Saturday, August 22, 2015

Snapshots ~ Home For The Weekend

For the last four months, I have been walking the darkest valley of my life, struggling to even breathe some days. I've always found home to be a place of comfort and strength during seasons of distress, so on Friday afternoon, the twin and I headed east to spend some time with our dear mom and dad. 

After a bit of a rainy morning, the sky was a perfect blue when we rolled into the driveway. Daddy's flag was standing tall, swaying majestically in the balmy breeze.

After a delicious dinner of fried pork chops, Daddy did some final trimming around his freshly-mowed property. Since his fall from the roof in 2012 (blogged about here), we've offered to hire someone to keep it mowed and manicured for him, but he assures us that, even at 88, he is happy while he works. Yes, his ankle made of plates, pins and screws slows him down, but he almost can't be stopped.

The old yard swing always draws me in when I visit. How well I remember sitting in it one night in 2003, after my divorce, wondering how I would be able to make a good life for me and my teenage daughter. I had been without work for nine months, and no offers were coming in. I wondered where God was and why he wasn't meeting my needs.

Through tears of desperation, I suddenly noticed a breathtaking moon behind the tall pines, rising in the east, big, buttery and bright. Within a few moments, the swing creaked and God was there, assuring me that I was exactly where I needed to be—under a full moon in an old yard swing with the one who loved me most. He held the moon in the sky, after all, and he knew how to hold me. I needed to trust and believe.

It was a defining moment in my journey, and I mentioned it in a blog here a few years ago. If you need encouragement, I hope you'll visit the link and listen to the song posted there.

Once Daddy was finished with his yard work, he joined me in the swing and we studied the impeccable sky. There was that breathtaking moon again, reminding me that God knows where I am, and that he's faithful when times are hard.

As the sun was setting, I made a trip to the nearby grocery store to buy a few things for lunch the next day. I never tire of magnificent sunsets, and I always marvel at the Creator's handiwork and his immense love for me.

It was almost dark when I returned, and I couldn't resist a shot of the old home place in the twilight. Countless memories had been made inside those wall, behind those glowing windows, and this weekend, thanks to God's goodness and mercy, more memories were being made.

With dinner all done, the dishes put away and the crossword puzzle conquered, it was time for some popcorn and dominoes. Mom and Dad are excellent players; Dayle and I, not so much. However, miracles do happen, and my wombmate won a game, and I won a game. Woohoo! Twins rule!

The next morning, heavenly aromas drifted upstairs long before lunch time, as Mother scurried about the kitchen, doing her thing. My favorite dessert is her homemade plum cobbler, and as I wandered into the kitchen for my first cup of coffee, I saw she was making sure I had some. I smiled and snapped a shot of her magic in progress.

In the midst of her magic, she paused to pose with her kid in the kitchen.

As we feasted on the goodness of Mother's hands, a soft rain fell outside, bringing a much needed refreshing to all living things, including Mother's lovely fern. I could almost hear it saying ahhhh beneath the tiny glistening drops. ☺

Much too soon, it was time to go, and as we joined hands in the living room and prayed for safe travels, I thanked God for his amazing grace and for my parents' endless love, still reaching out to me after all these years, lifting my head and lighting my way. Even in the darkest of valleys, I am blessed. ♦

Please join me at Spiritual Sundays, where faith is still proclaimed.


  1. Please know that I've thought of (and missed!) you often here in the blogosphere. This post assured me that our Gayle is going to be just fine. Oh, how grateful to know that underneath are His everlasting arms.

    Lovely memories you made at Dad and Mom's.

    Letters Unfolded

  2. I can feel the warmth and love as well as the encouragement from your visit home. Sending hugs during this rough spot.

  3. So grateful your visit home brought you strength & comfort. My dad is turning 80 today & we all cannot wait to celebrate him. There is something to be said about godly parents who have led their families in God's ways. Beautiful post in both word & photos. So glad to have stopped here this morning from Spiritual Sundays. Blessings!

  4. I made a visit home this week, too. Like Dorothy, I believe there's no place like home. A poignant essay you've shared. Ther swing sounds like your Ebeneezer --" hither by thy help I've come"

  5. This was such a beautiful, poignant post. Thank you for sharing the blessings of your sweet visit back home. I am glad you found rest and restoration there.

    You have blessed me. :-)

  6. Wonderful God is He. His comfort and the comfort found with parents where we grew up is the best. I loved your post. Hugs.

  7. Tears in my eyes after watching your slide show and reading about these moments with your parents and family warmed my heart so. Although my parents are both in heaven, going back to see my siblings a month ago was way overdue after 2 long years... just being with our families/siblings can be like balm to the soul. I am so sorry you have been so burdened and I know that even when it seems like it's all your own, God is always there, helping you carry it. God bless you, friend....wonderful post.

  8. I enjoyed sharing the weekend with you, dear sister. Much love and prayers, always.

  9. Such warmth...
    Tears fill my eyes as I read this beautiful tribute to all I hold dear...
    Home, family, calm.
    So happy your home and family filled you with love and peace.
    And bless your amazing parents. : )

  10. What a wonderful family time together!

    You asked for contact information for a house on Whisper Mountain in North Carolina, but since you are a "no-reply" on your comment, I couldn't reply to your original email comment to me. I have posted the contact information for the house on all three of the posts about the Whisper Mountain house. There are some dates still open for this fall.


  11. ohmygoodness, what good words you've shared..Oooookay Dayle and Gayle are both new to me and I am soaking it in.I cannot recall when I have discovered a "new to me" blog and could not turn loose and put it down..I want to devour every single post -working on just that.