As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, July 16, 2012

From West to East

Almost five years ago, on a sultry day in early August, my son Ryan, his wife Sarah, and their three-week-old daughter Eve, amid hugs and kisses and many tears, left our little corner of the world and set out on a grand adventure.  Ryan had a new job 1500 miles away, in a part of the country that neither of us had ever been.  I felt as if a part of my heart had been ripped out.  

Oh, I was happy for them, but oh-so-sad for me.  It was the end of shared Sunday afternoon meals.  The end of impromptu visits.  The end of frequent hugs from my boy. And the end of being a hands-on Gran to that brand new baby girl.  

As time went on, I adjusted to this loss.  I was very grateful to be living in the days of e-mail and cell phones and Facebook and Skype and even air travel (although I preferred that to be their air travel).  But an e-mail isn't the same as a hug.  And you can't fix a mug of hot chocolate via Facebook, or make a birthday cake, or hear giggles, or watch first steps, or help with a puzzle.  Or be a hands-on Gran to the second baby girl.   

Two years later, the family moved again...this time even further, almost an entire continent between us!  And with the greater distance, fewer visits.  And, in the new place, a baby boy came.

Again, I adjusted.  

So many families live apart these days.  Ours is not unique; I know that.  Most of the time, it is okay.  We have learned "how" to be apart, and yet remain an integral part of each other's lives. And I rest in the assurance that, because they are His, He has led them to each place.

But there are moments...

Like the moment when I see a homemade card from Eve sitting amid her cousin Gavin's birthday cards, and I wish she was at the party too.  

Like the moment that I open Facebook and see the sweet faces of those three grandbabies, having adventures of which I am not a part.  

Like the moment when we sit down to a holiday meal, and I wish there had been five more places set at the table.  

Like the moment that comes out of the blue when I feel the ache of missing them.  

But now...

Now, this very week, they are moving in a different direction.  This time, they travel east.  Oh, they will still be many miles from where we are, but we will be closer.  There will be more opportunities for visits.  We will be in the same time zone.  When we go to the ocean, it will be the same ocean.  

As in the other parts of their journey, the Lord's leading has seemed clear.  So while I will be "praying without ceasing" as they drive across the country, Ryan in the truck with their sweet dog Lucy, Sarah in the SUV with precious Eve, Nora, and Peter, I commit them to a faithful Creator who loves them more than I do.  

(Would you pray with me this week, Christian sisters, if the Lord brings them to your mind?)


  1. I know your feelings. I have a daughter in Canada and a son in Australia, both with grandchildren. It's heart rending sometimes.
    I'll be praying with you.

  2. I know how excited you are!

    I will pray! What an adorable family Ryan has!

    So happy for you!


  3. Absolutely! Oh my, you've captured the heart of every mother and grandmother who has ever been separated from children and grandchildren by many miles. Praying the very best for them and traveling mercies. Gosh, I do hope that they'll like it where they're going!

  4. Absolutely! I'm glad they're moving closer to home. My children live close by and work with us on our farm. I can't imagine not being able to see them whenever I want.

  5. I will pray for your dear family! I have a daughter and family that aren't nearby and totally relate to your words in this post.

  6. Oh Cheryl, I know exactly what you are describing. I'm still learning how to be without having them here. I'm so glad they are moving closer to you. Prayers for their safe journey.

  7. I will be praying for them! I am the daughter that has had to live far away. FWIW, please don't make them feel guilty for it, and don't make them do all the visiting. So many times I would love to show our families our lives here, but we do ALL the visiting (and I'm talking 20 plus years worth).

  8. I'll definitely be praying for Ryan, Sarah and their adorable little ones. We've had to live far away from family before and I second Angela's advice to not let them do all the visiting. I know we always loved when family and friends visited us.


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