How Do I Get Home?
by Ronda Sturgill
Her children arise and call her blessed.
I find it both sad and comical that when my adult son wants to come home for a visit, he has to put our address into his GPS so he knows how to get here. We’re so used to our children traveling the world with us, but what happens after they leave the nest? As we continue to move to different locations every few years, home suddenly becomes a place they’ve never been to before. As moms of adult children, how do we make sure they still feel at home when they visit, even when there is nothing familiar to them about where we’re living?
First and foremost, making our adult children feel at home is all about our relationship with them. The dynamics of our parent/child relationships change drastically as they desire and require more autonomy. We can no longer tell them what to do. We can no longer fix their problems. We can no longer ‘parent’ them. But we can learn to appreciate the person who God has made them to be.
Respecting the choices and decisions they’ve made, regardless of whether or not we agree with them, is the first step to making them feel at home. No one wants to visit anybody if they know they’ll be condemned or criticized for choices they’ve made. Acknowledge that it takes time for our adult children to find their footing in the world we live in today. Enjoy the process of watching God work in their lives, even if it’s not evident on the outside. Allow God to work in their hearts in His own way by trusting that He is growing them in their spiritual walk.
Become your adult child or children’s greatest cheerleader as they follow their dreams, but give them room to make a mistake or experience a failure. Encourage them with Scripture. If they encounter a roadblock that leads to their discouragement, point them to the One who can fix their problem. By pointing them to the Light, they are able to see things with a new perspective, giving them hope that things will turn out for their good.
Some practical things I try to do to make our adult son feel at home when he visits is to have a room for him. If he should get married one day and have a family, I want them all to know that there is a room for them in my house; space they can call their own, even if it’s just for a few days.
I try to leave some of his favorite products in a bathroom drawer that only contains his things. When we have a drawer full of our own stuff, we feel more like we’re at home.
And then there’s food! There are always favorite meals we enjoy together, reminding us all how truly grateful we are to be so blessed, while living in the midst of such a mixed up world. In the end, this is what being home is all about, making true the statement, “there really is no place like home!”
For those who are empty nesters still on active duty, which part of this devotion resonates with you the most?
What are some of the things you do to make your adult children feel at home?
I’m so thankful for my family. I’m thankful for the people my adult children have grown into being. Continue to bless them as they find their way in this world. And help me to always make them feel at home.
About the Author:
The wife of an Air Force Chaplain, Ronda is the author of three Bible studies: Wives of the Warriors, Living Confidently in Christ, available at www.pleasantword.com; Desperate Housecries: Discovering Genuine Hope in God; and Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition. She is also a contributor to Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody Publishers 2008) and to its sequel, Faith Deployed . . . Again (August 2011). With a passion for teaching God’s Word, she often speaks at women’s retreats and conferences and would love to speak at yours! She and her husband are currently stationed at Dover AFB in Delaware. To contact Ronda, visit her website at www.rondasturgill.com