The Villa


You know those days?  The ones where you wake up to grey skies, rain rolling down your window pane, and that “I am way too cozy to get out of bed!” feeling?

That was today.

There’s nothing more I want to do on days like today than curl up on my couch with a massive blanket, a stack of romantic comedies, and my fake fireplace roaring.

Yes.  That’s right. I have decorated for Christmas.  I LOVE Christmas. Making it never too soon to be putting up stockings, lights, wreaths and playing “All I want for Christmas is you.

And yes, I already put up my Christmas tree!!  There is something self-actualizing about owning your own Christmas decorations and being able to decorate your house for the “holidays.”  I feel very “grown-up” in a small way; don’t worry, I rarely act it. 😉

Marty thinks that my tree looks like something out of Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and I know it isn’t the most expensive tree in the world, or the most elaborately decorated, but it’s mine!! 🙂

Which reminds me of the question I’ve heard a lot over the past couple days: “Why don’t you marry Marty?”

I have to smile even as I type that because, honestly, someone would truly have to ask before you could even consider marrying them, right?  Usually you’ve been dating a while first too, no?

I get it, I get it, if he were to truly ask, why wouldn’t I?  Did I say I wouldn’t? Funny enough, part of our discussion about getting married involved my allergies to cats (he’d have to get rid of his), that he has used every last closet in the house he has now and so we would need to buy the Villa Maria; one of Lynchburg’s largest landmark homes.

Today he found out that The Villa is in foreclosure…

And as the rain drizzled on the windshield driving to work, I contemplated the discussions I’ve had on here over the past few days.  Through the public discourse and inbox dialogue, I’ve realized something; Disney may have successfully created their own brand of “love,” and I may have bought into that for most of my life, but the older I’ve gotten the more I recognize: there is no real formula for this.  There aren’t always knights in shining armor, riding white horses, rescuing the damsel in distress; and at the end of the day it is like most of you said in your comments: love is a choice.

Here’s my question, with all this discussion about prenups, what have you found to be your particular brand of love?

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9 thoughts on “The Villa

  1. do you remember a few years ago, when i was still living in Lynchburg and working at BB, and trying to sell my house on Harrison Street?
    my (little) sister had come up with a 5 year plan for me…. and step #1 was finishing my undergrad degree. i had been in college for 5 years by that point, but hadn’t finished any one program, because i changed my major and spent a whole year studying art as a non-degree seeking student, just so i could take whatever classes i wanted to take. i like the learning, but i’ve never been any good at succumbing to bureaucracy.
    anyway, the fastest and easiest way to get a degree was to go back to my hometown in Tennessee, and finish at the state school there. i owned a great house in Lynchburg that needed a lot of work done to it, and didn’t have any money to pay for school, so selling the house seemed like the only logical plan.
    i eventually found a buyer and had my school stuff all worked out…. i was meant to be starting classes in TN in a month or so when the buyer backed out at the last minute. i was devastated, as finding the buyer had taken a long time, and i was afraid that i would miss starting school that fall, and, alas, never fulfill my sister’s 5 year plan for me.
    i found this news out while i was bartending at BB, and i shared my sad news with some of my bar customers, who i adored. they knew a little about me, that i was an artist, and that i was ready to move on and do something new. i had NO IDEA that one of them was a real estate developer who had recently moved to Lynchburg and started buying properties, one of which was the Villa Maria.
    He offered to buy my house from me for the same price that the buyers who had just dropped out were going to pay. my house was lovely, but it wasn’t the kind of place that he was investing in. my place was definitely no Villa Maria. but he wanted me to finish school, because it was important to me. he offered to help me, right there at the bar. and the weirdest part is, he actually came through. he bought the house within 2 weeks of that conversation, and i went to Tennessee, lived with my little sister for a year, finished taking the classes that i HAD to take, and took some more that i wanted to take (like color theory, which totally changed the way i look at and make art).
    you know where the story went from there. it’s been awesome, and the trajectory of it was helped out greatly by the Villa Maria guy. he helped me out, just because he could. i think that’s a particularly fabulous kind of love.

    • Gibbs!! He is the one who bought your house!? I fully remember that entire saga, and even the moments when you were wondering if he was going to come through or it was just “bar-talk.”
      I think the best part is how close you and your sister are that she came up with a five year plan that she knew would be good enough for you to execute; and then you did!
      I didn’t realize you got to take art classes in TN; but you have a beautiful talent, I’ve always known that.
      I do think that is one of the most wonderful expressions of love: when someone helps you not because they want anything in return, but just because they can. Fabulous story.

    • Leah – I can appreciate your love of art. When I was a kid…I took painting lessons for years. I still paint from time-to-time, but it is such a compulsion…that I can’t stop. I could paint for days and get no sleep. It’s the only this I obesess about…

      Anyway, learning to paint opened my eyes. My teacher taught me to see beauty in everything. I learned that beauty and color abound in everything…and everywhere. Most of all…I learned to see the beauty in people…not in their physical features…but in their demeanor, in their character, in their lines, and figures…in order to capture their essence.

      What I am trying to say…love is not only in deeds…but the ability to see, and to appreciate the beauty in the imperfection…and to love it for what it is…and all that it encompasses. It’s the imperfections that make everything so unique, and what gives it character. Most importantly, you start to see God’s amazing handiwork, and realize the love he put into everything, and everyone.

      In summary, one must be taught to see the beauty in everything, and everyone. Only then can you see, and feel, God’s love…which is absolutely beautiful. Until that happens…most people will have a distorted view of love.

      Ok…now that I read this a second time…it sounds kind of cheesey…sorry!

      • No no, it wasn’t cheesy at all!! Thank you for taking the time to share that; and I agree, it’s not just in deeds! But that IS how some people show love: giving gifts (five love languages). 😉

  2. My “brand” of love is what I believe to be God’s own brand. If we look at the metastory that is history, we see that God has, sometimes gently and sometimes fiercely, romanced us, as humanity and as individuals, for all of time. He pursues us, captures us, and dotes upon us his love and blessings. Not because we deserve it, or even desire it, but if we will let Him, he will capture us and show us Love. Even if we do not, He still pursues us. This isn’t Disney’s creation. This is God’s mechanism for showing the world who He is and what He wants for us. Should our love for one another be anything different than what Love Himself has displayed for us. It isn’t Disney who created the concept of the shining knight riding in on a white horse, that was actually taken from scripture, because that is exactly what Jesus is going to do for us. He will ride in, killing his enemies that are assaulting his beloved, draw us unto himself, and we will live happily EVER after as Kings and Queens. Now, I’m not saying that every relationship that ends in marriage has to be some whirlwind romance and the guy has to be a smooth operator. I am not, and perhaps never will be a “smooth” operator. Sometimes the “Great Romance,” as Ted Dekker called it, is in the quiet moments of friendship. The moments of friends growing as one heart, one mind, one purpose. Because what is marriage, other than two people paths running parallel? God’s purposes for our lives running along the same route, and the growth of the ultimate friendship that comes as a result of miles traveled together in promised companionship. Hope this helps, Renee.

    • Haha, thank you Matt! Not necessarily looking for “help” but interested in input! I love hearing different peoples perspectives on different things; and you definitely highlighted what I consider to be the ultimate example of love. Disney just did a good job of creating the “romantic” idea of love I grew up dreaming about 😉

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