Almost a year ago, my family decided to downsize. my husband and I, with four growing kiddos, began to think about all that we will encounter in the near future. There are already select sports and braces, there will soon be cars times four and college times four ( although I told them to draw straws and that I will need them to come to the table with either academic or athletic scholarships please.) and down the road there will hopefully be 2 weddings to pay for as well!. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 15 years now and in that 15 years, we have moved 14 times. Some of that was bumping around the map for 6 year during his career in the NFL but a larger portion was us getting a bigger and better home every 2 years or so. The act of moving was not a big deal to us, however the home we downsized from, we had lived in the longest. For 5 years I loved my home with a large front yard and circle drive where my boys toddled around safely, we often played volleyball and football, and 3 of my kids learned to ride bikes. But I knew that we would feel better in the long run and it was the best decision for our family. After all, it is like my brother says, ” at the end of the day, it is just a box to put your stuff in!”Right???
Messy story short, we found a new home, just four blocks away from the old one. It is nice and humble, and it is funny the things you don’t miss. There is a bedroom for everyone, (although my boys prefer to share), a play room and a lovely kitchen where we spend most of our time when we are home. The last house had a large game room with double doors you could shut for privacy but both my boys decided they like the new small one with no doors, that way “we can all see each other all the time and the girls can’t shut us out!” They also like that our master bedroom is upstairs, so they can easily come to us when they are scared. My youngest daughter says we should stay here forever because ” it feels like a cozy little cottage where memories should be made” and our teenager ( aka” the queen”) was just excited to redecorate her room. Our new home has a very small backyard, but I can open all the windows, listen to the birds chirping all morning long, and let little boys play with out the fear of someone falling in the pool. The front yard is my favorite part which is such a God thing because I loved my last front yard so much. There is shade for days and we have awesome grass because of it and we all play in the yard and in the street where rarely a car comes down. There is even a street light and a fire hydrant which feels very old school and nostalgic to me. Recently,when my mom came to visit, we sat on the swing that sits under my tree in the front yard and she asked why the sidewalk ends abruptly at my property line.There is an older section of the street without a sidewalk and my house marks the beginning of a newer section which has a sidewalk… I said non- chalantly, “That must be where the sidewalk ends.” We gave each other a look as if to say “how fitting!!!!” “Where the sidewalk ends” was one of my favorite books as a child and has become a favorite of my children too! I began to think about the book and the title and wonder what it would be like if I chose to really live where the sidewalk ends, that place where I come to the end of me, my plans, my dreams, my energy and strength and I say, “God, what are your plans? What do you have on the road up ahead for me?” Or perhaps when I am crabby and short tempered and have run out of grace and patience, I can lean on the grace of God. I can call upon the Lord to renew my strength and help me go the distance and extend love and kindness to those around me. It might feel scary,and unfamiliar at first but then again I just might find like I have over the past year, that ” Where the Sidewalk Ends”, is a great place to dwell.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Psalm 84:4