Home

The idea of home has intrigued me so much lately.

Home town.

Home state.

Home church.

Home is where the heart is.

This earth is not our home.

So much seems to center around this idea of home, whether we realize it or not. What is home? How does one get home sick and what does that even mean? Why do we even care about the idea of home when we’re told that this earth is not our real home?

Last month we loaded up the car with all of the babies and all of the things to survive a week of vacation as a family. I haven’t been “home” to Orlando in a year and a half, so I had really been looking forward to getting back. A 17 hour drive {not including stops} was quite a task to take on with a just-turned-4-months-old-that-day, a 3 year old and a 4 year old, but we can do it! Especially to stop in Georgia, which will always be a “home” to us because it has our son’s final resting place.

I’ve dreamt of getting a picture of Jed as a baby next to his brothers resting place. Every time I think of it, I cry. Brothers. Grace. Mercy.

Well, we all got on the road a little later than expected. Ella woke up and had a poop accident. Yeah, what is it with our family and poop on road trips?! So, we hung out a little later to see if she was a fluke or a real illness. I also had a minor mental breakdown because we hadn’t started the world’s longest drive yet and I had a potentially sick kid.

Once we realized that Ella hadn’t needed the bathroom again and I pulled myself together, we loaded the car and left.

“OKAY. We can soooo do this”

There were even talks of “Let’s just drive this whole thing. We’ll take shifts and we’ll be there by tomorrow morning”

Well, because it’s us, we stopped approximately 37 times to get a mere 2 hours away from home (which we squeezed into four). Ella had to keep going to the bathroom. Each visit was a little more suspect than the last. BUT, she didn’t have any accidents and we kept stopping in time. No one else was sick, so maybe we should just keep going. I really debated turning around when we were only 2 hours out, but we’re already packed.

We can make it. 

Except, we can’t.

We get to Tupelo, MS, which is 6.5 hours away from our home. Or known to our family that day as 10.5 hours away. We stopped for dinner. And, when I pulled Jed out, I noticed that his eye was oozing a whole bunch of green. I thought it looked a little off, but now it was a whole lot of green.

I had another minor mental breakdown.

Therefore, let’s just stop here for the night because things are going crazy. Let’s get some sleep and we’ll hit it hard tomorrow. We all finally fall asleep.

Around 2:30am, John and I both wake up because the beds were horrible. Baaahhhh. After some whispered conversation, we decide that we’re both pretty wide awake. Let’s transfer the crew to the car and book it to Orlando. Ella wakes up from us shuffling around.

Bathroom trip.

Ugh. Okay, it’ll be fine. Let’s just get Jed up. I’ll nurse him and we’ll go. 

I get Jed.

His eye is now completely crusted over with green and swollen. Lovely.

Cue another mental breakdown. (Third one in 24 hours if you’re keeping track. Let’s also remember postpartum hormones. Yeah, I know. I feel sorry for me, too)

While I nurse Jed, John and I try to look up pediatric walk-in places in Orlando. We found a few, but then look at each other and realize, what the heck are we doing? We’ve got two out of three kids sick. And, coming from the last time we ignored the writing on the wall, we should probably just get home while we’re ahead.

So, we headed home. Like, Arkansas home.

I cried half of the drive. But, each time I cried, it was about time to stop for another poop trip for Ella.

We were so close to seeing Warner. But, so far.

We were so close to vacation. But, so far.

We were so close for me to get home for a bit. But, so far.

We’re not sure when we may be able to try again. We’ve tossed around the idea of just Jed and I going to Atlanta for a short trip to see his brother. The thought that Jed hasn’t been to see him yet really hurts my heart.

We’ve also tossed around the idea of going to Orlando this Fall. Whether I’m being a negative Nellie or a realist, I’m unsure. But, I just doubt that it will logistically work out. And, once we hit the Fall, it’ll be two years since I’ve been “home”. Like, Florida home.

Why is there such a pull to visit home? I’ve struggled with that since our failed attempt. But, I think the Lord has finally connected the pieces to the puzzle in my mind.

Our earthly home (whether it be a place, a town, a church or whatever) is one of the closest depictions we can get to the feeling of Heaven one day. A place to feel known, secure, loved, comfortable, renewed, and at peace. A place where you can take a deep breath.

Obviously, I feel “at home” with our little family. And, wherever they are is where I want to be. But, I don’t doubt that one day, when they’re off and married with their own families, the thought of coming home will be a gift that they treasure. At least, I can only hope that we will create a home where they feel safe and loved.

But, for me, today I sit and long for Heaven. If I don’t get to touch the ground of two of my earthly homes today, I can’t help but picture how much greater it will be to enter into paradise one day. No more botched road trips. No more graves to visit. No more missed friends and family. One day…

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