Lots of negative memories also; life has never been totally peace-filled with John and I. We are both strong-willed and "bull-headed." Many arguments and a near ending of our marriage came to be between these four walls. We miscarried our third never born baby and birthed our fourth living child after moving to this house.
Lots of activities with the youth group that our two oldest kids were part of during their middle and high school years occurred in this house. The pool table, air hockey and foosball tables were once surrounded by teens on Sunday afternoons involved in fierce competitions. The devotional times, surrounding the stone fireplace in the family room, were beautiful moments of consecrated love for our God with young hearts searching out their own relationships with Jesus. The two younger boys enjoyed birthday celebrations and airsoft battles with their buddies in the woods just across the street, shared by generous neighbors. The two youngest and I enjoyed, and at times struggled through, nine and a half years of home education between these walls.
We were blessed with the Grandest Children and their Tennessee visits began. We used this house as home base during our days of adventure which stretched from local parks to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the tri-cities in upper East Tennessee. Precious memories of baking cookies, homemade, gluten free pizzas, movie nights, bedtime stories, dolls, Legos.
And now, it's all but emptied out. We are forging a new life in territory to which God spent years leading us. Twenty years ago, I never saw this path coming. We had tentatively planned out how to make the house mostly viable for our old age. But God began a new dream in us several years ago.
While there have been many second thoughts about this move, staying never felt like a viable option. The logistics don't work for where our hearts now reside. FOCUS has become a popular saying in our home. We know what we are called to do. We struggle to stay the course. But one day at a time, we are transitioning to the next chapter of our lives. The house holds sweet and bitter memories but it's no longer our home. Our home is wherever God places us, for better or for worse. Where He Leads, We Follow and we know that many new memories are just around the corner of our lives.