When we lived in Michigan, our closest family member, at least until Jukes joined the Hope party, was 3 hours away. Especially once we and our friends started having kids, we would struggle when friends would mention having regular date nights with grandparents watching kiddos: we couldn’t afford to pay babysitters AND pay for dinner! A luxury. Or when fellow moms would be having a tough day and a grandparent would give them a 30 minute reprieve. Gifts galore. Or on Easter or July 4 or Memorial Day when we didn’t make it to Indiana or New York or Dallas to be with family and we celebrated with a slow day. We were lonely for close ones sometimes.
Now, I look out my back window and see the house my parents and brother live in. And I see my Grandma’s house. Last night, we had to run to Lowes; Mom and Dad watched the girls for less than two hours so our trip would be easy and quick. Tuesday was BEAUTIFUL outside so the girls and I wondered around the farm and stopped into Gigi’s house for a 15 minute visit playing with Ruff (a stuffed dog) and Roar (Winnie the Pooh, of course). Then we all jumped in the van for an ice cream run Tuesday night – so fun! But you know what? Sometimes it just sucks. Like having a long chat with my mom tonight and not finding any common ground, like each topic or idea or thought or feeling we each reveal slams against a brick wall and falls to the ground, not even important enough to be accompanied by a crash or a whisper. These moments the space of Michigan is missed.
I don’t want to remember this right now–I’d rather wallow–but I MUST remember right now that being surrounded is heavenly. That being surrounded by family is intended. That being surrounded may be yucky and emotional and difficult but at the end of days, it will be my family filling the pews at my funeral, singing appropriately replaced words to Audio Adrenaline’s “Big, Big House” as I, I assume, will peer on from some celestial realm, wearing all silk, surrounded by work from Klimt and Van Gogh, drinking wine and eating cheese with Jesus. That no matter how hard I try not to want to, I will always love my mom and my dad and my brother more than anyone besides my hubband and my chilluns, and will always long for nearness to them. Today’s challenge: embrace the surroundings.
How can you embrace those who surround you?
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.