There is power in a place

Lisa_Valerie

It was bound to happen.

If you put something up for sale, someone will eventually come along and want it.

So after a few months on the market, my parents’ housemy childhood home—has a buyer.

In less than two weeks, a new family will be living in the bedroom I slept in for years. Taking showers in our pink bathroom. Cooking in our paneled kitchen.

But they’ve asked for something from us. They want our history.

They want to know our story in the house.

So my three siblings sent me their memories last week.

  • Throwing New Year’s Eve parties in the basement
  • Working Daddy’s big garden on the top of the hill
  • Singing hymns around the piano in the living room

I’ll compile their memories and add my own to give to the new family.

But also to give to us, to say our final goodbye to the house we grew up in. And to put an exclamation mark on “Job well done!” to our old family home.

It served us well.

There was power in that place.

Our houses aren’t just four walls to store our stuff with a roof to keep the rain out. The breathing space in our homes—the space surrounding the stuff—is valuable. That is where life happens. Where lessons are learned. Where people are loved.

What will your family remember about your house in the years to come?

Now is the time to shape it into what you want it to be.

Claim the power in the place where you live.

  • Want it to be a house of worship? Crank up the praise music.
  • A refuge of peace? Develop an unoffendable spirit.
  • A place to learn? Nurture open minds and open books.

Even though we’ll hand over the keys to our house at the end of August, I’ll keep my memories of Daddy sitting at the table on Saturday nights putting the final touches on his Sunday morning Bible lesson. I’ll remember waking up every morning to my mama cooking homemade biscuits in the oven with a Tupperware container of Golden Eagle syrup on the table (still my favorite breakfast).

And I’ll never forget the love rooted into us four kids there by a set of parents who wanted to do best what God wanted them to do the most.

Yes, there’s power in a place. It lives on in me.

* * *

What memories do you have of your childhood home? What memories are you making for your kids now in you current home? Please share in the comments.

36 thoughts on “There is power in a place

  1. Bill (cycleguy)

    One of my most vivid memories is the early morning devotional times I had with my mom on school mornings. Both my girls are gone but I sure hope we gave them good memories wherever we lived. And there were a lot of those! 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      What a sweet memory of having devotionals with your mom, Bill. I had a hot breakfast every morning with my mom, which was very good, too. 🙂 Yes, I join you in hoping that my girls have fond memories of their childhood home with us too. We lived mainly in just two places (still in the 2nd one), so their memories shouldn’t be too difficult to conjure up.

  2. blankSusan Nowell @ My Place to Yours

    Beautiful, Lisa! My parents moved from my childhood home many years ago, but I still have such wonderful memories of it—and of the home where they’ve now lived for 30+ years (even though I never lived there). Since we’re downsizing and my own house is on the market, I’ve been writing a post in my head… a thank you letter to the ol’ gal for so many things. Someday (hopefully soon!) when she sells, I’ll have to actually write it. Your post today holds many of my same thoughts…

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Oh, I do hope you’ll write down your good-bye thoughts to your house, Susan. That will be meaningful. I keep delaying getting started on mine, but I want to try to get a firm start on it this week so I can pass it along to the new homeowners soon. We have so many photos too, that might not be of interest to them, but hold such meaning to my siblings and me.

  3. blankCindy

    Wow, a powerful message in your words. I have such wonderful memories of the home I grew up in. Even though mom and dad moved several years ago I still find myself in front of that house just to remember sometimes. I learned to love and be loved, became me in those walls and in the garden and yard. I have wonderful memories of your parents home also. God bless as you say goodbye. I love you!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I understand finding yourself in front of the house you grew up in. We still drive by our old house on Oliver Lane periodically just to see how much things have changed (it’s like a jungle there now! ha). I’m so glad that you and Steve and your girls are part of my memories at Mama’s too! Love you much.

  4. blankLinda Stoll

    How cool that they wanted to know your story. How blessed to have found buyers who care about more than if the sink works or if the roof needs replacing.

    And once again, God gives you yet another opportunity to share HIS story. Love that!

