Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Packed Up

Today our house in Tampa was packed up and is now completely empty. As I watched the truck pull away, (with all our earthly possessions onboard) it became real to me that we were really leaving. I took another stroll through the house and just thanked God for all of the memories that we have had in that house. I remembered how it was the only house we ever looked at when we moved to Tampa. We walked through it probably no more than fifteen minutes, figuring it would probably be sold by the time we were ready to buy. It was an older house (built in 1976), but it was in a good location, in a family friendly neighborhood, and it had a POOL! We didn't think we were going to be able to afford a house with a pool, but this one was in our price range. All of the pieces worked out (as God usually does) and we were able to sell our Nashville house quickly. When we called back to inquire about the Tampa house, it was still for sale. We made an offer over the phone, and they accepted. It certainly wasn't our dream house, but it's been home. When we moved in, our kids were toddlers. While we've lived here in Tampa, our kids have developed strong relationships with their grandparents that will last a lifetime. Last Monday night, when Anne mentioned to the girls that it would be our last night in our house, Samantha started to cry. It's the only house she's known. But Anne explained to her that our home is not defined by a house, home is where we are together as a family. We will have a new house, and it may feel strange at first, but because we are on this journey together, we will soon call it home too. There were times when Anne and I felt like that house was becoming too small for our family. There were times (like when we had to replace the roof, the air conditioner, the pool pump three times) when we wished we lived in something a little newer. But the things I will remember are: wrestling with Samantha every night at bedtime (her terrible two's lasted a year and a half) but being impressed with her fortitude. (She never liked to give in and go to bed). The three girls in little ballet outfits dancing in the living room. Eating dinner around the table and hearing about their first day at school. Praying at separate times with each of the girls at bedtime, and having them ask me to pray with them to ask God into their hearts. That house will always be the place where our young family started to mature, and our little girls grew into young ladies. I am thankful for all of the blessings that God has given us. As that truck drove off, I knew that this chapter was closing. Our house may be empty, but our memories are full, and a new chapter in our lives will soon begin...

3 comments:

James Dodzweit said...

You made me cry. Great Post.

Bless you on your journey.

james

Mary Waugh said...

Stop it!! I don't want to accept this yet. I'm still pretending that we're going to the beach to watch the sunset because we just want to have fun. Love you guys.

Kelly Dodzweit said...

Funny, I was going to open with the same comments as my husband. I never got to say good-bye, but I'll miss you guys. I like reading your blogs, it still makes me feel close and gives me a window into your lives. How exciting (and scary I'm sure) this new chapter will be.