My loving husband surprised me with a plane ticket to Montana for my birthday this year. It had been almost four years since I had been home to Big Sky Country, and I had forgotten how much home means to me. “Home” means family, laughter, refreshment, encouragement, reminiscing, spiritual healing, and delight. And that’s exactly what my six days in Lewistown were this summer.
Conversations with my mom and sister lifted my struggling soul. Games and trips to the swimming pool with my nieces created moments of laughter and good memories. Seeing my father tethered to an oxygen tank and napping in a recliner reminded me of how our family will be changing in the next few years. Visually drinking in God’s creative beauty filled me with gratitude and awe again. And sleeping in on lazy mornings because I didn’t have to get my children breakfast refreshed my body.
But all of these elements of home got me thinking about my own home back in Ohio. Will my children return home with the same expectancy and joy that I do? Will they find home to be a place of laughter and good memories, refreshment and healing, encouragement and relaxation? Or will they be filled with apprehension and reluctance because it is a stressful domain with strained family relationships or unpleasant memories of tense hours in school with a martinet mother?
Oh, how I pray my children will always consider our house home. I hope that my outlook on life, daily demeanor, and efforts to spend time with them apart from school activities will help them know how much they are loved and wanted. I pray that they will always feel at ease coming home so they can be refreshed physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My desire is that the thought of “going home” will mean as much to them as it has meant to me every time I return to Montana.
“Home” should be one of the sweetest words in the English language. May it be so in my family, by God’s grace!