Our House... officially 'on the market.' By the way, Christy may have designed and planted the window boxes, but i hung them on the house with all of my handy skills.
A Sign in the Yard and Tears in the Eyes
This week our house officially went on the market. We’re praying that it sells quickly and that just the right place is ready for us… we’ve even got the kids praying about it. Anna always asks me if we’re going to get another house and I always tell her that we will if the Lord gives us the money. As a result, I heard her pray this yesterday: “Dear Lord, oh please give Daddy money so we can get a new house and an orange van!” Yeah, for some reason she not only wants to get a van, but an orange van. I told her that I didn’t think they made orange vans and she told me, “Dad, they can make whatever color they want,” which I suppose is technically true.
Anyway, when I drove home from church yesterday, I rounded the corner and saw the realty sign in the yard, complete with a name and phone number on it. My stomach lurched when I saw it. I had known for months that this day was coming, but it made me sad to see that sign. I was sad to leave this awesome neighborhood… sad to leave our incredible next-door neighbors Jack and Jo. Not only that, but all our best memories are there. Years ago, before college, Christy and her sister rented that house. It was grey then, and we used to call it “Stonehenge.” It was in my car outside that house that I first kissed Christy… And then we were married and bought that house. As I’ve said before, we brought our newborns to that house… that’s where all the sleepless nights, baby teeth, first steps and bubble baths happened. It kinda tears me up to even type this stuff…
Well, a few weeks ago Christy told Jack and Jo that we would probably be moving away… We love Jack and Jo. They are the sweetest neighbors anyone ever had; just a precious old couple who love to walk around our quiet circle two or three times every day. Mrs. Jo makes the best fried chicken and pinto beans with cornbread on the planet, and she always brings it over to us at just the right moment. They always loan us everything and they always bring fresh watermelon. Our kids absolutely love Jack and Jo… (Norah always says “Jo Jo”) and it’s honestly hard to imagine life without them being right next door.
As I was saying, a few weeks ago Christy told Jack and Jo that we would probably be moving away… Jack began to nod his head and say that they figured we would need more space now that the third baby was on the way, but Mrs. Jo just began to weep. In fact, she sort of fell apart and ran into her house. It was the news she dreaded to hear, and even now, weeks later, she still cries when she thinks about Christy and our girls leaving. I saw Jack and Jo yesterday when I needed to borrow some Tylenol and after Jack remarked about the sign in our yard, Jo became upset and told him not to talk about it because it made her cry.
There is a place in Acts 20 where Paul is leaving a group of believers who loved him so much that as he turned to go, Luke tells us that, “They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.” The scene actually spills over into chapter 21 where Luke tells us that in order to leave, they had to “tear” themselves away from these people. They loved him so much that it broke their hearts to see him go… One time Tony Campolo quoted his pastor saying this in a message to high school graduates: “When you were born you were the only one who cried; everyone else was happy. That’s not important. Here’s what’s important: When you die, will you be the only one that’s happy while everyone else is crying?” I want to live the kind of love-filled life that will make people sad to see me go. That’s the way Jo feels about Christy, and it’s the way you’re going to want the people in your life to feel about you when there’s a sign in your yard.
Bonus pic: Here's Christy giving Norah her first haircut!
3 years ago