Yesterday, the painter found this picture. It made me smile and then, unexpectedly, cry (this may or may not have to do with lack of sleep and the influence of paint fumes). This picture was taken October 31, 1982. Homecoming, my senior year of high school.
It's Homecoming Week in our small town. My children don't go to the local high school, but Patrick is going to the dance with Hilary and Mary Beth is going with Hilary's younger brother, Jack (I know, too cute, right?). I told Hilary earlier this week that I remember the homecoming dance my senior year as the absolute best night of high school.
I remember sitting with Mike late into the night and planning our future. Never mind that this night came after the world's rockiest high school "romance" (if it was even that). And never mind there were still plenty of tears yet to shed. In that moment of time, we were perfect. I don't really remember the details, but I do remember him saying something about a big family-- four kids sounded good to him. I also remember we planned to open a day care center and school, firmly rooted in Montessori. I detailed for him every nuance of educational philosophy and prepared environment. He was totally on board. We were going to change the world, beginning with the children.
So, that all worked out, right? We have our own little cottage school. (And exactly 26 years after that perfect date, we welcomed our ninth baby into the world.)
Sally Clarkson writes, "As a younger woman, I struggled with many of the scriptures referring to a woman's role in life. But the more I have lived, the more I have come to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of my God-given assignment. As a free-spirted person who generally thinks outside the box, I have found deep fulfillment and satisfaction in exercising my gifts, strengths,and personality to bless my family, neighbors, and friends from the strength of my home. Establishing my household as a place in which the greatness of God and a devotion to him is lived out each day has given me focus. Loving my children and nurturing their hearts and minds while training their characters and leading them to know the Lord and his purposes has satisfied my soul's need for purpose. The Mission of Motherhood,
I wish I could show you how my home looks this morning. The contractor who promised we'd do one room at a time has successfully put every single room on the main floor and my bedroom and bathroom out of commission at the same time. There is no shower available to anyone at this moment. No room is untouched by this process of transformation. Mike was up until 2:00 this morning re-wiring the bathroom. I'm bone tired. But these words--this one paragraph of Sally's-- is propelling me through this day.
Tonight, my teenagers and their friends will come here for brunch after the dance. I have a vision. It's not a business and a school and a few advanced degrees. It's a home and a handmade meal. And by golly, it's going to be warm and welcoming and beautiful. As I move about my space, putting things back in order (even bettter than before), I am so grateful for a soul overflowing with a sense of His purpose. I am grateful for a life of love lived in out in the strength of my home. I am ever so grateful for homecomings.