The Home We Built (reprise)

I love, love giving gifts and I'm usually pretty good at the sentimental kind. Evan always judges the success of my gifts on whether or not the recipient cries. I was so SO excited to give my parents their Christmas gift this year, I found a lovely woman on etsy who made me this beauty:
After my previous post about my childhood home, my dad sent me the sweetest email with his own version. He said he tried to post it as a comment on my blog but didn't have a blogger profile so he couldn't. I decided to repost it here for those of you who might enjoy his perspective! I told him this post might earn him the job of blogging about their adventures in Phili for their friends and family back in Texas so look forward to that ;)

The Home that We Built (reprise)

Dear Kamille,

I loved your reminiscing about the countless memories we will keep forever from 22 wonderful years on 1010 Arlena Drive.  But I feel compelled to quibble for just a moment if you will indulge me and let me explain why I think it was the Home that We Built and not the House that Built Us.

If the walls on 1010 Arlena Drive could talk: 

They would tell you that this was the only house a young couple just 2 years out of school living on a single salary could afford in the Butler school area.

They would point out that the house was already twenty years old when it was purchased, and had seen better days.  That is precisely why the young couple could afford it.

They would tell you how that young couple worked for over 22 years inch by inch redoing all the flooring surfaces in the house at least once and several rooms up to three times

They would tell you about countless hours spent painting walls, and redoing floors, running wire and laying tile, and even building a shed with the help of dear friends and at the time grown children.

They would tell you how that same couple, less young some eight years later, decided to stay and add onto the house 13 years ago rather than move, because they loved their neighborhood and the people they associated with every day.

They would tell about the prayers that were said for those children as they grew that God would guide them, and they would be wise enough to seek and listen to His counsel in their hearts.

They would tell of the family kneeling in prayer every day to give thanks for the love they shared and for the blessings of a good job, and of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.

They would tell of arguments, reconciliation, expressions of love and petitions for forgiveness.

They would tell you about three new babies being brought to the house, about graduations from elementary, middle school and high school, about successes and failures, triumphs and heartbreak by each and every member of the growing family, difficult choices about what to do and what path to follow.

They would tell you about the pride of that couple as they watched their children grow, mature and leave the house to build their own lives, families and homes.

A building is cold and has no soul but what is infused into it by those who inhabit its walls.  No, this house did not build us, rather we built this home by each and every decision and action taken along the way.  Our family has built this house into a home, into a temple and refuge from the storms of life.  Not because its structure was sturdy, but because the spirit within its walls was filled with love.
Love Dad