Home Away from Home

My grandchildren, four of them and their mother, my oldest daughter, have come to to stay with us awhile while they resettle in the US. They have lived several years in Mexico City and returned to us to start over without their “Poppy” who has drinking problems and been abusive. To start over in a new place with a new language. Oh, my how hard it will be.

So far, they have enjoyed getting to know their aunts and uncle and grandparents and cousins. The oldest only having retained any memories of us and the farm. They seem to love the quiet and peaceful countryside and the family, clean warm beds, warm baths, new toys, books, and plenty of new foods.

The little boy Bryan, just three-years-old, loves his Abuelo, who he now calls “Grand-pa Pecan”. We have pushed the children on the swings and played and run and picked up pecans in the back yard. They have eaten ice cream with Grandpa, leaned to bow their heads and listen quietly for a prayer around the table at supper each night, and pronounce with him the “Amen.” They love to play and wrestle and say, “I love you” with Grandpa and the uncles, Alton, especially, whom all the children always love.

This morning the house was chilly. The porch thermometer read thirty degrees. The sunlight slanted in yet it is cold light. I piled logs in the woodstove atop a bed of hot coals and soon a fire was burning bright and the room beginning to heat up.We had comfort coming!

Three of the children are playing in the floor here now, one with a box of dominoes, one with toy cars and another with blocks. The sun spills in on the carpet. It is good to have them here safe and sound after such a fiery time they have come through and after the hard journey over so many miles, three long hard days traveling to Oklahoma. There was danger, fear, and weariness. There was sickness and doubt and there was trauma, but God brought them through it all.

This was one of those times when trials burn like threatening wild fires, like house fires, forest fires, not comforting woodstove fires. Fires like the times when someone is very sick, when the car has broken down, a hurricane is raging nearer, or a job is lost. They are fires we fight like one last year when the drought dried grasses out back burst suddenly into moving thriving flames. Fires we have to survive.

When these fires burn we turn to our God who guides us, who protects us, who comforts us, and supports us. He is our refuge and our consolation. through those raging fires. He brings us back to safe places where we can sit and rest in the warmth of love and know He is with us.

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