Making a House a Home

My sentimental side sometimes gets the best of me and lately it has been a battle.

When we put the for sale sign in the yard, exactly 5 years from the day that we moved in, my mind flooded with memories and my eyes filled with tears. I want to sell our home, I want to move on, I really feel like we are going after a dream and there will be no regrets. But the emotional connections we have to this home are strong and the memories here will never be forgotten. Since this dates back to my pre blogging days, I wanted to tell the story of how we made this house our home.

It all started with a boy and a girl who lived in a tiny house with two tiny children. We wanted to upgrade to a bigger home but we knew doing that would mean that I had to keep working a full-time job so we decided to stay in our under 1,000 sq ft home so I could be home with our girls.

Fast forward 3 months and 1 day later…

On May 22nd 2011 the unthinkable happened. Our city was split in two by a mile wide F-5 tornado, leaving us and 1/3 of our city homeless. In less than 10 minutes our entire world was flipped upside down. In the coming weeks and months we were left with so much to figure out. The only thing we felt sure of is that we wanted to help rebuild our city.

We tore down our home, purchased the lot next door to ours, and began dreaming. We dreamed and dreamed for months. We even found a photo of a home that we loved which ended up being the inspiration for the exterior of our home. Nearly 7 months later we finally began construction.

By the end of January, 2012 we had a dried in home and the construction moved on.

We picked paint color after paint color, flooring, tile, you name it. The process was fun, but exhausting.

I covered the door frames of our homes with scriptures that spoke to us during the super emotional time that followed the tornado.

Finally on April 26th, 11 months and 4 days later, we returned home. Moving couldn’t have been easier. With just a crib, a dresser, and some mattresses on the floor, it only took an hour. We had borrowed some things after the tornado but knowing we wanted to replace them we decided not to move them with us.

It was truly a new beginning for our family.

When I think about this house I will always and forever think about the goodness of God in our life, no matter where our home is.

I will think about a home that we never dreamed would be ours. I will think about the people who walked with us through such a dark season. And, I will think about God exceedingly and abundantly providing for us. The road to get to this photo was long, hard, and broken. But He used something so terrible to do so much good in our lives.

If I could go back and do it all over again,
I wouldn’t change a thing.

Sharing the story of how we made our house, our home. #homesweethome Click To Tweet
  • And now I’m crying all tears. I can’t even imagine how emotional this must be for you friend. Your faith is inspirational 🙂 Sending you a big internet hug

    • Oh I can almost feel that great big hug friend. Thank you so much for your sweet words.

  • Oh what a beautiful story. and such strong, sweet spirits. I would be crying all the tears now too to leave your beautiful house. XOXO

    • It definitely makes it more emotional but I know this home will continue being a blessing to the right family.

  • Jessica

    What a story Beth!! The photos after the tornado brings tears to my eyes. Thank God you were all okay. Such a beautiful home you built and the next one will be too with just as many happy memories.

    • Yes & Amen! I can’t wait to start making those memories at the next home. I keep telling Myself Marissa will live there for almost half of her years at home. We can make A LOT of memories over the next 9 years.

  • Lizzie Simantz

    Reading this gave me chills Beth! I had no idea you were affected by a tornado, I’m so sorry! Obviously things all worked out, but still, that is crazy! Look at tiny the girls were! So glad you were able to build this home and now it will be someone else’s forever home!

    • It isn’t something I talk a lot about, but yeah. It is one of those things that you think only happens to people on TV and then there it is, the worst tornado in decades and it has ripped your city apart. So surreal. I pray that this home is a huge blessing to someone soon.

  • OMG. I had chills while reading this! Did you ever blog about the experience? I would so like to read more about it – especially since you had two littles with you when the weather hit. I would be an absolute emotional wreck if this were me, but ya’ll know you’re being led elsewhere. 🙂

  • So emotional! I can’t imagine being left with nothing at all. I’m so glad you were physically safe and able to rebuild afterwards.

