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When I was a young mom, I would have in home parties. These parties were inviting friends to your home and having them buy products and you would win or earn points and merchandise. One of my favorite one was Home Interior. We would learn how to group our pictures in a way that created a home design for our walls. All of my guest would purchase something to bring home to decorate their walls with. We were told that the one wall in your home that needed to be decorated, was the wall that people could see if they walked by your house and looked into your window, or the wall that when people walked into your home, and they saw first. It really didn't matter the other walls in your home but, those two walls defined your decorating skills.

Whenever I go for walks or even pass someone's house, I look into the windows to see their wall. I judge that home by that wall that I see through the window. But what happens if I judge that home wrongly?  What if that was the only wall that was even decorated? What if this home went to the same kind of parties I did and only did that wall, and every other wall was plain?  What if this pretty wall was hiding from the truth of what was really going on in their life, and I am judging the book by the cover and not the story? Maybe, the pain and the secrets are covered up and that wall just keeps the secrets that are hidden within the four walls of that home?

Sometime the window gives us a sneak peek into someone life. I have seen pictures of children on the wall. When I walked by, I would also see elderly people in the window and realize those pictures are old enough to be their own children that probably have gone and went to start their own families. The parents are left with the memories and the pictures on the wall of time past and memories of old. I am sure they see those pictures through the stories that were told and made throughout their lives while parenting their children. Those pictures are the only thing they have left and if they take them down, they will only see the fading of their lives as the sun has change the color of their wall. They keep them up not only for the memories but, for the sorrow that life had changed right before their eyes, never to go back to those moments only in memory.

I have walked past houses that have foil on the window. This has been in the South. I have been told that it is for heat and to keep the house cool. But it also makes the whole house so dark that you can't see in front of you. Makes me also think what happens in the darkness. What kind of secrets are hidden behind those windows? They keep out the sunshine and always live in the darkness of past secrets. Who suffered in the darkness. What else is being hidden behind that foil? Do people even care to ask the question as they walk by the foiled window? Are we so caught up in our own lives that we just dismiss the darkness? Secrets are kept in the dark and a person feels like they have nowhere to go. Not every foiled window is because they want to keep the house cool, some our covered up to keep the darkness in and the secrets under wrap. Those windows need the Sun. They need the warmth of safety.

I have walked past some windows, and they have nothing on their wall. I have wondered why they didn't take the time to decorate their wall? it's not like it takes much. But what happens when they don't have much? What if life has handed them a tough deal and they have nothing left to give, and their wall represents exhaustion from life. Maybe the empty wall is an emptiness that they have in their life, a loss that they can't get up to even breathe let alone find the happiness to fill their wall with moments and things that make them happy. The window I look into and see nothing, maybe I am really seeing something. I home with a story.  Maybe I am really seeing the story unfold with the empty wall? Not everyone has the means to fill a wall for me, as I walk by and judge the house with just that wall. Maybe the other walls are filled but, they just didn't want the show us because they are working through some stuff and that empty wall is their journey, and one day it will be full of a story that they made it through.

When My children were young, I felt convicted of making sure our lives were pure for the time Christ would be coming back. I wanted our home to be prepared for his coming and if he was walking the streets, he could look into our window. He would see a family that was serving him. I had to keep so many secrets when My ex lived with us because he was abusive to me. he spoke harsh and deeming to me and would spit in my face, destroy my things, and hit me if none of that worked. So, when he left, I took the curtains down in my front window.  It was my declaration" That for me and my House we would serve Jesus". to others it was goofy but, to me it was freedom. I felt like I needed the accountability with the window curtains off. My home wasn't a haven for so many years, it was a place where I was drowning in so many promises not kept and love that wasn't given to me because I was just a disgrace to my ex-husband. So, when the curtains came off it was like spring cleaning, out with the old and in with the new. My window wall represented me with a Mirror on my wall that all could see. It was my reflection of me becoming whole again. The brokenness that was in my home, now had hope and I needed all to see into my window, so that I knew I wasn't walking alone anymore. But that people were now looking into a home that I had always wanted it to be.

When I walk through neighborhoods and look into people's windows. I now see stories. Some of the stories I see maybe some stories I come up with. but other stories are really happening behind closed doors. Every home has a story and a rhythm on how they survive and thrive. There are some windows that I look into and wish I was part of their family. There are others that I now stop and pray, and wonder will they survive what happens behind closed doors? Some windows I see I laugh and know that would be a fun home to live in, others I am glad that's not my window. Each one of us have had a window, we grew up inside where A window was always present. none of us had a life that hasn't been exposed in some way. the wall that people saw tells a story but, was it the real story?  Did we have another version of our life that we didn't share with the people looking in? Were we safe with those who were looking in, did we think we could tell them what they didn't see? Windows are a way to share, is it your turn to uncover the window and decorate your wall with the truth? This is a safe place. Maybe you have a story that others need to hear, Let's take down the curtain. It's your time not to be afraid of the windows.


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Absolutely loved your story Bambi, As you can see, it made me think and remember!

Jackie Strickland

Curtains: Privacy because I lived jammed up to another house with windows. And other times, privacy and for solitude which I enjoyed. Yes, curtains to keep out the sun inside a house with no air conditioning in 100 degree weather in South Georgia. Closed in Winter — usually on wet, cold and gloomy days. Curtains, shades, blinds… could be closed for months on end if I was in a deep, major depression. Inside there was only a dark hole to see; a cave; an under ground mine shaft; pictures leaning lopsidedly on the walls; the mirror cracked with jagged pieces dropped on the back of a stained and sagging sofa. BUT…many times behind closed windows there were happy and joyful times. I poured out my love on my children and took delight in them; even on the dark days. They lit up my insides. Closed windows: hoping no one would know I was home, parking behind my house, taking the phone off the hook, barring the door…because I was writing a book! Closed windows: snug inside the arms of my lover! I wouldn’t have minded anyone, ever, seeing my walls! They were covered with my paintings, artistically and professionally hung. Big pictures hanging alone, small groupings/collage. Sometimes you might see hanging: a big gaudy necklace of turquoise and silver, or a handmade papier mache’ fish, or an intricately hand carved wooden bowl, or a piece of hand made pottery or a woven basket. And then there were my thrift/junk store REAL treasures which had been inappropriately priced way too low! And I always have a large collage of family photos. My walls were my happy place where my creativity glowed. Many, many times I invited people to my home. I opened my windows, and doors for parties, art therapy workshops and weekend ‘paint-ins’ with several friends, all day crafting, too. My doors were opened to my art studio where I taught children and adults for 45 years. I was healed of depression seven years ago and all my blinds are open all day! Ya’ll come on over now, ya hear!

Jackie Strickland

I really enjoyed reading this story. Curtains are such a string metaphor for life; what we need to be seen and what we hide. Thank you for sharing.


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