Thankful for our home

Home.  I love our home. I love coming home after being away.  I love driving up the driveway and seeing the warm lights welcoming me in.  I love the smells and feelings I have when I’m in our home.  Home though, is wherever we are together as a family.  All of us.  When one is missing, our unit is incomplete. We all feel it.  It doesn’t matter which one of us is away, everything is slightly off kilter.  Our home is beautiful, not because of the architecture, or the decor, but because of our family in it.

I was thankful to care for Adam at the end, in our home.  What I didn’t take into consideration was the fact that he took his final breath in our bedroom.  It took me months to be able to fall asleep again in our bedroom.  Every time I would close my eyes to sleep, that final moment would replay in my mind.  I kept our tv on most nights just to keep something in my head that wasn’t that memory.  However, after time, I began to remember our sweetest conversations and beautiful moments at the end. Then other memories began too flood my mind of joyful moments that we shared in our home.  Memories as husband and wife, as parents and as a family. It is hard when your home becomes tainted with something so dark.  Whether it be cancer, abuse, tragedy, theft, fire, or any other disaster, your home should always be the place where you can feel safe, secure and at peace.   I did everything I could to try and maintain that safe haven for our children. I decorate for holidays, I cooked meals, I painted furniture and bedrooms and even our front door a bright turquoise blue!  I began to love our home again.  We began to make new memories and created new traditions of our own.

Then Matt and I married, and we are still making our home ours 4 plus years later.  I was careful when I moved in, not to do too much with the things that were already in the house.  It was important to me that the kids rooms were their own, but that the shared living spaces were how Joe and Susan were used to things.  We were already making changes.  We were moving into their house.  They had to share their dad with 3 kids who didn’t have one that they had to divide their time with.  They were dealing with a new mom who had new rules, new recipes, new ideas, new expectations.  Slowly over time though, Matt and I have begun to make changes to put our fingerprint on our home.  I love when we chose things together. I love that our kids ask where the holiday decorations are if I don’t get them out fast enough for their taste! I love that they come home and state how glad they are to be home!  I love that they say “I love our home” regularly!  I love that in our home we have love!  I love that no matter how awful our darkest moments are, we love one another through them.  I love our conversations around the dinner table and the laughter that occurs while tears stream down our faces!  Home.  My favorite place to be!

I am so thankful that God loves us even more than we love one another.  He loves us regardless of where we are in our life.  I am thankful for the blessing of our home and the friends and family that share it with us.  I pray that others see God’s love in our home.

Romans 5:8 “I loved you at your darkest.”

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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