There’s Laughter In These Walls

I haven’t talked about it much outside of my family and a few friends, but we’re moving. We’re not moving far. Just a few miles down the road.

Moving comes with a lot of stress. We’ll be renting out our current home, and are in the process of buying a different one. So we’ve got a lot on our plate. But this post isn’t about our to-do list.

I’ve wanted to move for a couple years now, but we weren’t able to for one reason or another. So when the opportunity very suddenly presented itself to us, I was very excited. But in the past few days I’ve been feeling a bit of sadness over leaving this home.

This has been our home for six years. We’ve brought two babies home here. There is laughter in the walls. Tickle fights and silly songs and made up words. This is where we lived. Not just where we resided. This is where first steps where taken. Where first words were spoken. Where babies clapped their hands for the first time. It’s where we’ve gotten to know good friends over a homemade meal and had holiday celebrations. It’s where we’ve run around with children on our backs yelling “Wheeeeeee!”

There are tears in the carpet. It’s where we lost our first baby. It’s where we’ve nursed sick toddlers. It’s where we’ve hugged each other so tight because that is the only thing that makes the world better.

As much as I’ve wanted to move on from this house, I’ve loved this home. I love the wetlands and the birds. I love how bright and light it is. I love the kitchen and the bathrooms. I love that it is ours, and that we’ve lived here.

So why move?

Well I guess I had to hike the 100 yards from the car to the front door one too many times with a toddler and a baby and a purse and a diaper bag and four grocery bags all in the pouring rain. Or maybe I am just tired of having to choose between a cement porch, a dog pooped common area, or a hike to the park to let my sons play outside. Maybe there were one too many sirens blaring on the nearby busy street. Maybe I just need a bit more space to think. To live.

A bigger house with yard and a garage won’t solve all of our problems. Believe me, I realize how “first world” they are. But we’ve decided that we have the means to get these things, and we’re ready to do it. I can’t wait to see Elias playing baseball in his own yard. I can’t wait to unload groceries from a garage. I can’t wait to have neighbors who I don’t share a wall with.

But as I contemplate the move I just want to be sure that the most important things won’t change. I keep thinking of this song by my favorite band (Switchfoot):

“American Dream”

When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us
As top of the mind becomes the bottom line
When success is equated with excess

If your time ain’t been nothing for money
I start to feel really bad for you, honey
Maybe honey, put your money where your mouth’s been running
If your time ain’t been nothing but money

I want out of this machine
It doesn’t feel like freedom

This ain’t my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things
I’m tired of fighting for just me
This ain’t my American dream

When success is equated with excess
When we’re fighting for the Beamer, the Lexus
As the heart and soul breath in the company goals
Where success is equated with excess

‘Cause baby’s always talkin’ ’bout a ring
And talk has always been the cheapest thing
Is it true would you do what I want you to
If I show up with the right amount of bling?

Like a puppet on a monetary string
Maybe we’ve been caught singing
Red, white, blue, and green
But that ain’t my America,
That ain’t my American dream

I’m afraid. I’m afraid that this will happen to me. I’m afraid of getting the bigger house and forgetting what’s really important.

Maybe it’s guilt. Maybe I feel a bit of guilt for securing my own comfort. For getting myself a bigger house rather than helping more people than I already am. There is so much need in this world.

Maybe it’s just stress from the idea of moving.

I don’t know. But I do know I want to live and die for the truly important things. It is my hope that living in a larger house will not prevent that. God, help it be so.

 

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One Response to There’s Laughter In These Walls

  1. Janet Roth says:

    I still cry when I remember some of the houses and apartments we’ve lived in ( this one for 25 years so there were 9 (including a two year stint at Steve’s mom’s) in 15 years before that.) Others I was Very Glad to leave. I’m so glad the boys will have a yard — maybe with a place for mud pies as well as a place to have a plant or two of their own. (I vote for cherry tomatoes for starters!)

    Congratulations on the new house — it will give you more space and probably some new ways to let Christ shine in the world.

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