Coming Home


There is a part of our family’s weekday that has hit the jackpot for me in hidden treasure moments. 

As the clock ticks closer to the 2pm hour, my husband and I debate who will get the “opportunity” to “enjoy” the car-loop and pick-up our older boys from school. Somedays one of us may appear eager to risk our sanity and make the voyage. Most days, however, I take the journey where many moms travel. My husband works a late night shift for most of the week, so he heads off to work moments after our boys make it home. Somedays, I just want him home to see their faces as they explode through the front door. I know as he looks into their eyes he is gently reminded that what he is doing matters. It is important. He is needed and our family would not function without his strong-willed work ethic. And…I don’t enjoy a half-awake husband behind the wheel of our crowded minivan, steering through an obstacle course of clueless minions, lunch boxes, lost pets and quick-escaping teachers. 

No. Seriously not going there. 

Did I mention that our kids are at two completely different schools?

Two completely different pick-up routines. 

Two different times. 

Two different schedules. 

One mom. 

One crazily exploding brain. 

(Yes, you do the math.)

Some afternoons are flawless. God smiles down at me as I mysteriously hit every single green light. My wonderfully behaved children greet me with anticipation as they start spilling details about a successful day. 

But that’s not exactly the case on most days. No. 

Our normal scenario has me waiting at every single light because my van seems to reach the intersection just moments before that shade of reb burns a daunting evil laugh that radiates my patience-chord. Of course there is a traffic camera. As I find my parking spot at school number one, I learn he had a horrible day because “Frosty the snowman is gone now.” Of course he is. Christmas is done and over with. Decorations have been packed away. But no, the moment he noticed his beloved plush friend gone from his classroom shelf at precisely 8am that morning, his day melted quicker than Frosty ever could.

And continued to melt as we tracked to the van.

And as we tried to buckle his seat belt..

I even heard mild, gentle sobs coming from the backseat as we pulled away from the scene of the snowman crime. 

Yes, This was serious. 

Three red lights later we are at the next school in bumper to bumper carpool chaos. The dad in front of me did not read the carpool manual because his vehicle is clearly out of place. The lady behind me can’t get off her cell phone. The white truck beside me is daring to rear-end the side of my van, inching for a slight advantage to the cluttered minion of children. 

And Frosty is still gone.

The van door flings open because the safety patrols have finally figured out our van is the only vehicle that requires a PE workout to open correctly…no easy automatic door openers here! My child – thank goodness they brought me the right child this time – appears dismayed. 

“Mom you are kinda late today” he says. 

“I love you” I respond. It’s our code for mommy has had a crazy past few moments, so let it go or prepare to deal with your nightmare. 

(Don’t judge me – you’ve been here too.)


As the radio station grows a bit staticy at a – you guessed it – red light, all of the sudden an announcer breaks the silence with an important message: “Our prices are thumpity thumping all the way down too…goodbye Frosty!”

Laughter from one child. Complete distress from the other. 

Four more red lights and our tires reach the driveway. All eyes focus on the big front window that stretches across the horizon of our living room. In unison we breathe in together. Yes, thank God we made it. 


We made it through another unpredictable, adventurous day out in the world and we are home.

But we are all so tired now. 

We need to be seen, heard, held and loved. 

Though life may be messy, we know it’s always safe to come home. 

[tweetthis]Though life may be messy, we know it’s always safe to come home. [/tweetthis]

We know someone is always waiting. 

For my older boys, their youngest brother is usually always there, peering out the big window, waiting eagerly for their arrival. What a welcoming expectation my boys have for one another!  

Frosty might be gone. Mommy might be late. But no matter what happens out there, we can always come home and smile. (And we do.)

I know you may pull up your driveway, look at the cracks shining through the mask of your front door and count your miracle blessings that the walls of your house don’t talk. You may not feel safe to come home. You may not even want to keep coming home. It seems too hard. You feel too alone. You feel like there is never a “safe place” to run to in your life. 

Oh, but there is. 

Even if it is not at your physical home right now (because I’ve seen God change unsafe places and make them completely new, grace-covered Promised Lands) you can always keep running Home to His rest. I feel the same explosive welcoming each moment I intentionally spend time with God. No matter what occurs in my life, I know, trust and rely on the mere Truth that I can always run to Him and feel completely safe… each and every time. No matter what. 

It’s ok to smile.

It’s ok to breathe in deeply. 

It’s ok to just rest. 

It’s ok to be known past the smiles, past the tears and past the unrest. 

It’s ok to be loved completely, unconditionally for who you are. Because, you are His child and you are always home with Abba.

Anyone waiting for you to return home today? 


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35 thoughts on “Coming Home

  1. What an incredible picture of God the Father. By the way, I do not judge, not one bit. Because you are right, I have TOTALLY been there. I can see myself through every step of your afternoon pick up! I love the part about the mini van too. That would be me, except I am an envious. Because even though my banged up, cracked wind shield, 13 year old Toyota Highlander might seem like a more youthful alternative to a minivan it is DEFINITELY not as practical. And I eagerly anticipate joining the mini van club one of these days.

    Thanks for the laugh and the encouragement!

