Welcome Home

Welcome Home

The tagline on my email signature reads, “Embrace Change-it expands your purpose, which broadens your perspective, and illuminates your path.” These words are much more than a creative tagline for my email, they’re my life!

After 20 + years of climbing proverbial ladders and transferring up and down the east coast, my husband and I decided to embrace yet one more change, a move back home. After all, we didn’t want any of our children growing up and deciding to stay in one of those far away states we had only temporarily populated.

First, we had a house to sell so we made all of the necessary repairs and improvements, those things we never got around to finishing and enjoying for ourselves. Seriously!

Next, we removed anything and everything that was reminiscent of the family who actually lived there (MINE) in order to stage an illusion,

“Welcome Home Family, this is your Perfect House” (NOT MINE).

Finally, when the house was staged and ready to go on the market we realized we really needed to take our family out of the mix. That perfect house was no longer a welcoming place for us to live so we packed up and traveled south where we indeed were welcomed home with open arms.

The plan was to stay with my parents for the summer while searching for a new house and waiting for the other to sell, but when the “Welcome Home … Perfect House” didn’t sell by end of summer, moving back home took on an entire new meaning.

We were feeling the impact of:

living fatherless,

living husbandless,

living homeless.

None of us had expected our visit to linger so long, eleven months to be exact. When my parents had graciously said, “welcome home,” they didn’t limit us, they waited out the season with us and it all worked out.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (KJV)

During this time my mom and I had the privilege of ministering together,

My Pop recognized that my boys were missing their daddy and he began to fill their days with childhood stories as they studied history; homework help as they studied math and lunches when I needed a break.

My Dad took us to many breakfasts and we got to know him better than ever before.

A special bond formed between my grandmother and me,

and then between my grandmother and my younger boys.

My oldest son dated the girl of his dreams, now his wife,

and my daughter finished her degree.

And the list goes on and on… all treasured experiences and relationships distance had never before allowed.

We left the northeast in order to create an illusion, “Welcome Home … this is your Perfect House” for potential buyers. Ironically, the longer the inauthentic illusion remained on the market, the more we experienced an authentic “welcome home,” hospitality of another kind. It was an experience that trained our hearts and expanded our perspective.

Fast forward six years. The older two children are now grown and flown. But they too wanted to return home, and they came, and they lingered while looking for a new house.

Guess who got to expand her purpose when she uttered those familiar words, “welcome home?”

Guess who got to wait out a season of life together because her perspective had been broadened?

My previous experience illuminated my future path.

There’s another place where we’ll hear “welcome home” one day, but it’s not a temporary place or even a season of life to wait out together, it’s eternity.

And God… well, He’s still working all of our things together for good until that day when we’ll hear, “Welcome Home” one last time.

For now, “Embrace Change-it expands your purpose, which broadens your perspective, and illuminates your path.” Lora Leftwich

Fallow Ground

The first time I saw the quaint little 10 x 10 space off of my bedroom I immediately envisioned it as a special place where I would retreat to each morning and record my deepest thoughts, a place to pray my family through life’s most thrilling and difficult times and a place where I could write and grow in the grace and knowledge of my Heavenly Father.

So stunning it was with its soft blue-green walls, large picture windows and built-in bookcases that I was already imagining myself propped behind an exquisite ivory antique writing desk (my grandmother’s drop leaf table table that I would paint) listening to children’s voices through open windows as they played in the backyard below me.

In the opposite corner would be my prayer chair, a creamy white leather tufted slipper chair where I would wrestle to resolve my very purpose and existence. It was like the promised land, a place and a promise and it was mine for the taking.

But… Moving day came and went. I was consumed with unpacking boxes and settling into our new home, planning a graduation party and charting out a new school year. Somewhere in the midst of our first summer my perfect little room was repurposed. First it became a place to stash unclaimed items, and then it became my husband’s home office, and finally a messy little storage room. Over time, the idea of cleaning out the remnants of each became too overwhelming to begin again. Simply put my little room became my fallow ground.

Like me, the nation of Israel also had something wonderful laid out before them, it was THE promised land.

But~ They became so overwhelmed with the cares of this world that they neglected their blessing altogether and they repurposed both their promise and their land,Oh my!

Hosea reminded them how they could have gotten back on track, Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 (NKJV)

Fallow Ground is the uncultivated, unplanted, unsown and seedless places in life. Sometimes it’s a place like my quaint little unclaimed writing space.

Other times it’s a person such as the friend whom I haven’t reached out to for months, or has it been years?

Most often it’s a calling we set aside when life became too busy, when our plans changed or when we decided to run after something else instead.

Whatever the scenario, God reminds us break up our fallow ground while we have both time and opportunity. I do not wish be so caught up in the cares of the world that I miss being caught up in the cares of God  so guess what I’m doing? I’m grabbing a shovel and digging in to break up fallow ground.

I have a place and I’m taking hold of it.

I have a people and I’m pursuing them.

I have a calling and I’m running after it.

How about you?