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I’ve learned myself quite the lesson about being content in whatever “state” I find myself in. I’ve also learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover, a house by its color, or a state by its terrain.
My parents divorced when I was three and I never had access to my father. Mom’s parents died before I was ever born. We moved away from the town I grew up in and the rest of Mom’s family when I was only twelve. All those facts combined, (and a few other facts) left me feeling as though I lacked roots. I always dreamed that I would grow up and move back to Oklahoma. I imagined a country, hillside home with a creek and a small garden. And of course there was a picket fence! But it was never to be so. I developed roots in my children and, now, my grand children. I just pray they never choose to move away from me.
I just spent a couple of days visiting my sister in Oklahoma and was certain I would come back with a little poetry tucked in my belt. I made sure I packed my notebook and pen for the trip. But they never even left my vehicle. See, Oklahoma always stirs me to write poetry with its beauty.
My niece and her children made the trip with me. Within a few miles of crossing back over the state line into the “ugly, flat, humid state of Texas,” I made a discovery. (You Texans will have to forgive me. I’ve just always viewed the plains of north central Texas that way as compared to the Kiamichi foothills and Blue Mountain ranges of Oklahoma.) My niece asked “Did you see that awful house?” I had.
We discussed that ugly house we’d both noticed and agreed that whoever chose to build that home had very poor taste in architectural design. Their choice of colors matched their taste in design as well -- very dull yellow columns against a background of beige siding and brown brick. It floored me that anyone would pay good money to build a huge, brand new home and choose to have it look like that one.
Homeward bound, I began to wonder if the inside was as poorly decorated as the outside. Perhaps it was even worse. But the real questions were “What goes on in that home?” “How sturdy are its cornerstones?” “Is it built on a concrete slab?” “Does a family with happy children live there?” “Is there love and patience, acceptance and forgiveness there?”
Since I’m already grown up, I don’t guess I’ll be moving back to Oklahoma, or any other state for that matter. And I’m going to do my best never to say “I’m STUCK in this state” again. Though I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy my trips back to Oklahoma, I doubt if I’ll have a longing to stay there. Even in writing this, it was difficult for me to refrain from saying “trips back HOME” rather than “trips back to Oklahoma.” But home is right here.
There is a happy family here. And that family is mine. Our Cornerstone is Christ and we’ve built our home on the Rock. We may not look like an architectural genius got hold of us, but He did. Our colors and columns may not appeal to every passerby. But we like the way we’re painted.
Inside our home is love and patience, acceptance and forgiveness. A welcome sign hangs proudly over our doors to greet our friends. The sun shines in through our picture windows. And that sun does rise so beautifully in the wide open spaces of Texas’ plains.
© Joyce Pool
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Lucian, you most certainly got my point behind this article. I don't even own a house! And my children do not even live in the same house I live in! So, I can't even say that I literally have a picture window. I live in the house with my niece and her little family. But it isn't about brick or wood. It's about what's going on inside our "homes," or rather our "temples."
A wonderful story. Home should be where the heart is and the heart should be filled with God. God will take us many places but our final destination will be the one where we can finally plant our roots.
I live in New Mexico where people come from all over the world to enjoy the scenery...and miss the plains of Texas. I miss having salespersons greet me, I miss the sound of y'all, I miss knowing that at any moment I might encounter someone with a countenance that suggests they might know Christ... We must bloom where we are planted when we beong to Him. None of this world will ever be our home. Great hugs, Kay
Being content in whatever state we are in, (pardon the pun.) You have the right idea here! A house does not make a home. Nice article to ponder over.