For many and varied reasons, my family has moved a lot. I remember living in eight different houses, and there were a couple more when I was little. Most of it was for financial reasons, including this upcoming move, but now there is another, more hopeful reason.
We love this house.
Well, actually, we've spent the last couple weeks ripping out old nasty carpet and old nasty plaster and drywall and flooring so we don't have to do it once we move in. It's a big old farmhouse, the kind that is white and square with a porch. We still need to finish the bathroom -- drywall, pipes, tile, the works -- before we can get in. And we want to be in at the end of this week, which is when I go back to Taylor. As in many things this year, I feel unprepared. Unlike some other changes, though, I'm not panicked. Before we're fully moved in, I'll be two states away again, but this new house holds something for me: the promise of a home.
Because we've moved so much, I've adjusted to living in different houses pretty quickly. But home has some different, more comforting connotations. Any house can become home, but I've loved some homes more than others. I lived in Wyoming for two years, and it never really felt like home. However, Taylor University felt like home very quickly. Wyoming for me was not a peaceful environment. Going to college wasn't exactly peaceful, but I settled in right away because there are so many great people and things I love there.
Especially for my mom and me, this house is full of things we love and has potential for even more. It has a two-story screened-in porch -- we just have to replace a lot of windows. It has room for pasture -- we just have to put up the fence. There are all sorts of trees for a rope swing -- we just have to tie it up. It has sturdy old wooden floors -- we just have to refinish them. And I'm already planning what flowers I'm going to plant this summer.
For some of the reasons I gave earlier, I also feel like I've never really had a home church. Maybe houses would have felt more like home if we had one. Maybe one reason Taylor feels like home is that I like my church out there. Our current Iowa church is a good one, but no one from my high school went there, so I didn't make any close friends. But this past weekend, I was overwhelmed by the dedication of this church. About twenty people came to help tear down plaster, clean, and get junk out of the house. For their care for us, I am very grateful. They helped encourage my family. They helped make my home.
I'm eager to go back to Taylor, but I'm also eager to get back home in the summer so I can help my family fix up our dreamhouse. I finally feel like it's the place we're supposed to be. I finally feel like God's bringing us to a permanent home.
And how lovely is it to think that this home is the predecessor of a better one in Heaven?