Believe it or not, God really does create a beautiful story of your life by intersecting your life with other peoples stories. He is a master Author, always writing NY Times best sellers. Ones that keep you on the very edge of your seat. The endings are always good, it’s just the matter of reading the entire book, cover to cover. Although it’s in our flesh to skip to the ending, just keep reading. If you skip you’ll miss the best parts.
God’s been working on redeeming things in my life for the better. The details of how I got to re-walk through my childhood home aren’t important. What is important is how He ordained other peoples live’s to intersect with mine.
The front door opened and creaked just as the trailer in my childhood did. My memory became flooded with remembrance and familiar sights as I rounded the corner into the hallway. The hallway where all six of my parents children rushed around getting ready for school. I could hear our feet running up and down that blue carpet, never carrying that the width of the hallway was far from wide. Our voices bouncing straight off the walls making a loud orchestra of chaos.
The first bedroom on the left became mine at age 13. As I walked in and sat on the bed as an adult, tears came too strong to hold back. After all, this room was where I became a woman. It was where I began writing, and found the love for reading. I could still see the daisies painted on the window drapes, just for me. The embarrassment of bringing my friends into a small home came back in a wave, and was quickly dismissed. Look what I had become. A wife, a mother. An Author. Growing up in this small room shaped me into a humble girl. One with many flaws, which allowed me to respect others in a way that a large, spacious home could not.
My feet carried me into the bathroom, as I saw myself shaving my legs for the first time. The big event landed me in my bathing suit, with all five siblings as my audience. Surely someone was waiting for me to cut myself, but I was steady with that right hand. I had waited years to do this, as I watched all my friends move into that stage before me.
I saw the hamster on the back of the toilet in her cage. There was no where else to house a pet, so there she was in the bathroom. I only remembered to change her water when I had to use the bathroom. A chuckle formed as my youngest daughter asked me what was so funny.
” Mommy is just remembering . “
Before I knew it I was in the largest bedroom in the house. The room where many years 5 children slept, played, danced and loved. We didn’t mind sharing beds, clothes or toys. We learned to share in that room, we had to share. We had to love.
In that house there was no room for fighting, we just loved. It was in that moment I wished I could put all of my siblings back in that trailer, maybe we would learn a thing or two about life living there for a few more years. Maybe we would appreciate each other more. Have a little bit more patience. A little bit more joy.
With all three of my children around me, I noticed a book in the corner of the room. The cover of the book read ” Jude”, and it was then I knew Jude was seeing his mother being able to walk through her childhood home one last time. Being able to thank it for what it did to her mind. I could feel him smiling as I sat on the corner of the bed, one much like I slept in with my younger sisters.
That bed housed memories of sharing secrets as I plucked off leftover mascara onto the floor. That bed was actually two twin beds made into one large comfort fest. We couldn’t bare to be apart, so we made it easier to be together. How many times since then have we slept together in our adult lives? Not enough for my heart.
The closet in the corner still overflowed with dirty clothes we were too busy to wash. We were busy opening the only window in the bedroom, climbing out and running to the tree house our Father built. I could see it from the window, only one way up using the ladder that went all the way to the top. One year we begged our parents to use the dead Christmas tree in the middle of February to decorate our tree house home. The temperature outside didn’t matter to us, we were together , so we were warm.
As the tour of my childhood home ended, I wished with all my pennies that I could stick my children in a trailer just like that one to live for a few years. What it did to my soul couldn’t have happened in a big home. I learned to appreciate life for the small things, even our home.
I pray that I can teach my children what I learned growing up in small living space, and that I can model that mindset for the way I love them, and the way I parent. With grace for mistakes, and hope for a better place.
Small spaces produce big dreams, and big dreams come from small little minds.
To all my dear siblings, thanks for being in my small space. I wish I could keep you there with me.