During my 17 years as a high school teacher, I participated in many Homecoming celebrations. My students dressed up in crazy outfits (pajama day was my favorite) and waged epic field day battles in tug of war. Frankly, I found the whole experience to be exhausting, and relief always flooded my soul when it was over. The hours of preparation and the crazy student behavior wore me out, but my students always talk about that being their favorite part of high school. Sometimes, what causes me grief is the best choice to honor those I love and serve.
Recently, I experienced a different kind of Homecoming, an eternal welcome home. My husband and his siblings spent a great amount of time preparing for this event as their dear mom’s health declined ever so slowly. It was tiring, rewarding, and emotional. Their selflessness — it’s the legacy she left them. Each of them wears it so effortlessly.
Our sweet Miss BJ’s 82nd birthday would have been this past week. Three months after her passing, we gathered to celebrate her life in her absence. This year has held many secret treasures for my family that were wrapped up in suffering. I have learned once again that it so essential to be fully present with those that you love. Each crazy moment of life is a gift, not to be squandered.
Moms are home keepers. I certainly learned this from my mom in law’s life as she lived out what is recorded in Titus 2:5 (MSG): “By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” I miss her gentle spirit and her smile.
As I move into this new year, may my home and my heart be a welcoming place for those I love. May laughter fill its rooms and faith be its foundation. May I be grateful for each moment.