    Hugs.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I totally agree, Linda. I was so pleased to hear the new family wanted to hear the story behind the house. They seem like a very caring family, so we’re all thrilled that they are the ones who will be moving in. I pray they have many years of their own special memories there.

  5. blankbluecottonmemory

    My uncle is a tour guide at a historic house – and when we enter the house, he tells us the house will remember us. In a way, I think houses do. I love what you’re doing. I wish we had done that when we sold my grandmother’s house – the house where I grew up! BTW – I love your pants in the photo!!!!!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Aw, I love that thought—not only will we remember the house, but the house will remember us. Thanks for sharing that with me, Maryleigh.

      Aren’t those pants the hottest? Glad you agree. haha. Quite the 70s look.

  6. blankbekahcubed

    How marvelous that the buyers want to hear the stories of your childhood home! I really enjoyed hearing from our neighbor how the previous resident (who died before his wife sold the house to Daniel) sang in the choir at church and sometimes sang while he was working in the yard. She said it was just wonderful to hear him singing baritone in the backyard. It’s encouraging how people’s memories can live on in the homes they made.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      How special that you were able to hear some of those memories of your current home! Such good ones too. I guess people aren’t apt to share the bad ones. ha. But it’s nice that now you can imagine the last owner’s voice singing in the backyard.

  7. blankBarbara H.

    It’s neat that the new buyers want to know the story of the house – and neat your family lived there for so long that it holds so many memories. I wrote a few years ago about the house we moved from in SC as we were getting ready to move to TN (https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/the-ideal-house/). There were things I didn’t like about the house from day 1, but it was the only house we found that met all our needs. We were able to change some things about it, but not others, like the cramped dining area. I chafed over some aspects of it the 12 years we lived there, but as we prepared to move, I realized that that was the house my kids would most likely remember from their growing-up years, and we had done an awful lot of living there. I did one last walk-through before we left for good and got teary at all the memories. Thankfully we can take the memories with us.

    We moved a lot as I grew up, so I don’t have one special spot to remember, but I do have snatches of memories of some. One of my favorites was one we had when I was a teen. It was in a very small town (one stop light – high school students were bussed to the next town 10 miles away). Our house was on a hill, and we could open windows on either side and get the most wonderful breeze. That was before most houses had central AC and was wonderful! I also remember my grandfather coming to visit – he always brought Dunkin Donuts, and was always an early riser, and I remember waking up to hearing him and my mom talking in the kitchen.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I just read your post about your old house and had to laugh when I read that you went into the bathroom and cried the first day you moved in. ha. One of my recurring dreams is that I have to move into a new home and it’s an overwhelming mess with dozens of rooms that I don’t know what to do with. Thankfully that dream is unlikely to come true.

      I love this: “Thankfully we can take the memories with us.” That’s what I keep having to remind myself of. Just because we’re selling the house doesn’t mean we’re losing the memories. They will always go wherever we go, regardless of what happens to the house. Thanks for sharing, Barbara.

  8. blankMary

    Oh friend! This post made me cry for soooo many reasons! My parents moved several times and I haven’t lived in a house they occupied for more than 30 years. Now my dad is gone, my mom is getting weaker and so many memories come flooding back…just not of the family home.
    And what a precious gift you are giving the new buyer!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Memories—that’s the key thing, yes. The house is just one holder of those memories. So sorry for the stage you’re in, Mary. 🙁 It’s not an easy one, with one parent gone, and the other one struggling. My prayers are with you, friend!

  9. blankDolly@Soulstops

    Lisa,
    What power those memories have and I love that picture of you as a little girl and how you have such beautiful memories of your parents and time spent in your home….I pray our home is a place where we show grace and we laugh and we pray 🙂

  10. blankKelly Chripczuk

    I love that the new buyers want to know the history of your place. We bought our current home from an elderly widow who passed away without anyone to inherit (no children), I’ve been so grateful for those who’ve stopped by to tell me pieces of our home’s history. And, I think I have that very same paneling (as in the picture) right here in my little office.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I love hearing that, Kelly. To be interested in the background of your home is honoring the previous homeowners. How nice of people to stop and share those stories with you. That paneling is definitely an age-marker, yes? ha.

