Feeling at home
by Chelsea Boes
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at 3:59 pm
While I was planning our wedding—picking out plates, whittling down the guest list, and taking melatonin to help me sleep at night—a friend told me the actual marriage part would be a relief. Somewhere in the bottom of my busy heart I thought this too good to be true.
But she was right. As I’m writing, the calendar marks our fourth month of marriage. Since our wedding, the angst has evaporated and left me feeling at home in a way I can’t describe. In our little apartment our joint books, his guitar, and my patchwork quilt all smile out at me as if to say, “Live here. You’re home.”
It was in this attitude of comfort that I looked out the window last week and saw my parents’ car rounding the corner and into our driveway—their first visit to our married house. I went out to meet them in my bare feet. They unpacked a trunk full of country gifts for us: blueberries and strawberries they had picked, squash and tomatoes from their garden, a steak, and a foot-high pile of recipe magazines. All their extras.
We sat by the charcoal fire while the lamb chops cooked, and they regaled us with news of the church conference they had just attended in New Jersey. They stayed late, propped up by the sofa while I prodded my dad for stories from his childhood. And as soon as they drove away, I wished they would come back.
Two days later, Jonathan’s parents’ car appeared in the driveway. They, too, brought gifts: three huge sunflowers for the table, caramel apples, chocolate covered huckleberries, and a book they had picked up on their recent trip to Yellowstone. They stayed late enough for brisket, two nature walks, several long talks, and ice cream. And when their car glided out of the drive, we were sad all over again.
God has blessed Jonathan and me with sets of parents who serve Him in their own ways. Each set has formed a family grounded in kindness. That kindness overspills into generosity to everyone—especially us. But now, by forming a new family, we have each separated from our parents. At the same time, our extended family has doubled in size. Instead of one father, we have two. Instead of one mother, we have two.
I read in a book once that life is a grand series of trade-offs and that no season has all the joys. We know the truth of that by instinct, but it’s nice to hear it expressed—and to realize it’s OK. We can shift from an old season to a new season with hope. We don’t have to live in the past. On the other hand, we don’t have to forget where we came from. This is a brand new joy, and it’s a mystery. It’s part of what makes home beautiful.