Most recently I have been thinking and studying about what it is to create a home. This is really the first time I have felt “settled” since being in Virginia. My idea of home has always been different than most. Growing up, I remember growing sunflowers in our garden, our cast iron stove with some good smelling concoction always simmering on top of it, handmade things (whether it be Dad’s fishing flies or Mom’s clothes she’d make at the factory), boxes and boxes of fabric (what I wouldn’t give for all of that now), or homemade potato soup at the dinner table. These are all some of the most special things to me about my childhood. My parents probably remember the ‘reason why” we lived like that. But my perspective of my childhood was so different from reality, I guess. I had no idea our financial situation, or what life was like outside of my home. I didn’t know all those quaint things were so cozy to me until I left them. And now I am realizing how very much a family needs a home. A real home. A warm, cozy place where everyone can be themselves and feel safe. I know that it’s a little early to be making New Years resolutions, but my next year will be spent making sure that my family has a place to call “home.” I understand that it will never be perfect, there will always be something to do: dirty dishes in the sink, laundry to fold, dinner to cook, and sleepy children. My hope is that, just maybe, in all of that, I can see the beautiful gift it is to have a family of my own and create an atmosphere for us all to enjoy even in the toughest of times….And through this new parenthood experience I have gained a whole new appreciation for my own parents. They were not perfect and they had a lot to work through when they started their family. I am so thankful that they never gave up on each other or on me. If they had… I would not be the person I am today. So, thank you, Mom and Dad, for your obedience to the Lord and your strength to follow through.