  11. blankTrudy

    That’s pretty neat that the buyers want the stories in the house. It sounds like you have some beautiful memories. A home filled with love. I had some bad memories in our home growing up, but as I have worked through them, I remember some of the good memories. 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I know there are so many homes that are filled with sad and horrible memories. 🙁 I’m sorry that you had to experience any of that, Trudy. It’s amazing though that you’re able to still hold on to the good ones. I’m impressed. Blessings to you!

  12. blankAnita Ojeda

    Terrible confession. One of my memories from my childhood home is pretending I was blind and peeing in the corner of my bedroom. I was only four, so I’m forgiven, right? I have much better memories of my childhood home of the four of us snuggled around my dad as he read to us each evening…of my mom fixing us peanut butter and raisin sandwiches whilst we listened to Paul Harvey on the radio and my mom’s disgust when my dad dissected a cat on the dining room table as part of our science education (the cat had met an unfortunate end on the busy road in front of our house). I guess my memories are a mixed bag of sweet and just plain weird!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Ha. Now there’s a memory! But yes, you are forgiven since you were only four years old. 🙂 I’m trying not to imagine the cat dissection on the table. We had a shark dissection on ours just a few years ago when we were homeschooling. I tried avoiding that. We do all have such a mixed bag of memories, don’t we? Keeps life interesting.

  13. blankPamela

    What precious memories. You have a goodly heritage. It’s hard to let go of the past. We spent the day cleaning out my mother’s Christmas decorations. Such memories in those ornaments. Just imagine Christmas in heaven!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I am so very blessed to have the heritage that I do. I know it’s not necessarily a typical one, so I thank God for his grace to allow it. I remember cleaning out my mom’s Christmas decorations a few months ago; so many memories do come back with all the little things she sat around and decorated with. Blessings to you, Pamela!

  14. blank~ linda

    WOW! What a beautiful way to move into a house that will be called a home for this new family and for leaving a home that has been just that your whole life, Lisa. I love it that this family asked for this for it has created a memory bank for two families.
    I am praising God for sending such a family as this to buy a home filled with many, many memories.
    ~ linda

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      This is just the type of family that we were praying would buy the house. I really feel honored that they care enough to even want to know the background at all. I’m not sure that I would have been that sensitive enough myself to ask, if I had been in their shoes. Yes, praising God for them and asking him for blessings on their time there too.

  15. blankfloyd

    (Gulp) This one left a lump in my throat. The most valuable things in this life can’t be bought or paid for with money. They’re the things that we learn and earn along the way. The memories of your life and loved ones is better than rare gems.

    Being in the business I know how homes represent chapters in our lives. And I’m reminded by this that we’re all telling a story.

    Blessings to you and yours and to the folks that will take up the chapters of their lives in what was once your home.

    Awesome picture by the way. Where did the time go?

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      “Homes represent chapters in our lives.” Odd you put it that way, Floyd, because I’m writing my piece in chapters about each section of the home. It’s good to know of men like you who build not just houses, but homes.

      Where did the time go? One of life’s mysteries indeed.

  16. blankJean Wise

    How neat they wanted to know more about the history of the house. If walls could talk. When you reminiscent it reminded how people share memories at a funeral – a healthy part of the grieving process – which is what you are experiencing too. love the photo too, Lisa. Have a great weekend.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      You are exactly right, Jean–this is part of grieving for us. I know it’s good and healthy, but it’s still difficult. But that’s okay. All is well, that I’m sure of. Hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

  17. blankJerralea

    Lisa, I understand your feelings so well. Over a year ago, my mom sold our family home. Such memories! It was a haven and a refuge, which is my goal for my home today. I hope my kids and grandkids always know that Mimi’s house is a place where you always feel welcomed and loved.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      You get this then, Jerralea. We went back to the house Saturday and helped my nephew move out. Still such bittersweet feelings. But the good is by far outweighing the sadness. I’m certain that Mimi’s house is an awesome place for your kids and grandkids!

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