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

2 thoughts on “Welcome Home”

  1. I love this! Change really does come in all shapes and sizes.

    You guys have always been so positive and adventurous when it came to the moves and transfers in your lives. You modeled for your children, and all those who knew you a solid trust in God to go before and after you.

    Your New Jersey home was beautiful and very welcoming to all that entered its doors. In fact, it was still charming when you removed all the signs of the vibrant family that lived there, but it lacked the warm hospitality that has always been your personal trademark.

    Pop and I felt so blessed to have the 7 of you in our home for those eleven months. We know it was one of the main reasons we were led to keep our home in Rock Hill at that time. All those bedrooms really did come in handy and it obviously was not yet the season for us to sell our home and move to Fort Mill.

    You being with us through all those months gave us a wonderful opportunity to bond with each of you in ways we did not know would be possible. We will cherish those special times and memories forever.

    I so love God’s timing. He really does work all things together for good when we let go and let Him work out His plan.

  2. I’m so thankful that you were ‘homeless’ at that time, and were in the south again at last, because a family in AL whose mom was having a cardiac implant put in, needed someone to ‘live’ in her home and help out with the five kiddos, and you were that rescuer for me!

    It indeed expanded your ministry, and we were the beneficiaries of that expanded ministry.

    So thankful for you friend!

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