The house was new, suburban and freshly painted. It also came with a secret.
It was 2007 and we were happy to purchase a slice of the ‘burbs outside of Denver. The family was one girl-child strong, with another to join us the next year, although we didn’t know that then. Pre-children, I longed for creaking bungalows and weekend trips to IKEA. Post-kids, new carpet and the absence of lead paint was the new normal. We loved it.
So we moved into the beige and navy home on a block of new homes that finished off the neighborhood. Our house was not grand, but it had a simple sweetness and room for us to begin anew.
The house gave up its secret the second morning we awoke within its walls. Walking out onto the second-story landing around dawn, I stopped, looked and I think–although I can’t be sure–gasped. I was watching a glorious sunrise, dark sky colors mixed with insane bursts of orange, red and pink. Some yellow, purple and just a tad of something blue.
Without realizing it, we had purchased a home that faced east, toward the vast Colorado plains. Mountain views are what everyone wants here, and it was on our list of “nice to haves.” But the right house–the one with a great price tag, sweet bones and room for our growing family–did not have the sought-after views. It did face, east, however. And it offers up every clear morning an amazing front-row seat of God’s hello to the world.
Sometime last year, when Toddler One began to wake around dawn with me, I started pausing at the top of the stairs to say, “Good morning, God! Thanks for the sunrise!” Completely cheesy, yes, but just the act of stopping and thanking God for something so perfect, so star-spangled amazing has worked magic on me. And on her.
A few weeks ago, my devotion for the day was centered around Lamentations 3:20-23. The Message’s version is great:
I remember it all–oh, how well I remember–the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I should add that this house was prayed for. Hard. The finances, the searching, the down payment, everything to do with this house was a slog between me, the husband and God. Would there be enough? Could we find something affordable in this expensive part of the country with just the pennies of an artist and writer? I begged, “Where are you? I need you.”
We moved in, feeling blessed. And then I saw the housewarming present that the Creator of the Universe just happened to drop off.
His loyal love. His merciful love. New every morning.