I have always been a bit of a house junky. I love homes. I love going to open houses. I love being invited into people's homes.
I know part of the reason I love homes so much is because each home tells such a personal story. We live our lives in these walls and part of us seeps into them. You never know what happened before you got there.
When we first moved to Mobile we lived in a house built in 1898. It was a huge house that was owned by Pecan growers. They had twin daughters that they eventually built matching houses for across the street.
When I would wake up in the middle of the night to nurse Lucy and then Priscilla I would always think of the many mamas that lived in this house before me, that they must have done the same thing in this house long ago. I loved thinking that. I loved being part of that house's story.
When we looked at houses last week during our trip to Virginia I was reminded of the story our home tells whether we want it to or not.
One house felt very sad when we walked in. There were happy pictures all around this adorably decorated home but something was off. As we looked around the house we started to wonder about the mom and dad that lived there. There was a full apartment set up downstairs and a knocker on the basement door.
It felt strange to assume anything from some unmade beds and a knocker on a door..but there was something in the air. Later my Realtor said there was a divorce situation involved in that home and my heart just broke for the little girls I saw in those pictures.
We sometimes assume so much from what we see inside, or outside of a home. We assume people do or do not have money based on what is parked outside.
It is not fair to make judgements based on such shallow observations, but one can't stop the mind from wondering.
What happens inside these walls? Are people happy, sad, rich or poor? Is there love there? Is it hard to breathe inside there?
We moved on this street about 18 months ago. We did not know anybody. There is a really nice house across the street from us and they have 2 young kids. I never saw them playing outside so we never got to know them.
I did not give them much thought, either good or bad. I just never really thought about them at all. And then one day just recently I got to talk to the mom of those 2 small kids and I found out what an amazing person lives across the street from me...who would have guessed???
Her and her husband wanted children and were unable to have any. They found out that adopting special needs babies from China was not to difficult (relatively speaking). They put in to adopt and were able to get first a boy and then later a little girl. Both of these children have special needs. Her son is 90% blind and has severe learning disabilities. Her daughter has less severe needs but requires special schooling.
They have worked there work schedules so that one parent is always home with these children. And now they are due to adopt 2 more special needs babies from China in February. Her strength and grace to adopt children having no idea what their struggles will be AMAZES me. Her openness to life is inspiring to say the least. She is open and asking God to Bless her with situations that she has no control over. Nothing on the outside of her house indicated that someone EXTRAORDINARY lived within those walls.
Which brings me back to the beginning. Who knows what story each home holds. What amazing people may live inside. I just love to walk around and wonder. And sometimes I actually get to learn the story and find the extraordinary.
p.s. these pictures are houses that I run by all the time. I love each of them for different reasons. Some of them I just love because I imagine a great story when I walk by it...