With 6 days until Christmas I woke up this morning thinking how different each season of our lives is. I started thinking back to all of the Christmas seasons from the precious time I spent with my Grandma and Grandpa, to my Aunt Peggy thinking how funny it was that I had Rockem-Sockem Robots at the top of my Christmas list, to the Christmases I spent staying at college working the holiday break, including Christmas day cleaning kennels at the Animal Resource Facility at the vet school. Then there were those Tender Tennessee Christmases spent at my parent’s house in Tennessee with my brothers’ and their families- lots of toddlers and babies tearing open presents and playing outside in the playhouse and other assorted contraptions my dad built for them.
And the Christmases we spent as an active-duty Army family, one particular one when Daniel was overseas in Iraq fighting for our freedom and I was 7 months pregnant with our first baby boy. We were actually in TN with my parents that Christmas when a good friend assembled a trampoline in our base-housing backyard and put a huge red bow around it and emailed a picture saying that she had heard some ruckus over in our yard and went to check it out and that’s what she found- that Santa and the reindeer had been hard at work…
…and then my thoughts came to this season of our lives.
I must admit there’s such an undertone of sadness in my heart spending Christmas and the holidays without my parents. I miss shopping with my momma, sharing hot cocoa-coffee with her, and laughing with my dad. I miss the nip in the air in the beautiful Tennessee mountains, the trips to Opryland Hotel to see the lights, and the many fun Christmas events my mom used to always take us to: the Nutcracker ballet, the ice sculptures, the musicals at Opryland Hotel my brother got us tickets to, the Nashville Symphony. I miss the smell of her house at Christmas, baking Christmas cookies, and sitting on her bed looking through pictures.
I am so blessed I can still call home and talk to both of my parents on the phone, and hear their laughter and listen to them fill me in on what everyone is doing.
But I just get really homesick during the holidays.
That’s not to say that the many awesome blessings where God has planted us aren’t absolutely phenomenal.
Our forty acres that we call our earthly home feels like the place we traveled to find all these years. I love Gunn Ranch. I love that my kids feel like this is home. I love that they are ready to come home after visiting anywhere more than a day or two. I love it as much as I could ever love any temporary/earthly home.
I love Christmas at our Ranch, and spending time with the friends that God has brought into our lives- the ones I prayed for many years for God to send us.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had many good friends over the years that we still keep in touch with.
But here we have found more pieces to our puzzle, that fit really well, and complete our puzzle a bit more. Our church family, our neighbors, our 4-H friends, and many other South Texan friends have become such a strong support for our kids, and my tired days when I’m over-commited and feel like I can’t keep up. When my hubby has been out of town all week, and I’m trying to be a teacher and a doctor, a momma and the keeper of the ranch. It’s then when everything seems to break, the truck starts to sputter, and the stubborn cow gets out of the fence.
But God has provided everything we need in this season of our lives.
So in this beautiful season in which we celebrate the birth of our Savior, our Messiah, our Immanuel, my thoughts are brought full circle and I find myself wrapped in many layers of family and friends all tied up with a big red bow that is the love of my Daddy, my Lord and my King, who loves me beyond my comprehension.
May the love of home be yours this Christmas season, wherever God has planted you in this season of your life.
Enjoy the journey,