Photo by clarita on Morgue File.
What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.
The place I grew up in as a child was not a house, a home yes, but not a house. It was in fact a mobile home. In those days we called it a trailer. This in fact is an apt description of it, because ours did have the wheels underneath and the tongue on one end. Nowadays, however, they call them mobile homes or premanufactured houses or the like.
Well, no matter what you wish to call it, it was what it was. What it was for the span of ten plus years was home.
It had a front door and rear door. We, which seems to be customary in many places, typically used the backdoor to go in and out. When you entered the backdoor, immediately to your right was my parents bedroom. The door opened into a short hallway. As you entered through the door, turning to your left, moving away from my parents bedroom, there was a bathroom on the right. It was the only bathroom.
As you moved past the bathroom, the hallway ended and opened into the kitchen. As you moved past the kitchen you came to the living room. The front door was on the right hand side, as you walked with your back to the kitchen. Just past the front door was my bedroom, which I later shared with my younger sister. We had bunk beds. I slept on the top bunk.
I remember the carpet was green. Yes, green.
It’s funny how large it seemed to me as a child. I never thought about its narrowness or its lack of square footage. To me, it was as grand as any castle or palatial estate in the world.
I have fond memories of friends coming over to play video games during the winter. Friends who would stay the night and we would talk and giggle about boyish things until early morning. I remember my grandmothers coming over for Christmas or my birthday. I recall meals my mother cooked and we ate at our round, black dining room table.
I remember cats and dogs and kerosene heaters. I recall couches and chairs and toys.
Eventually, we moved out of it into our new home that was built on the same property. I was around sixteen at the time.
Toward the end of our stay in the trailer, the hot water heater had burst and leaked water under the kitchen flooring. This caused the kitchen floor to look something like the rolling hills of Kentucky! I remember ice on the windows and huddling up around the kerosene heater. At that point, we were just trying to make it until the new house was ready.
When we moved out, someone came and got it and rolled it away. Thus, my childhood went rolling down the road on inflatable tires!
I have nothing but fond memories, good memories of those days.
The biggest thing is to make sure your house, no matter how immaculate it may be or how simple, is a home. When your kids grow up, what will matter most to them . . . what they will remember fondly is not the square footage or if there was a pool out back or how many garage doors you had; not even if it were a mobile home or a simple shack; but, what they will remember is the love and laughter and life that filled and overfilled the home.
May our homes be filled with the love and grace of God. May they overfill with the abundance of the grace of Christ. May we live and nurture our children in the things of God. For these are the things, not those of wood, drywall or rock, but these are the things that will last and remain. Home should be a place where our kids feel protected, safe and loved. The world is big and scary enough as is without bringing that into our homes.
My Father, help me to live my life to provide, not just a house, not just material things; but, more importantly, eternal things and values to my family. Help me to provide a safe and protective place . . . a place to be a safe harbor against the long, fearful nights out on the world’s vast and intimidating seas. May our home be filled with your love and grace and the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. May it be built, not just with brick and mortar, but more, with love, kindness, patience, grace, humility and peace. And, may it all be to your glory, forever and ever. This I pray in the Name above all names, the name of my Lord and Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. Amen.