Right now she's playing with her stuffed animals and the boys are sleeping soundly. A warm forehead and stuffy noses have made for a peaceful afternoon and I'm listening to Keith Urban's new album. Peace comes where she's welcome. She is welcomed here with tiny arms and my deeply desperate heart.
My fingers often graze her forehead and remind me of the warmth that comes from her growing spirit. His dirty fingers wrap around my legs and leave marks from breakfast and brown dirt from the backyard. He limps from growing pains and I rub his back while he snuggles on my chest. "Will you scratch my back, Mama?" I grieve for an instant that one day he'll stop asking but for now, I am elated at his deep need for me. Their deep need for me is something that I carry with all my heart and it often brings me to a kind of prayer that quakes mountains.
The air in our home quietly whispers their need for the four walls that provide their shelter, contain their breath, and witness their extraordinary. There is nothing common about our children because they were created to change the world. But first they need their home, they need healthy & developed roots, and they need inner peace.
The keys hang by the door, sometimes for days, and we reach to the back of the pantry for tonight's dinner. Pillow forts take over two rooms because the afternoons are still heavy with warmth. The pace is driven by whatever they need in the moment, not by my errands or social visits with grownups. Loneliness cannot survive here because they are surrounded by the best and deepest kind of love. I find my need for conversation and relationship met by ever-present and always-helping Jesus.
Tempting this way of life are my selfish heart and long-forgotten priorities. It's only a thief who robs my children of their childhood and their home and I'm convicted to my core when it's me who opens the door. So I set my eyes on the vision of a home where my husband will flourish and where my children will thrive. There I can be fulfilled and satisfied and find genuine joy. I stop chasing race car pace and drive-through lines and buckle-unbuckle and "everyone in this town needs me but the three in my backseat."
The markers are easily identified, mostly by my poor planning and credit card statement. So many cheeseburgers and Sprites, stops at the gas station for yet another fill-up, and other random wasting of money. I cringe at the thought of not honoring his paycheck.
I'm not driven by shame towards this future; I'm driven by hope. Hope for contentment in the simplicity and a sense of identity in the beauty of family. Hope that my home holds the honor of refining my character and provides a haven when the world is cruel. Hope that my children get to witness the bettering of my skills, love, and vulnerability through the very tangible gift of nearness.
Are you ready to come home?