Conflict without, Comfort within

IMG_4565Arm in arm, my sweet one and I, walked our familiar evening path sharing hearts and finding solace in our companionship amidst the beauty of one more flurry of pinks and golds as the sun settled in for the night. We knew we were not alone. God walked with us and smiled at us through His clouds and presence in our friendship. IMG_5700

As we turned the corner of our last way home, the moon spoke to us once again of His companionship as we breathed in the comfort of friendship.

Upon returning home, we lingered in the moonlight on our front porch, rocking gently as we talked more of life. Eventually, 5 of us mingled on the porch in the twilight. Comfort, belonging, peace, security, stability is what is felt in the walls of our home. We belong to each other. We know a comfort amongst our trials, our joys, our doubts and our anger. We have a place to go where life finds a safe harbor inside our walls.

As I glance through the pathways of our story, there are many trials and obstacles along the way--car wrecks, cancer, deaths, births, illnesses, financial problems, church splits, relationships coming to an end, new ones beginning. Our world is a battlefield against small conflicts, difficult circumstances and big evils that abound. Yet, by His grace, we have come to know that we have a harbor in our storms, and our family's mutual love has wrapped us further in the bonds of rest that comes from being loyal, strong, devoted and present with one another through each day, each year, each conflict.

God designed us to be "home" makers, to have foundations from which to live life.

At my age, in spite of fear that life storms would overwhelm, I have lived to see the fingerprints of God all over our days. His goodness has followed us through all of our seasons. Because He has been our hope in every storm, and we have cherished Him together, we have found that, as David said, "Surely His goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever."

Some storms have gathered in our lives in the past few months. Yet, now, honestly, one of the joys of my mother heart has been to watch my children walking in faith, and faithfully through unanticipated trials, seeking God's goodness, living together in the harmony of family love. Adults making their own choices to trust God, to learn and grow, to strain towards His righteous ways.

Gathering and rallying together, once again with each other,  around the certainty that we are a blessed family because we have the solace of constant family love and the promise of God's comfort, wisdom and provision once again. We are all quirky, varied in personality, our own mess, of sorts. Yet, a wholeness from belonging to each other.

All the devotions, all the cherishing of His word together, all the training is now reflected in their lives. I have watched my boys become strong, constant men, heroes in their generation--at least in the eyes of God, as they  choose to live faithfully in soul, steadfast in commitments, and heart integrity of life, seeking to grow, learn, and act in noble ways, even when others in their lives have not chosen the same path.

My girls are straining towards spiritual strength and wisdom and learning to give, to serve, to love well, while cherishing moral excellence, amidst a world that is dark and compromising. The seeds of faith planted have taken root and grown.

The battles rage. Yet, we have lived long enough to understand that there is an invisible power living in our home that keeps us, holds us, and companions us we we walk these roads with Him.

I am not diminishing the sadness, fear, anger or depression that comes with the trials of life. But, I have such peace in my heart, because these pathways are familiar, and we have learned to trust in the one who leads us beside still waters and restores our souls. We have learned to wait as see that, "I am young and now I am old, and I have never seen the righteous forsaken." David

Such is the incredible value of a godly home, where He restores our souls, provides our needs, keeps us safe, and gives us strength for each day.

Building home, family faith and strength takes years of walking together amidst the story God has chosen for us to live. But with each day, month, year, we are so deeply grateful that we do not live it alone, but we share the days in a mutual calling and a shared fellowship that will abide through all of our days.

Peace be yours today. The Lord is with us and with you. May He companion you in the midst of your days.