My five year old, though he’s never seen a white Christmas, started the season expecting snow for the holiday. Instead, the day surprised with a warmth unusual for even a Mississippi Christmas: the kind of breezy warmth that defined my own childhood Christmases in Florida. Now, 800 miles from where I used to run the fields with my cousins, my children ran the fields with theirs. And the wind kept the chimes chiming, and I felt as wistfully at home as I ever did as a little girl at the family Christmas party.

This Christmas caught us in the middle of a move: one dear old house standing empty, and most of our worldly goods stored waiting for the “new” house to be painted and ready for us, so that we’re somehow both home and homeless for the holidays. I sat in the porch swing with a baby, tracing the paths that have made Mississippi home.

It overwhelms me: all the roads and decisions: how I chose piano over ballet classes at age ten, how seven years afterward it was the music program that drew me to the college where I eventually graduated with a degree in English, how so many years later my family is rooted and growing here, in this clay-riddled soil.

I’d fall to pieces in terror at the consequences of decisions were I not confident that a kind Sovereign knows and ordains all of them. He isn’t surprised by our unexpected holiday home-purchase; He wasn’t shocked when I stood alone in my old backyard yesterday and cried for the grief of moving to a better, bigger house less than three miles away. In all my changes, He does not change.

And as I revel in the extended family home place and weep for the little house to which I’ve brought home four babies, I’m reminded that the place for which I’m really longing isn’t here yet. I’ve been wistful for home as long as I can remember, and the goodness of all these good places only whisper of a better place.

In a few weeks I’ll be a stranger on a new street, but though we’ll settle in and love that street one day, that will not be home, either.

I want, with those in the Hebrews “hall of faith,” to acknowledge that I am a stranger and exile on earth and make it clear that I am seeking a homeland (Heb. 11:13-14). I want, with Paul, to forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead: that prize of the upward call if God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14).

Home is yet to come.

©Stacy Crouch 2021

5 thoughts on “Home for Christmas

  1. Your story had a note of sadness. My husband and I are in our upper 70″s and we are feeling some of those same feelings. Life certainly does change and we are feeling it. Things don’t have the same excitement as the past. Enjoyed reading your story. Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In one sense, I don’t know you, Stacy; in another sense, however, I know you better than many in my own family. You are a sister of mine, a sister in Jesus, whose writing tells me, ringingly true, that you know Him and love Him. It’s as if we both knew Him in College or somewhere else where His thoughts and behavior, his love and caring, His wisdom and uncanny sense of how best to help us have all left us changed by knowing Him and knowing those who know Him.

    Thanks for exercising your gift to bless us with your occasional words on life lived simply and well in the shadow and magesty of knowing the author and holder of all there is.

    God bless you this new year and in your new home. Bless the socks off those in your new neighborhood.

    Liked by 2 people

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