“I will huff and puff and blow your house down.” For most of us those are familiar words in an old children’s story. The Three Little Pigs. I remember hearing that story told over and over as a young child.
When Dennis and I began the process of actually moving back to Newton one of the things we started with was finding a home. We drove over several weekends and looked and looked and we kept coming back to this place. I have to admit he thought I was crazy. It was rundown, needed painting, & needed repair. It had been sitting vacant for sometime and not been given any love in some time but I was IN LOVE WITH IT. I quickly remembered being a part of girl scouts in the house next door and I thought I remembered something about it once being the Baptist Parsonage. ( found that to be true later) I remember the day we came over and met Todd to take a look inside. Oh that was a treat. I had bugged the dog out of him. Rent to own was the deal we were wanting. The kitchen cabinets were a horrible shade of baby poop green, there were walls with color crayons marks on them, the beautiful hard wood floors were not so beautiful anymore and there was no heat or air to speak of. I wish I could describe the look on Dennis face. To get to the front door you had to jump over about a 3 foot gapping hole and you couldn’t hardly even see the house for the holly bushes that were grown up around it. Sorting hiding all it’s splendor, Or at least that’s what I saw.
WELL after much conversation ( and persuasion ) we decided to buy the home. We began the process of getting it livable and we packed our big ole u-haul and headed this way. Many things have gone on in this house. WE raised our two sons, we got pregnant and lost a baby, we had many wonderful holidays , we planted a garden in the back yard ( it’s gone) and we turned our driveway into a basketball court for the boys at one time. It took us years to get this ole house back to life. Restoring it has been fun. Most of the time I would wait until Dennis left to go back off shore and then start a project. He would call home and I’d tell him about it and he would say, “WELL, I sure hope I like it.” The good news is , He always did. OR he pretended to anyway. ha To restore an old home like this takes both time and money. Truth was it took us until 7 weeks before he died to finish the last project. Hindsight is 20/20.
I found out later that Mr. Malcolm Phillips and Mr. Dan Miley had both been married in the living room of my home. I thought that to be pretty cool. Lots of history. Through the years the kids left starting their own lives and we remained. WE had lots of room to run around. I use to ask Dennis, “baby why don’t we sell this big ole house, we really don’t need all this room”. His answer never changed through the years, “Nope, It’s HOME”. The first year we lived here I put up 5 Christmas Trees. How cool is that. When I decided to strip the floors we did so while we were gone to my Son’s graduation from Marine boot camp. We moved all our furniture and personal belongings to one side of the house, hung plastic and I gave some contractor I hardly knew a key and off we went. Who does that??? So glad my honey liked the floors. He wanted them to be stained back dark and of course I had them white washed. ha ha
Having a house this size allows me to have ladies get togethers, dinners, host bridge club, bible studies and much more. I’m a firm believer this house has healing powers…. “What?” you might say. “Did she really say that.” I DID. I don’t mean that in a creepy way but in a wholesome good way. There has been so many hearts mended in this house, conversations of HOPE through the years and depression removed from my life years ago, relationships grown and I could go on and on. I know since Dennis has died this ole house has wrapped it arms around me many times. Held me close and kept me warm at night. I’ve had many ask me “are you going to stay in Newton, that house is so big for one person.” YES AND YES…. ha
I had a ladies get together here last Friday night and as the last person left and I shut the door I said, “thank you Lord for this ole house.” Please show me how I can continue to use it to honor you. My prayer is that NO THING will form against my ole house ( my inner house) and try to huff and puff and blow me down. What do you build your house on? Our main house is the one that lives within us. Our foundation is crucial in all things.
He is the only way to get through hard times, misunderstood times, feeling unloved times, not fitting in times, and all those other awkward times…. He is all that… So what is your house made of today?