am reminded that I’ve lived here, too. That in Christ, this has been a place of flourishing and seasons. Life that will continue wherever I go. For the death and the life, I give thanks.
God has called us away from this good place to another place, a place where we are excited to go, a place where, Lord willing, we will tell this story again and deeper. May you do it Lord, may you make a home out of mere brick and stones and wood–may your story be told on its walls and in its rooms. May you refine us and own it all. For this new adventure, I give thanks.
Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful. (Psalm 111:1-4, ESV)