The clock reads 12:15 a.m…then 1:15 a.m…now 2:30 a.m., and I lay here, still awake. Unable to sleep
since waking with one of the kids who needed to use the restroom. Unusual for me, as I am typically able to fall back to sleep quickly, but tonight my mind begins to race with all the changes coming to our lives.

I wonder about where we’re moving, if it’s right. As I toss and turn and fret, a familiar feeling begins to rise in my chest, a fear, yes, but more than that, an ache. A familiar homesickness that sends me back to moments and memories of childhood where I longed for nothing more than to hug my mother's neck, smell her familiar scent, and know at once that I was home.

Home. A place you feel loved and known and know well yourself. For me, home has always afforded me comfort and safety. And this unsettledness, this homesickness I feel—can’t be shaken anymore by the embrace of my mother. Now I am the mother, loving my children, calming their fears.

But homesickness rises in me just the same and, as silent tears slip down my cheeks, I find myself whispering to God, “I just want to feel like I am home again.”

The other day, Kyle asked jokingly why my friend Julie and I argue—or what I like to simply call banter—so much.

“Because she is safe for me,” I responded without thinking. And it’s true. Together, through our mutual love and respect for one another, we are allowed to dream big and ponder ideas that sometimes feel too heavy to bear alone. We've logged years of vulnerable and trusted conversations, so much so, that bantering honestly feels safe with her like few other people I know.

She is a safety net for me.

This morning, I picked up my youngest child, only three, who stretched out her arms for comfort after a perceived slight. As I whispered tender words in her ear to soothe her wounded heart, I realized I am a safety net for her.

Later, as I was cleaning up dishes and cutting vegetables for supper, I wondered: Do I do this often enough? How can I be better at loving those around me, unconditionally?