Coming Home and Raking Leaves

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Last year, when Mom invited the kids and me over to rake leaves I struggled knowing that it would be the last time we’d rake leaves in the yard of my childhood home.  For the children, Grandma and Mac-Mac’s impending move was easy to forget in the fun and busyness of raking and playing that day, but on the drive home I remember trying to hide my own tears while I listened to the sobs from the backseat.

Shortly after our day of raking leaves Mom and Dad moved permanently several hours away, but discouragingly their home here in North Carolina waited and waited for the right buyer.  Meanwhile, our home was beginning to feel cramped for a family of 7.  We began watching the real estate market, knowing that realistically we’d need until at least late 2013 to make a move to a larger or more expensive home.

Though Rob and I secretly talked about how perfect a move to Mom and Dad’s house would be, we both knew that it was out of our reach in expense and timing.

It turns out that God had bigger, better plans for us than we ever dreamed.  In a surprise blessing, when my children jumped into a pile of leaves this week, my childhood home was now their home.  We get to buy Mom and Dad’s house thanks to the generosity of my parents and the amazing circumstances God placed before us.  

It’s still very hard having my parents several hours away.  All the fun things we used to do here with Grandma and Mac-Mac are bittersweet: raking leaves, playing in the driveway and riding bikes in the cul-de-sac.

Last year, we had several hopes and dreams.  Most of them concluded with closed doors where I expected open ones.  It was an exceptionally hard year for me.  I knew that God always has a plan, yet I couldn’t understand all the closed doors and disappointments we faced.  Now, with this move I see that several of those things led straight toward this move.  I have a renewed faith that God is working for our best even when I can’t see it.
God has given me blessing after blessing throughout my lifetime, but after a tough year it was easy to lose sight of those past answered prayers.  Repeated disappointment is tough. 

I serve meals to my family in the same kitchen that my mom cooked in; I tuck my girls into bed in the same room my parents tucked me into.  We have a flat fenced yard, space to spare and a schoolroom–all things I didn’t dare hope for.  And I have a renewed peace, knowing that God has a perfect plan for my family.  I pray that the next time we face setback and disappointment I will remember this perfectly planned and timed blessing while letting go of my worry and embracing trust and hope.  I had such a wonderful childhood in this home, though certainly it wasn’t the home, but the parents in the home, that made it exceptional.  Now, I look forward to watching my children grow here, where we are HOME!

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