Home Sweet Home

In My Father’s house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you. —John 14:2 NKJV

Writer’s block was never a problem after a visit to my daughter’s. I always came home with plenty of fodder.

One time the airlines lost my luggage. Another time when I wanted to change my return flight itinerary, they (the airlines, not my daughter) told me I could fly where I wanted, but my luggage was going to my original destination.

Another time I got three weeks’ worth of writing material:

  • Two formerly neurotic dogs she rescued from the animal shelter took a shine to me because I fed them on time. They woke me up every morning by banging against the door at 5:30 so I’d let them out.
  • Two cats—one that relieved himself on the bathroom floor and the other with an itchy skin condition and loose, fuzzy hair— liked to curl up on the sofa bed with me at night and chew my hair.
  • One autistic six-year-old turned on all the fans in the house or hid under the bed on his spacey days.
  • One three-year-old tyrant preferred not to wear pants (including underpants) on any day.

Then there were the spills and other accidents on the carpet in the family room, the endless laundry for a family of four that included the toddler who went through three or four outfits a day, meals to prepare, shopping to do, and a daughter who was recuperating from surgery and didn’t have the energy to deal with it all.

No need to wonder why, halfway through the visit, I plopped in the recliner at nine in the morning with nary an ounce of energy, wondering how I, a fifty-five-year-old woman well past her prime, was going to make it through the morning, let alone ten more days of this excitement.

Sometimes I was tempted to do nothing but sit and stare at a whirling ceiling fan or hide under the bed for an hour or two myself.

I sent my husband text messages daily: “Missing you,” “8 more days,” “PRAY!”

I called him every night at ten to hear his voice. I felt inadequate without him. Dealing with life with him around is so much easier.

And while I love my daughter and my grandkids, I longed to be home, in my own bed at night, in my own kitchen, using my own computer (oh, did I tell you my laptop crashed one week into the visit, and I had to use theirs?). I kept telling myself this was a gift—these three weeks with my loved ones who live seven hundred miles away and I usually get to see only twice a year.

But I still missed home. And I couldn’t wait to get there.

It was a good reminder of the journey I have here on earth. While I’ve got a loving husband, family I love dearly, a comfortable home, a few good friends, and a fulfilling ministry, I still feel out of place at times, like I’m not really home.

I long for the One who helps me through the rough times, who has promised never to leave or forsake me. I yearn to see Him face-to-face and lounge at His feet without a care in the world.

I’m a citizen of two worlds, and, while I live here and love the fulfilling life God has given me, I ache for the place where there are no tears, no pain, no frustrations, no bills, no dust, no meals to cook, and no separation from the ones I love. And I won’t have to worry about my luggage being lost in transport.

Someday, when we finally make it to the home God has waiting for us, we’ll feel like we feel when we walk through the door after three weeks away—we are home at last.

Dear God, thank You for the home I have now and thank You for the one I’ll have in eternity. Amen.

Read and reflect on John 14:1–4.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Give Me No Bananas

Image by Juan Zelaya from Pixabay

Every day I will praise You. —Psalm 145:2 NIV

When I taught fulltime and wrote in the early morning or evening hours, I had little time and energy to do special things for my husband, such as slip a banana in his lunch box or wash the plastic container he used for cake. I was lucky to get supper on the table before 7 p.m. and the dishes stacked in the dishwasher before I went to bed or ran out of my second wind. Often he made supper and cleaned up afterward to give me time to write.

But one summer day, I decided to show my gratitude for all his hard work by slipping a banana into his lunch box. But did he appreciate my thoughtfulness? Oh, no. He complained the banana was too ripe.

“I like them almost green,” he said.

Couldn’t he have lied just a little bit? I wanted to hear “Boy, that banana hit the spot! Thanks!”

Biting back a sharp retort and stuffing the hurt, I pulled out the plastic cake container from his bucket and stacked it with the dirty dishes.

“You don’t have to wash that thing every day,” he said in a tone that made me feel like a reprimanded child. I knew he was trying to save me extra work, but I’d wanted to make him feel appreciated. Instead I got negative, negative, negative.

“Thanks for reminding me of why I stop doing little things to please you,” I muttered when he left the room.

The next day, after I’d filled my journal with two pages of anger, I opened my Bible to the day’s reading. 

“Every day I will bless thee,” I read, “and praise thy name” (Psalm 145:2). 

A heart full of anger has no room for praise.

God has a funny way of nudging me when my attitude isn’t what it should be.

I opened my journal to the entry I’d made just two days prior to my whining session when I’d filled four pages listing things I love—laundry blowing in the wind, white cotton ball clouds skimming across a summer blue sky, a soft breeze caressing my cheek, a quiet snowfall, a neon rainbow arched across a storm-studded sky, a misty morning, a blazing sunset, the blush of dawn, a field of pristine, unbroken snow….

The old hymn “Count Your Blessings” reverberated in my mind, and the anger dissipated from my heart. In light of all these priceless blessings right in front of my nose every day that don’t cost me a cent—gifts from God for me to enjoy—how trivial my reasons for being angry were!

A heart full of anger has no room for praise, but a heart full of praise has no room for anger.

With what, then, will you fill your heart? The choice is yours. Only one will bring the satisfaction and joy you crave.

When I think of all the wonders You created in the world around me and the awesome deeds You have wrought in my life, Lord God, I am humbled by Your greatness. Sometimes I forget who You are and act like a spoiled child. Forgive me. Amen.

Read and reflect on Psalm 145.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.