Another page in the story of our family was turned this week, but a familiar one.
This week we put our tiny baby girl (who is, in actuality, a smart, confident, 19 1/2 year old young woman) on an airplane to return to California for her sophomore year of college at University of the Pacific, my husband’s alma mater.
We were blessed to have her with us in Texas for the summer (OUR first Texas summer, incidentally) and though we knew it was just for three months, we slipped into that all-four-of-us-under-one-roof-normal so easily. I felt much as it always did, all of us living together, our family united.
She was introduced to the joys of summer storms and the brilliance of Texas summer sky. She learned to love Kolaches for breakfast and embraced gorgeous walks in the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.
But. Then she went back to school. Getting a bit teary in the airport watching her walk away from me I was reminded that she doesn’t really live with me anymore.
She visits. She spends time. But she is moving forward with her life, as she should.
I spent the last day or so cleaning the guest room where she stayed and the adjacent bathroom. While some of her stuff lives in the closet and in the nightstand, she doesn’t live here. It’s a stopping place.
She is so welcome and we are so grateful for her time with us. But she lives for real somewhere else as she charts the path she needs to follow.
As this rolled around in my head, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my home. Not my California former home, not my Texas home. But my true home.
Once heaven is our home in our hearts, this place, regardless of how much we are loved here and how blessed our time here is, shifts into being a stopping place. Our stuff may be here, we may store it in the closet, but this isn’t our permanent address.
It’s hard to remember that some days, when things here are all-consuming and you can’t seem to get your head above water. It’s in those times I need to remember that my “light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT.
It’s not all troubles and hardship, by any means. I need to be joyful in my current place, as my daughter did during her humid but lovely Texas summer, while knowing that this place is temporary. This phase is a season. And that my job here is to find all joy in that season. And to be a blessing to all I can bless during this time, this stopover on my way to home.
I saw my daughter bless many during her Texas summer.
I watched her choose to look for beauty.
I observed her choosing joy.
I saw her reach out to those who aren’t like her and form wonderful bonds.
I need to do the same- I choose to do the same. Without losing sight of where I’m going.