This week we celebrate our wedding anniversary. I was going to write a mushy blog-post-love-note to my amazingly talented, handsome, smart, funny, wise husband for all to see, but instead decided he’d probably rather not the world know how thankful I am to be more in love with him now than when we first met when we were practically babies and how special I know it is that we have each other for support and laughter and long, long talks about dreams and goals and what it is the Lord wants for us. He’d like it better if I wrote him a card. So I’ll do that.
Instead, I have a few words for our house.
It’s our anniversary, too.
Seven years ago on our wedding anniversary, we moved into our new home. Never did we imagine we’d love it so.
I’m afraid I have to start this note with an apology. You see, without even realizing, I’m sure we’ve hurt your feelings. Over and over and over.
If you had feelings.
We spend way more time talking about how we’d like to change you – how if only you were more like this we might love you more – than we do loving you just as you are. From the outside, it’s true. I would love you more if you had wide planks painted white instead of worn carpet downstairs. And I would love you more if our bathroom walls were clad in subway tiles and floors were slate and cabinets were white and we didn’t have that gigantic bathroom mirror but rather two statement pieces with stylish sconces. I would love you more if you had a larger garage to store all of our you-know-what and I would love you more if you weren’t backed up to identical homes on every side. I’m most certain that these things would make us love you more.
And even still, even with all of these changes that have made you prettier in our eyes, you are still the same house we moved into seven years ago.
You are walls. You are a roof. You are a place to sleep and eat and gather.
And you do all of these things so well. Even without the paint and paper and nails and trim. You are perfect.
When we moved in, we never imagined we would still call you home this many years later. You were our second home, a BIG step up from our first tiny, practically falling down 80 year-old house with a rodent problem. It was cute, but you were new. And you had a dishwasher! You lured us in with your many rooms and never-been-used kitchen. I remember standing in the backyard on our first visit with the new sod lines still there and feeling in my heart that you were it. You were our new home and a place that we could share. A place we were called to share.
So we moved in. The four of us, at that time. Which quickly became five and then six. You’ve been a home to not only us, but to other families for months at a time as well. We are grateful for your ability to house friends who needed a home.
You’ve been a gathering place for parties, holidays, football games, playdates, bible studies, craft nights, poker games.
And you’ve been our canvas.
Maybe that’s what I’m most thankful to you for. You’ve given me a place to work out my creativity. Your walls inspire me.
They say that it’s not the house that makes a home but the people who live in it.
I sort of disagree.
Someday we will move away to a new home that maybe has those wide plank floors and a expansive view out our windows and we’ll learn to call it home. But it won’t be the same. We will miss you. Even though it’s our family and friends who have breathed life into you, it’s you that has given us a place to live. A place to love. To share. To rest. To create. To enjoy. To grow. A place to breathe.
Thank you, dear house, for doing your job and doing it well.