Home Again, Home Again.

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.

For you.

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,


6 thoughts on “Home Again, Home Again.

  1. I like your comparison to this and birth. It is very much a part of the process we call life. We either try to run, hide, and whine or we embrace it, make the most of it, and come out the other side better for it.

    Our Christmas was a good one. Every other year now we stay in Uganda and celebrate with other missionaries and a hand full of close friends. It is never the same as the years we are in the states with those we love and know so well and dearly. It is a different holiday, and somehow it makes the times we are in the states that much more special. I think you probably understand that. It is a simple holiday here. A fake tree trimmed with what was available, but it is pretty. Fewer lights, but a four foot lighted cross Gabe and I built out of sticks and strung with some solar lights brought from Big Lots. Still lots of laughter, love, and most of all Jesus.

    Blessings my dear friend. And a merry Christmas whenever it happens at your house.
    Love from the Bandelmans

    • That sounds wonderful to me! I love trying to keep things simple, so we can focus on what really matters. 🙂 Love you!

  2. My Christmas:

    My husband and I agreed to spend the holiday 500 miles apart, as his dad is failing fast (you know) and we have baby chicks to tend, here. So we had a one-foot snowfall, beautiful, quiet, peaceful, etc., but with electricity threatening to stop, the chickies 50 yards from the house, and me with no snowboots, it was humorous.

    And now he is threading his way back home through 500 miles of snow. At least he has all-wheel-drive and a gps inside his brain.

    Since few knew of our plans to be apart, I spent the time quietly, something i love doing, but somehow, self-pity reared its ugly head. I jumped on it and am fine, now, but amazing what kind of grenade the enemy can throw in when least expected.

    So happy to hear happy, friend-filled things from you. 🙂

  3. Welcom home Tiffany. It’s so great to see pics of you and your family. You’ve been in my prayers. You and Levi are such good parents. Your kids are obviously very loved!! You have a way of making the best of everyday and you humbly and graciously give all praise to our LORD!!
    My Christmas was very peaceful. We helped to serve the homeless on Christmas day and spent a nice quiet evening eating a Turkey dinner and watching the basketball games and movies on TV.
    Now it’s back to work for me. It’s not easy once you’ve taken a little time off.
    So, when are you planning to return to work?

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