Tonight we made the trip home from my sister's. Dave and I visited about how amazing this trip was for us. Really we couldn't have asked for anything more. Both the drives and the visit brought us such happiness. We were so content to spend time with our kids, my siblings, my parents, and my nieces and nephews. It seems our lives are pretty out of control most days with all the hustle and bustle of raising our kids, running a business, and managing Ashley's cares. We don't have much down time to just enjoy the relationships we've been blessed with. What matters most to us in this life are those relationships. Investing in them and allowing ourselves to slow down over the last 4 days was exactly what we both needed.
We sat still. We laughed. We ate. We played games. We laughed some more. We shopped(well my sisters and I did). We visited. We planned. We played some more games. Then we laughed even more. Seriously, playing a board game with my brother and his wife last night, one of my brother in laws, and Blake was probably the most fun Dave and I have had in months. I haven't laughed that hard in forever. It was the perfect memory to end the holiday on.
I especially enjoyed watching my 4 year old niece interact with Ashley Kate. The two of them were absolutely precious. My heart could have burst with the happiness I felt as I watched those two little girls together. Just another memory I'll forever be thankful for.
I never fail to wonder as I lay my head down back in our "home" town each holiday we spend there what life would have been like if Dave and I had not moved away. Both of my parents live there(they split up when I was only 7 year old) and all 3 of my siblings live there too. We are the only ones who don't live there. The only family unit out of all of us that moved away. I long to be there in the midst of it all sometimes. So when I'm "home" thoughts of what life might be tend to cross my mind. Last night as the thoughts came tumbling into my head I glanced across the bed at my beautiful 6 year old daughter and immediately knew we were never meant to stay "home". Never. There was a purpose in our move all those years ago and mere inches away from me there she was. Our purpose. My purpose. God had something so amazing in mind for us the day we packed up our moving van and ventured out into the great state of Texas that even my wildest of dreams could have never imagined. No more longing or wondering or imagining what life would have been...He settled it for me right then and there. We are home. Here in Texas with the kids. All three of them. Had we never have come she would have never become ours. Its that simple. Its that profound. It was His plan. His amazing, wonderful, undeniable plan for our lives. Ashley awaited us, years down the road from that moving day, and only He knew.
So tonight as the house has grown quiet, and the lights have been turned off, I sit here in our family room and I stare at the reflection of the Christmas tree in the glass on the doors across the room from me. Its my favorite place to sit, to be, at this time of day, during this time of the year. Its so warm. So welcoming. So home to me. I never feel more content in my life than I do during moments like this. The kids all sleeping in their beds. Dave retiring to our room. Me sitting still, absorbing my surroundings. I'm so grateful. My heart takes note of all I am being given. This time. The memories. The gift of her life. Its hard for me to want to be anywhere else but here and I realize that as good as it feels to go to our "home" town it feels even better to come back home.
It was a blessed Thanksgiving for my family. I can't think of one that has ever been more precious to me. It was one more I wasn't "supposed" to be given with her and yet He gave it anyway. I can't put into words the thoughts of my heart on this subject. They are just too...indescribable. As I look toward the Christmas holiday I imagine sitting here in this spot with our sweet Ashley Kate just feet away from me tucked warmly into her tiny bed as I log each days events into the memory of my heart. I hope to never find our family scattered across the miles from each other again. In the deepest parts of my heart He knows my longing, my hope, my desire for this little family of mine. Although I'm too afraid to voice them aloud, I've shared them with the only One Who can make them more than just a dream.
Truly, with God all things are possible.
Hoping your Thanksgiving was really amazing and wishing each and every one of you who still follow along this journey with us a very, very blessed holiday season. Make the most out of the moments you are given. They are an amazing gift. Love you all. Good night.