Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A few years ago, I began to notice that when I had been gone from the house for long hours Gatsby would insist upon plopping on my lap or stretching his body full length, paws on my shoulders, in a Cocker Spaniel hug. He was more needy than usual after a long absence. He needed to be close to his mommy. So I would say, and I still do when he gets this way, that he has an "-itis," a sickness caused by time spent apart, and cured only by time spent together.
When I picked my mom up from the airport on Thursday, I think I might have had a little mommyitis of my own. I didn't plop down on her lap, but I did give her a hug, and the sickness caused by being far away from home got a little treatment when part of home came to me.
I was reading an Anne Graham Lotz book today, and I loved her description of her father (Billy Graham's) home in the North Carolina Blue Ridge. She writes, "For me, "home" is synonymous with love, acceptance, comfort and security. It is a place where my needs are met. It is a place where I can take my burdens and lay them down. It is a place not only where I can find answers but where my questions no longer seem to matter...to go home is to be refreshed in my spirit and refocused in my thoughts and renewed in my strength and restored in my heart." With each word, I thought, "me too, Anne, me too." We are privileged children, Anne Graham Lotz and I, to have, even in adulthood, a cornerstone of comfort in North Carolina. Since I can't drive home all the time, it's so sweet when home comes to me, and that's exactly what happened when my mom stepped off the plane. With her she brought that love, acceptance and security. I was noticed, significant, protected and appreciated with the special love only mothers can give for five days! I ate it up!
And I ate up a lot of other things too! Eating is a highlight for me and my mom. My brother and dad are way less food-oriented, but mom and I love to find a new recipe or a new restaurant. Andy, who shares the same passion, was disappointed to be at drill for most of the weekend and miss out on the round of restaurants at which we dined (he did make it to some!). Favorites from the weekend's menu were- queso compuesto at Chuy's, steak and Gorgonzola salad at the Oasis, schnitzel and strudel in Fredericksburg, burgers and fries at Moonies, cappuccino and caramel latte at Cafe Medici, Italian soda from Big Top and, at Hudson's, an array of exotics- rattlesnake cake, duck, rabbit, elk, venison, and bison followed by Creme Brulee and a decadent chocolate-dipped Turtle pecan pie. And in the midst, we surveyed recipes in magazines for the upcoming holiday season and decided upon a few things for the Christmas menu! It's so exciting for us to plan meals and enjoy them together. :)
We also saw the sights. Mount Bonnell, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Oasis on Friday. A wonderful trip out to Fredericksburg for a day of shopping on Saturday. And Town Lake, Zilker Park, SoCo, Sixth Street and some favorite downtown shops on Monday.
But my favorite thing to share with my mom is always God's revelation. Anne Graham Lotz also writes that when her daughter comes home she knows that she will want to just sit and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. On Saturday, my mom said to me, "Meredith, Andy is going to thank me for taking up your word quota." I knew what she meant. I am such a talker. To process or grieve or even rejoice, so many words seem necessary. But it's not just that my mom absorbs them, she shares so many of them. Words like "sovereignty," "shepherding," "discipline," "rebuking," words I don't need to or want to or even am able to share with anybody and everybody. But she understands them, appreciates them and speaks them back to me. I loved seeing her feverishly write down the truths Jeff spoke about El Shaddai, the Almighty One, at Sunday service at the Stone. And I was thrilled that she, like me, was strengthened and encouraged by Holly's leadership and lecture at BSF on Monday night. She is not just an on-looker, but a co-laborer and therefore appreciator of God's grace demonstrated through gifted teachers and leaders.
While she was here, I kept thinking about the upcoming Holiday season. We were searching for the perfect decorative turkey to go out in her yard (and we found him, too!) But while shopping and going around town, I felt so festive, like the Christmas season was already here. On the way home from the airport, I told Andy I felt like I had just had a holiday. I guess that I had in so many ways.
I just want to thank God for my mom today because she has so consistently chosen to be a blessing- to choose truth and love and forgiveness and trust in God in the face of trials and she so generously gives those things, plus her time and her gift-giving to me! I am so blessed and do not deserve such things. But I receive them as God's grace. I love you mom, thank you so much for coming to visit. We LOVED having you and want you and dad and Grant to visit again! We will see you at Christmas and will be in an even more festive mood. Fondue here we come! :)