Dear Home Buyers,
We’ve made it to closing week. Maybe. Hopefully. Finally. We will forever be bound on some level by this entire summer of loan company bureaucracy, inspection hoops, appraisal disappointments, and an address we’ve called home.
As I cleaned the house for the last time, I couldn’t help but notice a few things. The red paint scuffs on the wall where I geniusly hung red picture frames low over Q’s changing table so he could knock them down over and over again. The one flaw in the oak floor that my husband (and anyone else he could persuade into helping) spent weeks painstakingly laying because I wanted solid oak floor instead of an easy-to-install manufactured flooring. The absurd number of holes in the wall that prove that no matter how much I measure and level and measure and level, I can never get the nails in the right spot the first time. The evidence in one of the front windows of an ill-fated meeting between a lawnmower and a rock.
The house just looked so exposed and imperfect. Like standing in front of a dressing room mirror with a swim suit on. “Hey Girl,” I couldn’t help but thinking, “Your cellulite is showing.” Without all of our pictures, furniture, and toddler toys, all of her flaws were just hanging out there. But the truth is so was her character. Even with the imperfections, she really is beautiful and strong and safe. I had to remind myself that those flaws merely serve as signposts to the stories of life that has happened within those walls. And the truth is that the grass looks really good, even in the blazing heat of August.
While I was cleaning, I didn’t just critique and criticize. Truthfully, I spent most of my time praying for you. I prayed that you would enjoy the sun streaming in the front windows on winter mornings and the breeze on the back porch on summer nights. I prayed that you would walk barefoot across the cool grass. I prayed that this home would be a place of safety and refuge for you from the demands of your jobs, the girls’ schedules, the expectations of others, and just plain busyness. I prayed that in this home you would pray often, speak words of encouragement, extend hospitality, and experience peace.
I imagine that the living room carpet will soon enough be covered by the sleeping bags of giggling pre-teen girls. As those days unfold, I pray that you would have the wisdom to parent them well and point them to Jesus. I anticipate that some of the marks left from our life there will soon be covered by hot pink and neon green paint or zebra striped bedding. That’s quite all right with me. As you paint and unpack, I pray that you will sense that this house and the people who have lived in it have been shaped by love. I pray that you will continue to foster that.
So, don’t mind the cellulite. The massive bare spot in the back yard grass that marks the location of the septic tank will only serve to remind you of the gazillion hoops we’ve jumped through this summer. The currently untamed garden area will speak to the endless possibilities that await. Move in, get comfortable, make it yours. I just have one small request. Please don’t forget to water. 3 times a day. Every day.
Elizabeth (and Jaron and Q)