• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Home For The Holidays!

As I anticipate my daughter coming home, I am reminded of wanting to get home for Christmas! Remember the great snow in Wilmington in 1989? We got 17 inches! Mike and I were trying to get home for Christmas from Charlotte. His sister kept saying, "you will not make it, Michael! You need to stay here!" I had already used the house phone (since we could not text back then) and assured my momma that we would be home! I had to be home for Christmas! We spent Thanksgiving there and Christmas in Wilmington. I was blessed that Mike wanted to be in Wilmington as much as I did for Christmas. He loved that we always had company, always had people stopping by after church, always a lot of friends around. That made Christmas.


It took us 8 hours to make it to Wilmington but we got there and it was a winter wonderland! My older brother was still at "Honey and Pa's" due to the snow. Basically, they told their children a fib about the date so the kids could have Santa when they got home and not know they missed Christmas! And we always went to church on Christmas eve but no one went anywhere that Christmas. But what about Lee (my brother), Mike and I? We had a rule that Santa came until we had children!


We all love my niece and nephew but we were happy when they left the next day! It was December 25 and we knew it! Before Mom and Dad could get back in the house, Lee, Mike and I were all faking asleep in my bed so they could do the Santa thing! Mom said something to us when she came in and we all ignored her. She looked up the stairs and saw us all "asleep" in my bed and she got the message. Santa was getting ready to make a delivery!

I loved being home at Christmas. We always knew we were so loved there. No matter what a pain we had been Mom and Dad were happy to see us! You could feel the love when you came in. You knew Mom had prepared for our visit with all of our favorite goodies and meals! Even during the snow we went and walked on the beach! (Always the happy place!) And it was especially great when you had been separated from it for so long! I always had a longing to go home!


As children of God, our home isn’t a building, or even on this earth—it’s with God. Ephesians 2: 19, "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,..." John 3: 3, "Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." If you are not a child of God there is room for you too! You can be born again into God's family by accepting the gift of salvation through Jesus' death on the cross. No one messes us so bad that God won't welcome them back into a right relationship with Him.


Psalm 84: 1-4, "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you." This Psalm shows us we will yearn for home. Our heavenly home! We long to be where God dwells.


God loves us so much that He gave us His only Son so that we could have eternal life. He wants to spend eternity with us. John 3: 16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." He welcomes us home.


He loves us so much that He is preparing a place for us. Us as in you. And me. He is preparing a place for me!!! John 14: 2-3, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."


I think God gives us "homes" and the feelings of "going home" so that we can relate to the Psalmist yearn to go home in God's dwelling place. Just like I could not wait to get home I think when we are separated from God our hearts yearn for home with Him.


While I think my earthly home is a paradise with the ocean I cannot imagine what Paradise will be like. One day we will be in paradise together! Revelation 2: 7, "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." Luke 23: 43, "Jesus answered him, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.'"


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