25.10.14

In These Four Walls

Some look at you in disdain, my little, oh-so-cozy home. They call you cramped, they call you tired, they call you homely, they call you cheap. They talk about you and shake their heads knowingly. Their words are not glowing words of praise or admiration. No, they may not say it in so many words but their tone and look betray them. We know. They speak of shame, of failure, of waiting, of temporary makeshift things and things that aren't what we're dreaming of.

But, my little trailer home, they don't know what I know. And if they saw you with my eyes, they'd see beauty too.

Oh yes, I know you aren't dressed in the latest fads. You don't flaunt your stuff or shout excess! You don't offer endless places and spaces. Some corners are too tight, some are too dark. Some parts are tired from all the years of life they've held and sheltered. Some things are needing a caring touch... there are things you simply don't put on display when Aunt Mildred pays a visit.

But, my dear little mobile home, you are good at what you do! Sheltering children, growing love, planting memories, holding dreams... these are the things you do and do well! I've heard it said, love grows best in little homes. I think it's true. Don't you?

You've been through a bit, you have. Spring time and love... newly weds... youthful excitement... joyful dreaming... fighting and making up... sad times and lonely days... sickness and health... tests and trials... faith strengthened... sunny summer days... crisp fall air... successes and highlights... new babies arriving... children laughing, crying, singing, yelling... exhausted moms... hard working dads... long, cold winter evenings...

But there's another thing we may not talk of much, perhaps your most important work of all. You are teaching us. You are teaching me. Lessons of patience and contentment, of love, endurance and keeping on and pulling through when the going gets tough.

You've taught me so much, little house! Because of you I now know that we place far too much value on first impressions. Impressions that work their way into our subconscious and tell us we must have the best of everything, we must have things looking just so, we need this and we need that. But we don't!

 We need love. We need joy! We need humility. And acceptance. We need contentment... And laughter. These are the things that make a house a home.

It's not the new single-pane windows I look out of, the freshly painted walls, the bright accents and crisp decor or the modern fixtures and fussy furniture. It's not the beautiful architecture, character of the rooms, perfectly appointed kitchen and the plush and lovely living room, the spare dining room and spacious master bath. It's not even the walk in closet or extra sets of drawers, which some may tell themselves they couldn't do without.

They can be deceiving, houses like those. They draw you in: the bright and shiny new builds on freshly landscaped lawns, the rambling rooms of a comfortable farm house, the cozy beauty of a historical home. They are beautiful and rightly so. But they should know what I am coming to know.

They should know before anyone plans or purchases some stately home that speaks of wealth or charm that there is a special something that no realtor can sell. And that is this:

If one cannot live and love within their walls, if one cannot learn of contentment and humility, of sacrifice and also joy within their strong confines, then they have nothing more than I do in these four walls.

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