Ahhhhh, home at last.
After three weeks in the mountains followed by a fourteen hour drive, we stepped across the threshold of our home. It felt good. Back to the familiar — my own kitchen, cozy reading room and best of all, my own bed.
I’m so thankful I decorated for fall back in September — orange pumpkins and multicolored leaves; the colors of autumn where it’s still green in Central Florida. It was nice to walk back into reminders of the colors we had just left.
The messages of thankfulness and gratitude reminded me to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunity to visit the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and for a safe trip home.
We stay in the little town of Banner Elk, North Carolina, population of about 1,000. By the end of three weeks we were used to the slow mountain pace of life and driving on two-lane roads. It was a bit harrowing to go from that to driving on the International speedway of Interstates 26, 95 and 4. Who needs a scary ghost story when you’re driving on the interstate on a dark, rainy night — along with every semi-truck in the Southeastern United States.
A Home Filled With Memories
All of that faded away when we stepped into our home, which has been our home for twenty-five years. When you’ve lived in a house as long as we have you don’t just see walls, furniture and knick-knacks. You see the collection of memories stored up over years — children playing, teenagers celebrating birthdays, family holidays. Each room is filled with memories.
A friend who cleans my Mom’s house for her offered to clean ours while we were gone so we walked into a house looking much better than when we left. She had lamps turned on so there was a homey, welcoming glow. As we unloaded the car, I walked around with a big smile on my face, taking in my familiar surroundings. Hello kitchen. Hello desk. Hello stack of books waiting to be read. Hello comfy bed and pillow. Our pup even seemed to be delighted to be home as he rolled around on the carpet.
I love to travel. It’s fun to visit different places, see different things and taste different foods. But it’s always good to come back home.
A Different Home
I wonder if we will have a similar feeling when we arrive in heaven. Will we walk through the pearly gates, a huge grin on our faces and think to ourselves Home! I’m finally home. I like to think we will. Although we have never been to heaven, I imagine when we arrive it will be immediately familiar and recognizable as our home. It will be a fulfillment of the longings of our hearts we have felt our entire lives.
In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. John 14:2-3.
Here are some pictures from our trip to the mountains. If you’re from Florida, like me, you’ll love the color. If you are from a place that experiences the four seasons you may not be impressed. Either way, I hope you will enjoy them.