This past weekend was Homecoming on the rolling plains of Dixie 'neath the sun-kissed sky. Homecoming is such a fun weekend because as an alumnae you have the opportunity to re-unite with old friends and as a student you participate in all of the Homecoming festivities such as campaigning for Miss Homecoming, walking in the Homecoming parade that ends with a huge pep rally at Toomer's Corner and so much more. When I was in college, my sophomore year, I was spirit chair for my sorority along with my roommate. Part of being spirit chair was making the homecoming float and boy was that a task! We worked our little fingers so hard around all of that chicken wire!!!! It was worth it in the end when our float was announced winner during the game.

The thing that makes Homecoming such a special event is the feeling of pride we all have for a place that we love. The minute my car turns off I-85 a feeling of warmth rushes over me as I head into Tiger Town. It is the same feeling; yet a little stronger; that engulfs me when I go home to Dothan. Two weeks ago, I just had to go home. It had been a couple of weeks since I had traveled down to Dothan and I just needed some TLC. When we got into town, we stopped at my grandparents house and some how we got into all of their old pictures. I just love thumbing through pictures of them - in high school when my Na Na was a majorette, or in college when my Paw Paw was titled "Jack Rabbit Creel" because he was so fast. He has this great Auburn football picture of him - the smallest player on the team - on the shoulders of the biggest guy on the team. After we said our goodbyes, we went to my parents house. They have lived in the same house for 21 years and it will forever be my home. The smell of spices and wood tickle my nose as I walk into the front door. That Friday night my dad was cooking steaks and mine was melt-in-my-mouth delicious. My mother-in-law truly likes her steak burnt, but I just think that's wrong! I love a juicy light pink fillet wrapped in bacon like it was God's gift to me from heaven!!!!!

Going home was just good for my soul. It gave me a chance to spend quality time with my family and it was a rejuvenating weekend for my spirit. On Sunday, as we made the drive back to Montgomery I was a little sad to leave but I was sitting across from my sweet guy so I knew it was going to be okay. When we decided to move to Montgomery, Lord knows that was the last place on earth that I wanted to live. I just never had a desire to live here out of all the cities in Alabama. But, it was the right decision for us and we knew God was on our side so we settled down in our states' capital. I will admit, the first couple of months were no slice of pie, but now we really do enjoy this city.

I have come to the realization that it doesn't matter where you live as long as you love who you are living with. Being a wife, it is my duty to be by my husband's side. I might not enjoy where we are going or I might even resist the decision but at the end of the day it is what I whole-heartily agreed on when I said I do. While I will forever have a special place in my heart for my home and for my parents, I live with my husband now and ultimately it is his love for me that is of utmost importance in my life. It is our agape (unconditional) love for one another that keeps our marriage as the top priority in our lives. *Agape love is "in sickness and health" love, "for richer or poorer" love, "for better or worse" love. It is the only kind of love that is true love.

*That's because this is God's kind of love. He doesn't love us because we are lovable but because He is so loving. The Bible says, "In this love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

God loves us so much. When we accepted Christ into our hearts, we made the choice to make heaven our forever home. What a home that is going to be. No more worry, no more pain, just love and honor and praise forever and ever. Daniel says, "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of ever language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14.)

Now, flip over to Revelation and see how these two different pieces of scripture connect so beautifully. "At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Then I looked and heard the voices of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and they elders. In a loud voice they sang: Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Revelation 4:2-3, 5:11-12)

Don't be scared about going home one day dear friends. Let's just get ready to experience God's full love for the rest of our days.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

**The Love Dare

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