Home. A simple four letter word — do you know the meaning of those four letters? For everyone, that simple four letter word will mean different things. Special memories, bittersweet sorrows, hugs and tears and laughter and love.
O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Where Christ is Head and Counsellor and Guide;
Where ev’ry child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified:
How sweet to know that tho his foot-steps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!
Guess what? I am home. Home! Do you know what that means for me? What those four letters hold in my mind?
A father. A mother. Five younger brothers and five younger sisters.
Big round eyes. Sweet, slobbery kisses. Round arms squeezing around my waist, little voices calling my name. Welcoming me home, waving me off as I leave for the day.
O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho days be dark and grim.
Piano keys under my fingers. Working on music for church, working on a duet with a sister, teaching as we go. Learning new things, teaching new skills.
Preparing lessons and going back over what I had prepared.
Snuggling into bed each night with a sweet five year old sister. Feeling her press close, moving her off of my pillow so I can lay down. The whispers and giggles of those sisters who stay up late and are awake when I get home. Filling them in on my day, and hearing about theirs.
Waking up to a chorus of “good mornings”. Walking into the kitchen to the aroma of a good, hearty, country breakfast, a sermon playing, or a biblically-sound political radio show.
Washing dishes in the completed kitchen, cleaning up after thirteen people. Baking bread for the family.
O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master,
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;
Where pray’r comes first in peace or in disaster,
And praise is natural speech to ev’ry tongue;
Where mountains move before a faith that’s vaster,
And Christ sufficient is for old and young
I’ve yet to cook for all of us. Or do the mega-load of laundry for the day. I haven’t been able to get out in the garden and plant the seedlings with the little ones. I’m still gone all day, up at my grandparents home. I’m home in the morning until 11:00-ish, and I come home about 11:00-ish at night. I still do the housework up there. The cooking. My grandmother can get around, but still can’t stand for long periods.
But I am home — for a whole week I’ve been home! Crazy schedule aside, things are getting a sense of normalcy. Today more so than others — I was able to attend church for the third week, after missing four or five weeks. For the first Sunday since January, I woke up in my own bed, had my whole wardrobe of clothes to choose from (:D), crowded into the already crowded bathroom with everyone else who was getting ready. Loaded onto the “big, yellow bus” with everyone else in my family and headed towards church, with a Piano Guys CD playing full blast for the baby who loves the beat and the sound of the cello.
O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there:
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor—
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share.
The person who wrote: “‘Mid pleasures and palaces though you may roam, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” wrote truly. There is absolutely no place like home.
(Hymn: A Christian Home by Barbara Hart)