Thursday, March 31, 2011

The House that Built Me(for MamaKat's Writers Workshop)

Since I am a country music fan, the first thing this prompt made me think of was Miranda Lambert’s song of the same title.  As I thought on it this week, I came to some conclusions about the real house that built me.
In the song, the main character is returning to her childhood home where someone else now lives.  She gets permission to enter and walk through the house, a re-run of memories playing through her mind as she visits each room.
The song has touched me since the first time I heard it.
I guess with age I just get more and more emotional about the family I have and the love that they have always had for me.  The fact that, even when I didn’t want to believe it, I KNEW they only wanted the best for me because they loved me.   In addition, I know they had hard decisions to make as parents.  As a parent myself now, I grow to appreciate my parents, their love, and their sacrifices more everyday. I know now that the hardships we may have experienced as a family and any conflicts we had along the way, have only served to make me a stronger person and give us a stronger bond.
Unlike the singer/ songwriter, I can go back “HOME.” My parents built the house where I was raised and we moved into it when I was 3.  They still live there today with a few minor renovations. 
Also in the song, she talks about a brokenness in herself that needs healing and how she lost herself out in the world.  I think that’s true for all of us.  We all leave home at some point to make our own way.  For me it was leaving for college; knowing full well I would never be back to live in that tiny town permanently again.  It was by my design that I did not return.
Now don’t get me wrong, HOME is still only an hour away.  It’s one of those things like, “so close, but still so far.” Some days I wish home were “down the road a bit” instead of down the road an hour.  At times I wonder if I made a mistake not returning to the town I still think of as HOME.
Maybe. Maybe Not.
That brings me to my conclusions about the house that built me.  See, it wasn’t really a house that built me.  Just like a church isn’t a building; it’s the people and the spirit inside that make it matter.  The people living in the house that built me are what make me matter.
I am so blessed to have known boundaries and discipline.  It made me a better person and a better parent.
I am so grateful to have had parents that taught me to work hard for what I wanted and needed.  They rarely gave anything outright.  I worked part-time to pay insurance and gas on the car they allowed me to drive. I spent my entire 18 to 22 years at home without either a phone or a tv in my bedroom.
AND I’m SO GLAD.  What did I miss? What will my kids miss when I carry through on the same with them?  In this case, it may make my job as a parent a little harder, but for good cause J
I am so grateful that I grew up in a home where my parents kissed, hugged, held hands, said “I Love You,” and even argued in front of us.  I always knew where they stood- with each other and with us.  It showed me what I wanted in a husband and family.  It showed me the reality of a life-long commitment.  It showed me the bumps in the road.  There’s nothing worse than going into something like marriage with unfair and unrealistic expectations!
So the house that built me isn’t.  It isn’t the house- the bricks, the boards, the physical location of the place. If Mom and Dad moved tomorrow, wherever they went would be home.  They built me. They did a good job.  I may not be perfect, but who is?
I spent a lot of my life ”trying to figure out who I was supposed to be.” It feels a lot freer to simply accept that I’ve always been just that.  I know what I am not and unfortunately in life, we sometimes get close up examples of what we don’t want to be or become.  Life is so much easier when you just say, “this is who I am.  This is where I come from.  Yes, those are mistakes I made, but by golly, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without them.”  Thank you, God, for giving me parents who instilled such great qualities in me, but let me make my own mistakes.

"By the Grace of God I am what I am." 1 Cor 15:10 (NKJV)


  1. My husband is in the military & he occasionally has to remind me that "home" is where he, I, and the kids are...even though we have lived in too many homes to count.

    Lovely post!

  2. Hi, I found you through the Writers Workshop. I really like that you learned that a house is a home where your family is. I "followed" your blog :) and would love a visit from you - Mary @ Thanks!

  3. I loved your take on this. I don't really have a childhood home to go back to- my parents divorced and they've each purchased new houses since I left- but that feeling of "being home" still hits me as soon as I walk in...