We stepped inside the front doorway of our new house nineteen years ago. From that moment, this nearly one hundred year old farmhouse felt like home to me. In my notebook that I carried most everywhere I went was a page of notes — prayer requests, actually. And among those requests were *specific details — astonishingly, right before my eyes, most everything in and about this home that day. I realized that the Lord had, in His merciful kindness allowed me to write that list, pray over it and wait on Him. It was also in His merciful kindness that He would provide or answer those requests.
That list was made as a result of talking with my sister in law about the non-availing search for a home for our family — her thoughtful, encouraging suggestion was that I just write out a request and lay it before the Lord. She encouraged me to write it out seeing that He already knew my heart and more importantly, that He already knew what we needed and, Providentially, His own answer to those needs.
The day I first walked through this home, pregnant with our ninth baby, carrying the eighth in my arms, our other children walking beside me, hand in hand, I was overcome with all I saw. So much history worn into the floors, walls and door frames of this old house. That mental picture comes to mind whenever I wonder: Can God provide a table in the wilderness? And when I affirm: surely, His eye is on the sparrow.
I’ve always imagined that when we get to heaven, the Lord will take us in His arms and say, Welcome Home. And we’ll forever be home. We’ll forever be in the place He prepared for us and we’ll never lack, never doubt, never hunger, never wander. We’ll never seek another, never long for another place when we’re finally home.
In the early days, we sat on the *porch swing, soaking in the morning sun — so much *open space around us. We stood in *our yard and watched the sunsets. Light streamed in the *windows on *all-four-sides of our house. Our yard – what an amazing thought to us! We were overcome with gratitude to the Lord for His goodness. Every day, the sun (or the rain or the wind) was visible outside our bedroom window under the canopy of the *willow tree. Children ran up and down the lane, played in *the field, took turns on the tire swing hanging from the *willow tree. They bathed in the old *claw-foot bathtub and each had a *special area in the bedrooms–*enough room for everyone. … we ate from the *garden — raspberries and a little later that year, apples and walnuts. All these * things * were on my list. All of these things so amazed us day after day. More so, year after year.
Around that time, on our front door I wrote: The Welcome Home. I never wanted to forget that this house was a little glimpse, a little foretaste of heaven. Anyway, that’s why I call this site The Welcome Home… the blog I write under the willow tree of the welcome home.