We have been home for about three days now, and today is the start of day four. I have barely stopped moving since we got home. Levi made sure I came home to a house that was at least picked up, so it was easy for me to focus on unloading, unpacking, and settling back in. All I have left to do in that regard is put the school room back in order. We put that off so that we could try and hunt down at least a small Christmas tree for the kids, and put together the gifts they got from Gramma & Papa.
We came home to a pile of food, a handful of practical gift cards, and a pretty vase of flowers from a group of my friends, who wanted to minister to our family. So, we didn’t have to go grocery shopping or really even cook much these first few days home. I cannot tell you what a blessing that has been! There aren’t words for that level of kindness!
We timed our trip home so that we could have a couple of days together as a family before Levi had to go to work on Christmas. (He took Thanksgiving off, so he had to work Christmas – everyone at his job basically has to choose one holiday or the other to work.) Since we had no idea until the last minute when we would be able to be home again, we didn’t buy gifts from us to our kids yet, and are hoping to get those taken care of this week, and celebrate a little Christmas on New Year’s weekend. We’ll see how that pans out, though.
My mom and sisters made it through Christmas alive, cared for, and feeling loved. I can’t say any of us were truly happy on Christmas, as it all felt kind of empty this year. Still, God showed himself faithful, and all of us found ourselves surrounded by loved ones who wanted nothing more than to care for us and hold us up through the day. It’s amazing what friends and family can do for a grieving heart. There is nothing that can take away the pain of loss, but Love is a very effective comfort.
Once again, I find myself comparing all this to labor and birth (I can’t help myself). We are all in a Valley, not of our own making, and there is no way for us to go over, under, or around it. We must walk through it, each in our own way and in our own time. Like a woman in labor, no one else can do it for us. No one else can grieve in our place. It is not a load they can carry. Still, they can hold our hands and walk with us. They do this by helping to carry more practical considerations for us. So many loved ones have stepped up and proven themselves faithful through this time, and made the other, lighter burdens easier for us to carry. They have been our doulas. We thank God for every one of those loved ones.
In the meantime, I’m taking things day by day. Being four states away from Home again is not exactly easy, but it is where God has called me to be for now. So, I will continue to nourish the relationships I have back home in the best way I know how: By constantly harassing them with texts and calls and never leaving them alone! I will also continue to nourish and strengthen my roots here, for this is where I have been planted, by God’s will.
I will just keep walking. One step at a time.
Tell me about your Christmas! How was it for you? What was the best part of the whole thing?
Grace & Peace,