    • Ha Natalie…you made me laugh! When we paid the final payment for our minivan, the ceiling drapery started caving in, the seat buckles started breaking, a side door lock quit responding to the remote and the rubber lining on the windows started falling off. Don’t envy the minivan club…I wish I could get my herd into a car but that’s not happening anytime soon!

  2. That is one hectic pickup! I have a blissful year where all three of my kids are in the same elementary school. Next year my daughter heads off to “collège” – junior high. I am fully enjoying this last year where my duckies are all together.

    • Oh that sounds like a breath of fresh air over here! Yet, the term “college” made he swallow hard a bit. I want to keep my duckies young!!

  3. I can well remember the runs in the afternoon. Somedays it was a breathe of relief when we made it back in the house & could stay settled for the night. Wonderful analogy. So grateful He always is there waiting for me! Blessings!

  4. Today is my lucky day! I got to “meet” you for the first time! I absolutely loved your post. My kids are older now (you can read about how this crabby Mom deals with teenagers over at DoAhead :)) but I smiled repeatedly as my mind traveled back in time through your stories. Oh my. After school pick up…those were the days! Loved the reminiscing but even more I appreciated your insight! I was blessed today by your writing. It was my privilege getting to know you through Inspire Me Monday!

    • Hi Cindy! Funny…I now have so many writing connections who are parents of teens that love “remembering the good oil’ days” when they look at my blog. It helps me keep perspective too! Great meeting you!

  5. Sounds like you do have your days full…but blessed…despite the red lights. 🙂 I remember those days when my girls were little. We even juggled different schools at one point too, so I completely understand why keeping patience is hard to do. But I agree – there is no place like home. That is where my heart always longs to be. Thanks so much for sharing a great pot today.


  6. “Though life is messy, we know it’s always safe to come home.” Yes! Yes! As mom of three young boys, I give a resounding, “YES!”

  7. This was great! 🙂 I always had the problem of not being able to get my daughter to school on time. Now that my husband takes her, I have no more excuses for when I walk in to work late. 😉 Great post!

    • Oh yes…kids become our excuse plan A…and like you, without them I’m stuck with blaming myself too…and that’s not any fun!!! Made me smile! Thanks for joining in the discussion!

    • Melanie –
      This was something I learned from Lysa Terkeurst! Great advice that we apply to keep my raw emotions in check during these sacred van rides!!

  8. Great post, Bethany! I could picture the scene so vividly. One of the things I dislike about being single and living alone is coming home to an empty house. 🙁 But I love going to a friends and realizing how excited they are to see me. Today was one of those days. I got to spend it with my dear friend and we havent seen each other for like 3 weeks (way too long!)

    • Oh Tara…if only you lived closer and wanted to babysit….oh, I can just imagine the possibilities! Ha!! Never take what God has given you for granted! That friendship sounds amazing!

  9. Oh how I understand the carpool line waiting and frustration! We currently have our two oldest girls riding the bus, but if we eventually transfer them to Catholic school as we’d like to do, we will wind up back in the carpool lane again. Our baby girl still has 4 years left to go before she starts school. Once she gets to 1st grade though, we’ll have three in three different schools. Ayiyiyi! Home is, for me, definitely a place I much prefer to be. We just got back last Tuesday evening from a trip to my inlaws 900 miles away for the holidays (and it was a super long trip and super stressful both on the road and while we were there) and I couldn’t wait to finally get home. I actually got teary eyed and exclaimed, “Hallelujah Jesus!” when we crossed the state line even though we still had a couple of hours left to drive. 🙂 There’s no place like home when life is messy and chaotic. Hope your littlest one is feeling less frustrated over his lost stuffed Frosty friend! It’s so hard to be little, sometimes!

    • Oh my goodness – it was impossible to read your comment without smiling! I hate road trips, yet with family scattered across the U.S. – it’s a given that we get to travel. I am the same way – our van clunks up to the driveway and I’m so relieved to finally be home. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation! Loved reading your comments my friend!! (And Frosty has been re-created!).

  10. I am blessed because “coming home” has always been a safe destination for me. I try to be that same safe place to others who are hurting by being available and present when they need a listening ear or a strong shoulder.
    Beautiful post, Bethany, but then again all of yours are. xo

    • Susan – Your words were right on as I read them tonight. You gathered something from this post that some others missed. Depending on where you define Hime determines how you can get there and how long you can spend there. You are encouraging!!!!

  11. Oh, Bethany, this is beautiful and funny and YES, I’ve had those days! I still have them sometimes, and my girls are no longer toddlers…um…they are both in their 20s. Isn’t it wonderful that God is always waiting for us? That he WANTS to hear about our days and our problems and our successes? I love that!

    • Anita –
      Yes…His presence truly gives us a safe, present, consistent and secure place to run. A Home within a home perhaps. Glad you chimed in! I always love seeing your comments!

  12. Bethany – Love your post and your poster picture about messy days (I have a lot of them). My daughters used to have regular meltdowns in our van on the long twenty minute drive home from school and I used to just thank God that they felt safe to be totally ‘real’ with me. I do it all the time with God, too. Blessings, sandraj

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