I grew up in a nice neighborhood. In the home I have called mine for my entire life, we have been surrounded by an ample acre of land and a smattering of other sturdy brick homes. We live far enough out to see the stars, but close enough to the city limits to run into town at a a moment’s notice. At 22-almost 23 years old, I have never moved, not even once. My resting place has always been in my sweet room, still decorated in Winnie the Pooh wallpaper. I have the rare privilege of stability and roots, and I’m the first in my family to experience that. Both my siblings and my parents moved around a lot, and because my parents stayed put, I’ve had the blessing of having lifelong friends. Although my grandparents weren’t born in Thomasville, and I wasn’t a “legacy” student at Brookwood, I still consider myself to be from Thomasville. I don’t by any means think I live in any sort of big city, but something about my upbringing makes me positively yearn for the country.
My dream is to have a big farm house with a wrap around porch. I like it when porches are sprawling and creaky and when there’s a swing that’s just fit for Sunday afternoon chats and mid week evening reading rendezvous. I want land that goes as far as the eye can see, and when I’m sitting on my porch, shelling peas, I want to not only see the country, I want to smell it. As I teach my children about life and Jesus, and hopefully how to shell peas which I myself will have to learn), I hope we can breathe in that sweet, smoky country aroma. I hope the sunsets will be breathtaking, and I hope I’ll make time to watch them more often than not.
When we go inside I want the walls to be bathed in sunshine from all the windows and natural light. I hope my living room is huge, but cozy, with high ceilings, perfect for Christmas trees. I want my children to learn to love reading, and to spend hours ensconced around the house in nooks they’ve discovered all on their own, reading classics from our library, full to the brim with books from my childhood and his.
When dusk falls and he gets home, I hope we can all congregate around a table that maybe he even built. I want it to be so long that one side has a bench, but so welcoming that we find ourselves squeezing in new friends every time we turn around. I hope, that unlike in my small family, there are so many of us that we actually have to PASS food around, and I hope we have more than enough to share.
Although I don’t wan’t to be restrictive, I don’t want my children to grow up in the technology saturated environment that I have. I hope they gather in the living room long after the dishes have been hand-dried with little white and blue checkered towels. Maybe I will read them a story, and have grace when things don’t go how I planned, with everyone sitting and listening intently, hanging on my (or shall I say Louisa May Alcott’s) every word. Perhaps, he will read from the Bible and we will breathe in the depth and the rasp of his voice as he teaches us about the incomparable love of Christ.
After we have said our good -night-Mary-Ellen’s and Jim-Bob’s, I hope I will rest safely in his arms, and as a Proverbs 31 woman, I should hope I will rise while it is still dark and prepare our first meal of the day. I hope I won’t have to worry about being somewhere on time, because our school will be around the table, and I pray that we will laugh and cry and learn how to be good people together. I hope my children learn to love traveling early, but I hope they picture home and miss it when we are away.
I want so much for my life, and yet really not much at all. Simplicity. Laughter. Sunsets. Hugs. Good food. True love. A full passport. Is it foolish of me to want to so much? Maybe. Have I feasted on Little House on the Prairie and the Walton’s for too many years? Perhaps. But I refuse to build my future anything less than expectant hope. I’m not naive. I know it won’t be perfect. I know my breakfasts will burn and children will scream and my husband will be cross and I will be impatient. But beneath all that, I sincerely believe with all my heart that I have a beautiful life to live, and a rich legacy to build. And so I begin.