Today is my mom’s birthday.

I didn’t bake her a cake.

I didn’t call and sing to her over the phone.

I didn’t even send her a card.

If I decide to stop by to wish her a happy birthday, the closest I will get will be to sink my knees into the cold earth next to her grave.

Every time I go to ‘visit’ her at the cemetery, an inner transformation takes place.

My fingers grudgingly turn the steering wheel into the driveway, and dread sits indian-style in my stomach, unwilling to budge.

I go in with a narrow lens zoomed in on my own self-pity.

Then I start to walk around, slowly, intentionally.  I read the inscriptions on the tombstones, and my inward focus is gradually turned outward.

I grieve for people I’ve never met.  I feel the weight of the burdens of those left behind — names with no faces, but with bleeding hearts like mine.

I start to look through wider lenses, and with a panoramic view, I can see how gracious the Lord was, even in my own deep sense of loss.

For me, walking through a cemetery is an incredibly humbling ritual.

There is nothing quite like it to remind me that


Is Not.

Our Home.

This is Day 30 of ‘Defining Home in 31 Days.’  For a full contents page for this series, click here.