home for the holidays

SoΒ I just got back from winter break and I’m laying in bed in my apartment, listening to the sounds of evening traffic that I missed while I was home.

I missed a lot of other things, too. I missed the twinkle of city lights outside my window. I missed Cathy’s comforting presence (although technically my mom is named Cathy, so really I’m always in some Cathy’s presence). I missed having coffee places within walking distance. I missed the friends I made this past fall and the church that I now call home. I missed the sound of the nearby cathedral’s bells ringing throughout the day and the eerie whistle of trains at night. I missed the beauty of Pittsburgh and its people.

But to be honest, I didn’t realize that I missed all of those things until I came back.

I could say the same exact thing about home. I didn’t realize how much I missed the craziness of living in a house with six other people (plus one cat), the warm hugs of the middle/high school girls from my home church, the late nights and laughter I shared with friends I hadn’t seen in months. I didn’t realize how much I missed having a car to drive and a homemade meal every night. I didn’t realize how much I missed snuggling with my little brothers and watching classic claymation Christmas movies with my parents and taking sneakyΒ Snapchat videos of my brother and sister because they’re hilarious when they don’t even try.

I missed all those things, and now that I’m here, I want them back. I want to rewind to the beginning of winter break and load my ungodly amount of luggage into my parents’ Infiniti and listen to my dad quote Dumb and Dumber and crack up at himself on the way home. I want at least one more week of break like it seems literally all of my other college friends have. I want to bundle up in one of the many fuzzy Christmas blankets my family owns, curl up in front of our fireplace, and sleep all my responsibilities and homesickness away.

I know this is starting to sound like a complete Debbie Downer post, but I’m actually going somewhere hopeful with this. However fast it flew by, the time I spent with my friends and family these past few weeks has made me so, so much more thankful for them. I know a lot of people here absolutely dread going home for break and count the days down ’til they come back. They don’t have a family who supports and loves them unconditionally and they feel more at home in their college dorm than they do in the place where they grew up, and that thought makes me sad. Some people don’t even have the option to go home for the holidays, like my Chinese roommate who spent break with her mother here and then drove her to the airport last night so she could fly an entire half of the world away. Mine is a five-hour car and/or train ride, and the fact that I have options is a blessing in itself.

So even though I’m still in the process of mourning over the end of break, I’m also beyond grateful that God gave me time to go home and celebrate the birth of His son, His family, with my own. I know that He brought me back here this week for a specific purpose and that I need to trust in His flawless (cue Beyonce πŸ˜‰ ) timing in every aspect of my life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…”

-Kati Lynn

P.S. I feel kinda lame saying this after writing all of that, but I actually get to go home again next weekend to see my sister’s dance performance. So really, winter break isn’t quite over for me yet. πŸ™‚