I’m writing this, my first blog post from our new house, surrounded by packed boxes still stacked high and rain pouring out the window. But the electric fireplace blazes, tea is on, and I am home.
Call us late bloomers. After 36 years of marriage, for the first time ever, hubby and I own both the house we live in and the property on which it sits. Having raised three terrific people to adulthood in a mobile home, I understand a “real house” is not essential to a good life. But I still gotta say, it feels great to call it ours.
Our previous move was a temporary arrangement. Two years grew to four. The place before that was supposed to be temporary, but “a year or two” morphed into seven. We leased the place before that a year at a time, always hoping to buy “maybe next year,” as soon as the owner agreed to sell. After fifteen years, we gave up and moved.
The temporary nature of our homes has felt unsettling, unmotivating, and sometimes, disheartening. Now, as long as we pay our mortgage and property taxes, we can stay. We can paint our walls periwinkle blue and Persian melon. We can let the weeds grow, and so far we’ve done a superb job of that.
If you’ve ever purchased a home, you already know every house comes with its quirks and things that go bump in the night. Some of these you find quickly, like discovering your basement landing has only one light switch, and it’s upstairs. Other secrets will reveal themselves over time. It’s the nature of home ownership, or, as some call it, the money pit.
And even if you could create the perfect house filled with impeccable furnishings and fixtures, it’s only a matter of time before the law of entropy rears its ugly head – everything tends toward disorder. (Which shoots a massive hole in the theory of evolution, but that’s a topic for another day.) Chances are, you’ll ding up the new paint or scuff the floor just moving in furniture. If it’s perfection you need, don’t look for it on this planet. And if you find it, it won’t last.
For whether you live in a mortgage-free mansion or a one-room apartment, the truth is, it’s all temporary. The day approaches when we will move on, some of us straight to a pine box and some of us via the scenic route of assisted living, nursing home, hospital. There’s no getting around it.
But I, for one, possess no desire to “get around it.”
On the contrary. I can relax about the quirks of my house, the repairs that will inevitably become necessary, and the impermanence of it all. You see, the most talented carpenter who ever walked the planet is preparing a home for me. The same designer who paints the sunset is choosing the colors. I don’t know what He’s making it from, how large He’s making it, or how He’s furnishing it. But I do know this: it’s going to be flawlessly and completely custom-designed especially for me by the One who created me and knows me better than I know myself. And it will never wear out. How do I know? One of the last things Jesus told his disciples before he went back to his Father was “I am going to prepare a place for you, so that where I am, there you may be also.”
An old spiritual says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
For now, I intend to enjoy our cozy bungalow with a glad and grateful heart.