Playdates with God: Home

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Every day becomes a thousand questions: Did we make the right choice? Will he be happy? Do we have everything he will need? Only living into the days will tell and so I read the Psalms, hold prayers on my lips, and practice trust. I stand in the middle of the yard at two a.m. and watch for falling stars. It is cliché to say that in the darkest part of night the light kindles to flame. But I have found this true, and we watch time ignite in his face with each passing day.

Only five more days until we drive Teddy off for his first year of college.

I keep trying to add weight to the moments, look for special things to do each day. His father and I announce with misty eyes, “this is the last time we will … together before you leave us.” And he smiles that slow smile of his and says, no, we don’t need to go to the state fair today. Why drive two and half hours when home is the best place? He treasures the ordinary moment—the feel of his bed in the morning, a door that closes, soft pelt of fur on Bon’s back.

I remember once, when Teddy was two, we returned home from a family vacation at the beach. Already his mind was bigger than his vocabulary. After the car was unpacked and the suitcases stacked in the kitchen, the little man walked into our living room and stood in the center of that place where most of our life is lived. He ran over to me and took my hand. “Mommy,” he said, face shining. “Our house is boo-ti-ful.”

This boy rarely leaves home and we will leave him so many miles from it in just a few days. We are drifting into a new season and I can’t steer the ship. Best to enjoy the scenery as we glide by.

Last night I finished Amber Haines’s new book Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home. Amber’s has been one of my favorite voices for a long time and this book is her love story—a story of diving into love and bruising the knees and getting back up to take love’s hand again. I turned down the corner on page 143 because of this:

… my striving against sadness had driven me to despair. In those days of gaining traction and of remembering my gifts, I remembered the gift of suffering, of sharing in it with Christ, and how I was actually made to live close to sadness, to bear up under the yoke, because that yoke is with my Jesus, the man of sorrows. To reject the shared suffering and sorrow with our Lord is to invite despair, and to walk as a burden bearer with him is to oppose despair. Sorrow is the very place that hope and joy intermingle, because without sorrow, there is no whisper of hope. Joy is a sustainer, the strength in weakness, and hope is what calls us forward toward our healing. In this world, we will have trouble, but our great Peacemaker walks in the sorrow with us, and he is our joy. He is our peace. He is our hope. Sorrow does not overcome.”

This, I know. I have felt the great twist of joy in my heart even in the midst of loss and fear. But somehow, in the context of Amber’s story the point settled into my heart and brought great comfort. She and Seth have weathered much in their young lives. Amber’s poet voice reminds me that without risk there can never be gain, that the only way to avoid pain is to avoid love. And what a sad and empty place is the heart without love.

Our dining room table is covered with all the things that fill a dorm room. Today, I will wash all the clothes my boy is taking with him—I want them to smell like home when he dons them far away. We will not go to the state fair as I proposed to him yesterday. We will stay here, in this ordinary moment, this place steeped in love.

Home.

Every Monday I share one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find God and know joy. Click on the button below to add your link. I try to visit a few of your stories every week, so if you are a new visitor, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can welcome you. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us.

Laura Boggess

Comments

  1. says

    Home is a boo-ti-ful place for you and Teddy to stay today. 🙂 Love that. My heart aches with you. Letting our kids go off to college is so difficult, even when we know it’s a good thing. I have a best friend taking her baby girl to college tomorrow, then returning home to an empty nest. My prayers are with her, with you, with others who are experiencing these transitions.

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Laura, this is such an exquisite, poignant post–one with which every mother resonates. I felt this when I sent Sheridan to kindergarten, for goodness sake! I still remember her, a wisp of a girl, all blonde and blue (her face framed with yellow tresses, sapphire eyes sparkling, and garbed in a long Alice-in-Wonderland blue dress). I cried when I let her go through the school’s double doors, something I didn’t think I would ever do). Sheridan stayed home through college, so I have not experienced precisely what you are now, Laura, but my heart links with yours. I can imagine it deep inside. But I *do* know that hearts reside at home, and your precious son is wise beyond his years to know that and to want to spend his last moments before college with you and his father and brother *at home.* And I know that both you and he will remember, when miles separate you physically, that nothing will separate you emotionally. Because true home resides in the heart, he is taking that right along with him. Yes, you will be in him, and he in you. And you will *live* home always. No one can take that away from you. Sending you so much love,
    Lynn
    PS And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Amber’s new book (just as I did YOURS, and DO)!

    • says

      Thank you for this, Lynn. I needed this reminder that home “resides in the heart.” **sigh** Carrying those words with me, friend. Blessed by your thoughts here. Tremendously so.

  3. says

    There’s much we learn about sorrow in parenting- much we learn about Christ and the depth and realness of his love. Letting go is one of those sorrows – but it’s also a springboard to something greater:) Praying for your heart his week, Laura!

    • says

      Thank you, M. Yes, a springboard to something greater…I believe this with my head, now if I could just get my heart to go along! Thank your for your prayers, sweet friend. Those boys really do wrap themselves around a mamma’s heart.

  4. says

    While my heart does not know the tug with a mother’s love, I know that we all stand at threshold moments when risks are taken and dreams transform. Both you and Teddy stand at the doorway! Praying for you both to step boldly into the new and courage to keep to the journey ahead. Always remember, the giants appear bigger than they are. New day – new journey – transforming dreams…sounds like exciting times.

    • says

      Oh, thank you for these brave words, Denise! They make me feel brave. They remind me who I am, who Teddy is, that we are loved by a Love bigger than any fears. Thank you for that. So blessed by your blessing.

  5. says

    Oh the tug on our hearts. May Teddy have a wonderful year. And may your heart find comfort in the joys of having raised him for this very moment. Praying for you both!

    • says

      Thank you, Joanne. Mostly, I’m excited for him. I can’t wait to see where life takes him. But I have my moments of fear, and so I’ve been holding on tight to the Perfect Love that drives out fear. xoxo

  6. says

    I keep thinking of Toy Story – Andy packing up Woody before leaving for college. I cried at that part in the movie and I teared up reading this post knowing my boy will be doing the same thing in just a few short years. Praying a wonderful start to college for your son. May he stand firm on the Truth he has been consuming while at home and may his faith be tested and proved strong. I really enjoy your blog.

    • says

      I cried at that part too, Melody! You sound like a mamma after my own heart :). Thank you for your prayers, and your kind words. I’ve been having a lot of trouble writing lately because my mind is so preoccupied. So you have given me a sweet gift. Thank you.

  7. says

    Love this. How wonderful that your son loves the simple pleasures of home. We will be sending my eldest back for her second year in a couple of weeks. It does not get any easier. Tears.
    Blessings,
    Kamea

  8. says

    Laura,
    I’m praying for your son’s transition, safety, peace, and joy! I am also praying for your sweet mama hear which is celebrating for God to have brought your son to this place of success and blessing, but grieving for your sweet boy to not be hanging out in that living room each day! Big hugs!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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