This weekend I had a really unique opportunity to go back and walk through my childhood home. Funny story — it was actually being used as a wedding venue for a couple I did not even know, but a mutual friend was attending and knew it was my old house so she invited me along. It was a really lovely wedding, but also a very emotional experience for me.
But first, a little George Family history for you — By the time I was 8, all my siblings had gotten married and moved out. Shortly after, my parents bought a big white house in the country, spent about 9 months renovating it and we moved in on a very snowy Thanksgiving in 2000. This was the first house that was just me, my parents, and our Pug Belle. And it was an adventure!
My newly renovated room was located on the third floor. Now, to get a good mental picture of my room you need to imagine the fictional Gilmore Girl’s town of Stars Hollow. Hold that image in your head as you read this description. My room had low 7ft ceilings and was divided into three spaces. You walked into a large room and then it had two smaller rooms under the eaves of the house on either side. My mom had put up really beautiful wallpaper and made one of the rooms a playroom. It was the epitome of cozy! We spent 8 years here, then when I was 16 the road to our home was washed away by a flood (think sinkhole) and the only way in and out of the property was about an hour away from everything. Our once convenient country escape was now anything but! And so, we moved back to the suburbs.
This weekend as I attended the wedding at my old home, a flood of memories (and tears) came back to me. As I walked through the backyard, I remembered so many warm summer days spent playing in the treehouse and swimming. My sister lived just down the road in a little cottage that was on the same property (It’s Stars Hollow, I tell you!) and we would ride the golf cart down to visit her. My brother and sister and I fished in the front pond, and on one occasion I accidentally drove the same golf cart into said pond and nearly ruined it! I remember several really snowy winters where my dad would tie a sled to the back of his car and pull me through the fields. One year he even skied down the giant hill in our backyard! I remember riding my horses all over the property, and a couple of times when they threw me off!
I overheard wedding guests say things like, “What an amazing place to grow up!” and my reply was Yes! It was absolutely amazing! And at the same time as I remembered the incredibly joy of living there, it was also a little sad.
Home is a place our heart desperately longs for. Whether it be a real place you have been to, or just an imagined and hoped for sense of belonging — we all want a home. Coming back to that place, walking through it’s open doors and up to my childhood bedroom was like a homecoming. Tears fell from my eyes (as they are right now!) as I remembered sitting in the kitchen with my now deceased Papaw eating dinner or watching a show. I remembered holding my chubby little nephew after he was first born, and welcoming 6 other nieces and nephews to that same house. I remember bringing Lola home right before my 16th birthday and watching her play in the kitchen, barely able to jump over a water bottle because she was so tiny. And it was so bittersweet as I realized how precious those memories of home are, some of which I won’t experience in the same way ever again.
I’ve been very silent on my blog this Summer mostly because I’ve been rediscovering my purpose. Blogs about home are a dime a dozen and there are plenty of other bloggers who are more eloquent than I, which left me wondering “Why do I do any of this?”. After the wedding, I walked into my own home which Andrew and I have so lovingly created, and dreamt about our own children who will someday have conversations about this place and share memories they have of growing up here. Isn’t it crazy that I get to create what I loved in my childhood home for a whole new set of children! And then I thought about what it will be like someday to go to my final home, in heaven with my creator. To be united to him in the way my heart has always longed for, and I’ll also be reunited with my Papaw and with my friend Aimee who passed away this summer. The tears I cry then won’t be for a loss of a better time, but rather for the joy that awaits me!
And then I was filled with the most tremendous hope of knowing that God has chosen to make HIS home in my heart! While I am on this earth and while God’s breath fills my lungs my purpose is to create a home. Not just for my (future) children, but for everyone who walks through my door. I hope they feel a sense of belonging and a sense of peace. I hope they see the glory of a risen Savior reflected off of me in the gifts He has given to me to use for His purpose. I hope what I can create here on this earth is just a small taste of what lies ahead.
Home is so much more than the furniture you put in in. It’s more than “5 ways to make your house cozy,” (even though I’ll probably do that post!) and what paint colors are best. Those things make your house pretty, but the presence of God’s peace makes it a place you want to come back to. So yes, I’m going to keep blogging and sharing and decorating and doing all the things I love, but with a renewed purpose and focus and I really hope you’ll be along for the ride.