Does Home Size Equal Success?

Homeownership is the American Dream, and for good reason!  Owning your own “Piece of the Pie,” means it’s yours, and comes with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities attached to it.  Among those rights are privacy, security, and the right to live peacefully in your home.

Another American Dream — more like a nightmare — slinks in through the cracks too: “Keeping Up With The Jones’.”  I think that unless they have the exact same history, current situation, and future goals, keeping up with anybody is stupid.  Lay out YOUR dream, and don’t worry if your house is bigger, your watch is more expensive, or your car is newer.  Be happy! Love your loved ones! Do well AND do good!

Did I Mention We’re A Dog Family?

We love dogs.  Okay, my wife Karen, and our daughter Alissa, have always had a cat too, but notice I say *they* had cats.  They have loved their cats, so ok: the cats get an honorable mention. Together though, our family is a dog family.

(Secretly, it’s because cats tolerate their owners, while dogs love them!)

Apparently, we’re not alone in loving our pets.  Take a look:

Community Matters

It should be no surprise that people care more for their home communities than other communities outside their home areas. (Political note here: why do you think they have to BUS in rioters to trash neighborhoods?? Because Don the liquor store owner knows Jane the stationery store owner who knows Sandy who works down at Vons.  None of them want to trash each other’s neighborhood because it’s ALL OF THEIRS!  End of political rant.)

The big news here isn’t that people love their home communities more than other communities.  The news here is that people love their communities!!

Uh, Der!

And the percentages are huge — when somebody has their home in an area, (and these numbers reflect home owners and renters,) they tend to care more for that area, and want to pitch in.  Here are the numbers:

Gratitude Attitude

Our daughter Alissa is flying in this week.  I was going to write, “flying home,” but she and her husband Andrew have their home in Utah, close to his domicile airport in SLC as a pilot.  They always have a bedroom available to come visit, but that’s what it is: a visit. We helped our son Christopher move out of his dorm for the summer, between his sophomore and junior years — where does time go!!??  He’s home for a bit before moving in with some roommates in the OC, where his church is, his work is, where he’ll be interning this summer, and closer to Disneyland. (just threw that last one in there.)  His bedroom at home is still home while he’s at college, (IRS, if you’re monitoring, that’s a fact,) but soon he’ll be moving on too.

For Karen and I, everything is about Family.  We love each other (good thing too, after over 28 years of marriage!) We love our kids.  Even though they’re adults they let us still call them our kids.  Hmmm,  I’m a grown up, and I love that God calls me His child, so that’s a good pattern I guess.

Anyway, with a career as long as mine has been so far, and the width and breadth of what we’ve been privileged to experience, we’ve got a ton that we’re grateful for.  It’s about priorities, and recognizing what’s in our hands right now.

Baum wrote, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”  I heard that quoted by Judy Garland’s Dorothy Gayle several years before I actually read the novel — which, not unlike most good books is much better than even an epic like this movie — and the phrase still leaves much to correct.

First, what you have in your backyard was either put there by YOU, by your enemy while you weren’t looking, or by God.  That last one counts as pennies from heaven, the second one is just a fact of life that keeps us diligent about weeding our own gardens, but that first one is the whopper.  The fruit you and I have growing in our own back yards is probably more about what we’ve *sown* in our back yards than anything else.  And if “…it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with,” takes some responsibility away from the real source: ME.

That’s how I feel about my back yard when it comes to Karen and me, and our two grown children.  We love them, and love spending time with them.  But they actually love us too, and love spending time with us!  How much is that worth?  Immeasurably huge!  So we’re grateful for family.  And grateful to God for encouraging it.  And diligent to pull out the weeds our enemy tries to put into our family.

After all, there really is no place like home.