  • Heather Bramlett

    WOW! I have tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience with us!
    The girls were so little!

    • They were SO little. The day before the tornado Emily had just turned 3 months old!!! and Marissa wasn’t even 3 yet.

  • WOW! This story is so touching. Thank you for sharing such a piece of your heart. I am so glad you are all safe, but it would be such a hard home to leave.

    • We have definitely made some memories and a piece of our heart will always be here. I am just praying this home is a blessing to the next family too.

  • Oh my goodness. I just found your blog, and wow…this story is so very powerful. I don’t know how I, as a fellow mama, could have moved on after something so powerfully destructive. You did so with such grace though! Well done <3

    • Thank you so very much. I couldn’t have done it without so much love and support because if I am being honest, I did not want to.

  • <3 Love the scriptures in the doorways. What a beautiful home.

  • I love that you put the scriptures in the doorways, so perfect. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to follow your new journey…

    • Thank you so much friend. Now to sell this place so that journey can begin!

  • Beth, Beth, Beth. I have tears reading this. I still can’t believe that you guys were in there when that happened. Your guardian angels were with you that day, for sure. And I love that you covered the frame of the new home with different scriptures. The next family who lives there is going to be so blessed to live in a home with such meaning.

    • Oh that is my hope and prayer friend. This home has been so good to us, I know it will be a great home for the next family too.

  • Erin

    So SO sweet. I love that you put scriptures in your home, I wonder if I can still find somewhere in my house to do the same… I absolutely love that idea! Houses carry so many memories, even when you’re ready to move on, its always a little bittersweet!

    • I hope you can friend. It was one of my favorite things to do. I can’t wait to do it again when we build again, OY! We are definitely feeling the bittersweet over here.

  • Aw, I loved reading this and can’t imagine what you guys went through. Love the scripture on the frames. Also- why don’t you build basements? Random question.

    • It isn’t super common around here. Especially on lots that aren’t considered “basement lots” My husband definitely thought about it though.

      Thanks friend.

  • Whitney Jordan

    Wow! Those pictures of your first home after the tornado took my breath away. I cannot imagine what you guys went through. What an amazing journey your family has been on with your current property. Such a special time in your lives. I love that you have scripture hidden in the walls of your home. What a treasure. I can’t wait to see the new story of your new land unfold for your family. Many blessings to you!!

    • Thank you so much Whitney. It was definitely an unexpected journey and a story we never expected to be ours but it is so good to look back and see the hand of God working in our favor through the whole thing.

  • Oh Beth, I’m in tears walking through this with you. I am thanking and praising God that you all were okay! I know we’ve talked about the tornado before, but I don’t think I’ve ever asked questions. Were you guys at home with the tornado hit? Were any of you injured? Where did you guys live after and before your house was built? I love that you wrote scriptures on the door frames of the house. That is an awesome idea! I know this home has such special meaning for you all, but I also know that God has many new adventures ahead of you guys. Your new shouse will quickly become your new home and you guys are going to make the best memories there! Sending you great big hugs, friend!

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words. I haven’t ever really talked about our personal story, just how I have dealt with it all. I think I might do that on the upcoming 6 year anniversary. For a long time I didn’t feel like it was something I wanted to write about, but I think I am ready now… and I am already crying just typing that much.

      I can’t wait to start new memories in our new home. I know this house will be so good to someone. We are praying for them already.

  • Sniff. Sniff. This is such a lovely post. Thank you my friend for opening up and sharing stories like this. A crib and a borrowed mattress…Love you lady and thanks for being such a message and source of good!

    • Oh Jen! You always leave me smiling. Thanks for your sweet words.

  • I am so excited to see what the next chapter in home ownership has in store for you. While this home will always hold a special place in your hearts, I know that your new place is going to bring with it a ton of joy and happiness.

    • I freaking can not wait friend. I am reluctantly starting to finally get really excited.