Through popular demand I am reprinting a favorite of readers for this Christmas season. Enjoy!!
This time of year turns my heart back to family, and those warm memories of when my kids were little and all the excitement of the holidays and watching their faces of wonderment as we decorated the tree and prepared for all of our family traditions. I actually conjure up tears of longing for those days gone by since my babies are not babies anymore. It was one of the happiest times of my life.
When they were little I never wanted them out of my sight. I kept them so close. I endeavored to build into them a confidence that I would always be there for them. Beginning with that first step at around one year old; when a mom has that sense of uneasiness that already they are beginning to move away from us. I sense it. I was like any other Mom when their adorable child takes the first step. You feel like they are the smartest kid in the world. But deep down was this feeling of dread; that each new day in their young lives they would move a little bit farther away from me, until one day, God forbid, they would leave and start a life without me there. Ouch!
My determination became to teach them about Jesus every chance I could. I would not leave it up to their Sunday school teachers, Christian School teachers, or anyone else to do my job of bringing my kids to Christ and to the best of my ability teach them how to live. I wanted them to know that whatever came into their life they would always have Him and He would direct their paths and be their constant companion. They both came to me at around 4 or 5 years old and asked if I would pray with them to invite Jesus into their young lives. What a joy that day was!!
Now, as a Grandmother I have endeavored to be the same kind of example to my grandchildren.
But I digress….
When my babies started school, this is how it went: Kindergarten and first grade when they would return to me at the end of their day, they were always full of joy to see me, we had a snack together and they would play and rest. I would say, “I’m so glad you are home”….and I meant it.
The following years came and went with each new year they grew a little more independent. At first they wanted to be where they could see me, but not too hovering or clingy. Every day when they would come home the instant they opened the door they always said, “Mom, I’m home”, and I would breathe easy once again because my babies were mine again, at least for that day.
Then came Junior High School; the time when I became an embarrassment to them if they were seen with me in front of their friends. And the time when you wonder if aliens have inhabited your kids. One day they get up and they even look different. Then they open their mouths and then you know for sure it is not them…and a part of you grieves. You know that your babies are not babies anymore. That time is past. But wait, they still come home at the end of the day and yell, “Mom, I’m home”, and for a moment all is well with the world again. They still have weak moments of reverting back on occasion and when no one is looking they would lay their head on my shoulder or hug me, and my heart would soar once again.
And High School followed. This was a tough time for me because it was when my own life fell apart. To learn more about that you will have to read my book, “Climbing Out of the Box” and you will find it on Amazon. The kids’ Dad had left us and so we were driven closer together in adversity by having to move out of our house and into a tiny apartment, but farther apart because it was a time they tried to find their bearings in life, and it seems like they slipped right out of my grasp. It was painful in not only the loss of my life as I knew it but also I couldn’t pretend my kids were babies anymore. And I was alone; double whammy. Now, we all went different ways. But they still came home at the end of their days at some point, and I would always hear, “Mom, I’m home”…..and for a brief moment I closed my eyes and hung onto those memories once again.
Then they left. They flew out of the nest. And oh, it was so painful to let my babies go. All you parents out there who have had kids leave, can relate. A hole is left in your heart that it takes a while to figure out how to function again without your kids always being in the back of your mind and how whatever you are doing might affect them. They have their own life now.
But then they would come back to see me and once again I heard that welcome phrase when they would walk in the door; “Mom, I’m home”……I realized, at that point, that to them, it wasn’t where I lived that was their home…It was the fact that home is where I am.
They are 38 and 42 today and when I look at them I still see my babies. And they will flinch when they read this but, no kidding! I think that is how God sees us. Not by our age but because we are His children He always loves us as such. Of course we have to grow up, even as our earthly kids do, and mature into an even greater relationship with Him. And this is what I want for my kids. My kids still say, “Mom, I’m home”, or sometimes, “Mom, I’m here”, always knowing that I will be overjoyed to see them at any time.
One day my life here on earth will be through and I will be in Heaven. My vision has always been that on a given day in Heaven as I am going about my tasks that Jesus and I decide will be my calling there, everything will stop for me. Suddenly an awareness will fill my being that something wonderful is about to happen. I hear a distant familiar sound! The anticipation and joy lifts me off the ground in awesome glory. And then, I will hear it oh so clearly; the voice of my children is as familiar as my own voice. “Mom, I’m Home”….”Home” now being our real home, Heaven, where we were always meant to be after this brief life on earth. Oh what joy will fill my heart.
We will never be apart but we will all be home with our wonderful Jesus and each other. “Mom, we are home”….to dwell together for all eternity. This is our heritage, dear parents. This life with our kids is so short compared to eternity spent with them in God’s kingdom. Tell your children about Jesus every chance you get for as they grow in Him He will be their stabilizing force!! It is never too late, either, to share this good news with your kids if they don’t already know it. There is a wonderful place we are all going to live after this life.
“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT