I just returned from a few days in Arkansas. When I was a teenager and even in my early 20's, I couldn't really stand going to Arkansas or being there. It was like some kind of obligation. Thankfully as time progresses, I've grown up and don't feel that way anymore. So, I thought I would share how I feel about my family (immediate and extended) who I get to see when I am Arkansas.
Even though it is not my home there anymore, you make me feel right at home. You invite me to come, kick off my shoes, and stay awhile. You care more about my life than most would even venture to ask. You celebrate the little joys in my life and are so excited about what the future holds. You ask questions, sometimes you are nosy, but I think it is just because you care more than most. You are a safe place for me, where I don't have to worry about what I might say or how I look. You think I am beautiful all the time and you tell me so. You allow me to talk freely and openly about ministry, but never ask me to minister in a specific situation. However, you minister to me. I am served and loved in the most incredible ways. The little things you do bring me great joy. You recharge me and encourage me. You notice little things and listen to my stories, but most of all you just let me be me. Thanks for understanding when I want to be alone and when I can stay awake till 1 am talking about everything. Thank you for saying sweet things about my Mom and helping me remember things about her. Thank you for already knowing the things I like and enjoy without me even saying a word. Thank you for making me laugh and laughing at me when I say or do something stupid. Thank you for reminding how blessed I truly am with an incredible family. Thank you for sacrificing your time for me, your investment in my life has not gone unnoticed. You remind me of Philippians 1. I do thank my God with every remembrance of you, and I hold you deeply in my heart.
Just in case you didn't realize or I failed to tell you, You are my favorite thing about coming home.