By Reba Phelps
When my college aged bird left the nest our mother-daughter time was cut significantly. Our mother-daughter-daughter time was cut as well. Needless to say any time I have with both of my daughters under one roof is a treasure sent directly from above. They still argue and bicker just as they would if they still resided together. Most of the time it’s comical with no cause for alarm but one particular day things went south quicker than the blink of an eye.
My eldest daughter was telling me how another friend was looking for a place to rent and was becoming slightly desperate. I suggested that I could rent out her old room. The youngest was all for the possibility of having another person live in our house. I then took it a step further and said it would be really awesome to have a foreign exchange student or even a foster child.
Just thinking out loud. No harm no foul. My innocent mental offerings were quickly diminished when my eldest child dropped a bomb.
She said, “I don’t think they let foreign exchange or foster kids live in broken homes.”
Open heart, insert knife. Instantly it hurt my soul to hear these words come from what used to be my favorite child. How dare she say our home is broken? We have a happy house. Damn it. Immediately I expressed my displeasure with her assumption that we have a broken home after I’ve worked so hard to keep everything stable and happy since the unfortunate divorce incident.
After my animated expressions of disagreement she merely laughed and told me, “Look it up. I didn’t create this myself.”
Whole heartedly wanting to prove my college age know-it-all daughter wrong I sought the wise and timeless counsel of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Online, of course. According to this source a “broken home” is described as a family in which the parents are divorced. It truly didn’t sound as bad as I took it when my daughter labeled us. Taking my research a step further I looked up the word “broken” separately.
This is where my heart took another tumble.
Broken, by official definition, means; violently separated into parts, shattered, damaged or altered by or as if breaking.
This really made me stop and reflect about my broken home. While this past year has been full of challenges, it has also been full of new happiness and peace. It has been full of change and new routine but it has not broken us. This year has taught me to be a better mother and cherish every moment I have with my daughters. Above all, this past year has taught all of us to put our faith first and our problems last.
Just because Merriam-Webster defined our home as broken it doesn’t mean that we have to live broken lives. We never have to live according to the definitions given to us by others.
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15