Nicole was nine, Kristin eight, and Janelle four when we first moved into our home on a cold February day in 1986. Chad wasn’t even born yet. Today, a sunny one in June, twenty-two years later, I’m boxing up (and sometimes throwing out) two decades worth of memories.
Of the more than 8000 days I spent in this home, there were a few dramatic ones: the day I announced to CJ that “surprise, you’re going to be a father again!” or the day Kristin fainted and we had to call the ambulance, or when Mike serenaded Janelle outside her window at 6am, or when Nicole returned from the hospital after life-saving surgery.
But most of my days looked pretty much the same.
I got out of bed each morning so that I could do everything I did the day before.
I washed the dishes so they could be dirtied again.
I ironed the clothes so they could be worn and wrinkled again
I wiped noses so they could run again.
I picked up toys so they could be played with again.
I mopped the floor so mud could be tracked on it again.
I cooked meals so that I could go to the grocery store again.
I made beds so they could be slept in again.
Some days I wondered: if I do all I do, only to have it undone, am I really doing anything?
Today, as I pack up my home in June of 2008, I can see the answer more clearly than I did in February 1986. Each of my daughters is married to a wonderful, godly man, Chad will be a sophomore in high school this fall, and we’ll welcome our seventh grandchild at the end of August.
I realize that all of the mundane, repetitive days were actually full of significant, enduring work. A home was being built. A family was being knit together. Four souls were being shaped for eternity.
This home has spawned three more homes where the same tedious yet momentous work goes on day in and day out. And God willing, many more homes will one day be built, day by day, so “that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:9).