This post was originally published on August 22, 2012:
It was one of those date nights where you think it’s normal and predictable, but I was soon to learn otherwise. Tom and I had decided to watch a movie at home, something we rarely do on date nights because of the lack of conversation. But this movie sounded like it would be worth it.
The Family Man was the movie starring Nicolas Cage and Tia Leoni.
The story tells of man who had a woulda coulda shoulda moment and the lesson he learned in the process. I won’t spoil the story for you if you haven’t seen it and would like to. But there was one line “Kate” said that affected me deeply.
You see, at the time, Tom and I had lived in our home for nearly a decade. Our three children were in their teens and our house seemed much smaller than it did when we first bought it.
Tom was considering a move.
I was hoping for an addition.
Painting of our home – a gift from Tom’s Dad.
We live in a neighborhood surrounded by long-time friends, many of whom go to the same church we do. We do life together, and our memories are precious. I am the sentimental one in our marriage. I tend to cling tightly to people I love and the memories I hold dear. This is not necessarily a good thing. God is teaching me along with Tom’s help the importance of holding all things loosely and leaving God to decided what He will give and what He will take away. It isn’t easy, but peace always follows when I am willing to surrender to His will for my life.
Oh my, that was a rabbit trail. Sorry. I pray it was for someone who needed to be encouraged by my current challenge. Anyway, back to the movie. I was trying to follow Tom’s lead in the decision, but I was afraid he would choose for us to move. It was an emotionally charged season for me, for us.
I have heard it said that the reason movies or books resonate with us and maybe not others is because of the touchstones in the story. We all have them. Something is said or shown that triggers a special memory from your own life and suddenly you’re drawn into the story as if you were the main character. It’s happened to me countless times, this being one of them.
Kate, the female lead in the story was struggling to follow her husband’s lead in a decision as to where they would live. (See the touchstone? I was riveted!) Below is what she said:
You know, I think about the decision you made. Maybe I was being naive, but I believed that we would grow old together in this house, that we’d spend holidays here and have our grandchildren come visit us here. I had this image of us all gray and wrinkly, and me working in the garden, and you repainting the deck. But things change. If you need this, Jack, if you really need this, I will take these kids from a life they love, and I’ll take myself from the only home we’ve ever shared together and I’ll move wherever you need to go. I’ll do that because I love you. I love you, and that’s more important to me than our address. I choose us.
This link will allow you to see the scene from the movie–it’s a powerful demonstration of what marriage is meant to be, and we encourage you to take a moment to watch it.
I’m crying again just remembering it all. God spoke to me in that moment saying I could follow Tom anywhere because this was more important than my hopes and dreams for the future. I chose us!
And Tom was affected in a similar way. He ended up choosing for us to stay here in our home adding on some much needed space. This is the place where I can work in the garden and he can pressure wash our back deck and where we are welcoming our kids and grandkids into our home as often as they wish to come. <3
There is one special place in our family room that I insisted be built for the grandchildren we didn’t yet have. It is a padded window seat surrounded by fluffy pillows and all my favorite childhood books. I knew one day, if God so allowed, we would have grandchildren who would love this little spot in our cozy home.
Willow enjoying my window seat with Pooh
Now 9 years later, we have 5 grandchildren, and my dream has come true. They love their little corner built for them years before their parents were even married. Isn’t God good the way He leads us to the plan He has for us? Had we moved, I know God would have given me lots of memories in our new place. But I am grateful for the twenty years we’ve called this house our home. And today, TODAY, my newest granddaughter, Stella Grace will come to our house for the first time in her two months of life. This Nana is very excited to show her my window seat. :-)
What memories do you have of your home? Have you ever been affected by the touchstones in a movie or book as well? How did it help you or encourage you?
Update as of August 22, 2014: This post was published 2 years ago almost to the day, and we have added two more grandchildren to the mix: Vito and Brielle. In addition, our son has moved with his family to Tennessee. The touchstones in this post are ironic–and God knew I needed this reminder as my life doesn’t look anything like I had expected it would. But God knew, and He is good.