Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A LOVE Package...

Last night was one of those nights that got the best of me.
Alone with the three kids, I was trying to balance work, fun, and learning through homework, housework, dinner, games, and conversation. As each hour of the evening progressed, and each child became increasingly tired, my patience and energy began to thin.
There is only so much grace and understanding one can give to her tired child who tends to whine, complain and spread his contagious bad attitude and ungrateful heart until it turns the whole house upside down. These are lessons we have been working on for quite some time...choosing joy...choosing a thankful heart...choosing words that are helpful, not hurtful...ones that honor God and honor mommy and daddy. Being content.
Some days it feels like I am getting nowhere and everything I am trying to instill is falling on deaf ears. It can feel exhausting.
And when you mix that with a mommy who has lost her temper and let anger and frustration replace the sheet of patience she was desperately clinging too, you have an uproar.
In addition to this...earlier that afternoon, I came across an old file on my mother and father in-laws PC that contained home videos of our family recorded while living in our old home. Files we had downloaded there before we bought our MAC. I was instantly warmed by seeing "us" just being "us" in our own space. It was nice to see my old furniture and decorations and all the things that I created to make our home feel like a home. We've been with my in-laws for almost 17 months now. I hadn't seen these belongings in quite some time. I missed them. I was strangely filled with feelings of sadness for what once was,
but also excitement for what is to come.
But it wasn't the furniture and "things" that made me yearn and long for our own space again, it was the underlying serenity and tranquility that exuded from our family in these videos (something I haven't felt for a really long time). It was the intangible climate that only our family of 5 can create together in our own space. An energy that can't be replicated or recreated. It was familiar. It was peace to my soul.
It was a colossal exhale.
It was home.
That's what I miss.
So, between that trip down memory lane and an evening that ended on a bad note, I wasn't feeling my best.
I hadn't gotten the mail all day and around 9pm at night, Dennis and Linda came home and brought in the mail...and there on the table sat an unexpected package for me.
I quickly recognized the writing and return address as my Mama Jo's, and opened it with great anticipation.
Inside the package I found a table runner and tea towel in the most charming Valentine's fabric.
Words really can't describe what this meant to me.
It was a taste of the "familiar," a taste of "home," and felt like a big hug from my Mom leapt out of the package at just the precise time on just the right day.
My Mom knows me well, what I like and adore, down to every little detail, such as the vintage fabric and pompom trim that she used to create these pieces.
She is fabulous.
I immediately thanked God for the perfect timing of this delivery. He knows every detail of our hearts desires, and longs to deliver and fulfill.

This was a package of LOVE on many levels...
from mother to daughter and from Father to daughter.
I felt noticed and known. Loved.

And while my heart longs for our own home now...even when that day comes,
there will still be a longing for home.
For heaven is our true home. And with eternity written on our hearts, we will always feel this longing until we finally are home in heaven. Until then, we can relish in the "tastes of heaven" we receive, such as in this LOVE package from my Mom.

In Max Lucado's "Come Thirsty" book he writes,
“We have the Holy Spirit…as a foretaste of future glory” (Romans 8: 23). Samplings from heaven’s kitchen do likewise. There are moments, perhaps far too few, when time evaporates and joy modulates and heaven hands you an hors d’oeuvre. Rather than dismiss or disregard such moments as good luck, relish them. They can attune you to heaven. So can tough ones. Blessings and burdens. Both can alarm-clock us out of slumber. Gifts stir homeward longings. So do struggles. Every homeless day carries us closer to the day our Father will come.
So, I look at this package from my Mom as one of heaven's hors d' oeuvres. Attuning my heart to Valentine's Day, to love, and to the greatest message of true love we have ever received: Jesus Christ.
He came to save.
And as this towel above depicts,
He dared.
He wanted my heart.
He wanted yours.
He pursues daily.
And that is a LOVE package we can all receive.


  1. Wow, Amanda. Such a beautifully written post. You have an amazing ability to communicate God's love through your blog and your stories and experiences. I'm so blessed by you, your sisters and your mom. I read this from my bible this afternoon, it's fitting to the topic of His love for us: "Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."-Ephesians 5:1-2 from The Message

  2. Thank you Tabitha. Emily shares with me what an inspiration you are. I also appreciate the scripture passage you left. I could definitely be doing more of this and doing it better! Thanks for the encouragement, insight, and reminder to do so. And thanks for following my blog. I've never met you but I can clearly see why you are so loved by my family.

  3. Yes, it was meant to be A LOVE PACKAGE -- but I had no idea that the reception would impact me like this. Amanda, you are amazing and such an inspiration to so many people, but most of all, you inspire ME!!! Wish I could wrap my arms around you right now to thank you. You are LOVED!!!

  4. I adore your mama Jo ... and I adore YOU! So glad you were Blessed this way and I admire your strength through all of this. There is just something about a place of your own that soothes the soul. But we will NEVER know True Home until HE takes us HOME! Love it!

    Love you.

  5. Wow, how blessed are you to have Mama Jo. These are just awesome, love them and love that they are totally you. Glad God orchestrated the timing.