Wow! Can you believe 2015 is already here? It seems the older you get, the faster the years fly. Welcome to my little corner of the blog world! You may be wondering who Magnolia Mama is, so let me introduce myself. My name is Sara Leach and I’m a 35-year-old, divorced mother of two precious children. My daughter, Addison, is 8 years old and my son, Landry, is 6. They are truly my greatest accomplishments as I tried three years and battled infertility to have them. But as always, God heard my prayers and blessed me with two amazing children. We live in Mississippi, where the magnolia is our state flower and we are known for our hospitality. But more importantly, Mississippi is where our family is. By day, I’m a public affairs specialist for the federal government and by night, you can find me at PTO meetings, trying out new recipes, rocking babies at church or spending time with family and friends.
Two years ago, my life changed suddenly when my husband asked me for a divorce after 14 years together and ten years of marriage. We had just completed building a home and despite that, he wanted out. I was devastated, lost, heartbroken, confused and the list goes on. He had always wanted to fulfill the American dream by building a home, yet here I stood in the middle of a 3700- square-foot home all alone…just my children and me…trying to pick up the pieces and figure out what went so wrong. I sold that home after only one year and my kids and I found ourselves in a smaller yet beautiful home in the center of town. Moving twice in one year made me reevaluate many things. Mainly, it made me ask myself…what really makes a home? After all, I had designed every nook and cranny of the house my husband and I built, down to the hinges and light fixtures. However, as I sat in an empty, quiet house on the weekends when my kids were with their father, it didn’t feel like a home at all. It felt like an isolation chamber of steel…cold, dark and lifeless…and I wanted out as soon as possible.
So, what makes a home and what lessons have I learned in the past two years? Home is truly where the heart is! Home is laughter, comfort, peace, sometimes chaos and noise, but it’s finding the joy in every single day. Home for me is where my family and friends are. God uses our pain for a purpose and I see that more and more each day.
My dad is one of six children, which makes for a very large extended family. From the day I was born, we’ve joined the rest of my aunts, uncles, cousins at my grandparents’ three bedroom, one bath home for Christmas. It’s loud and sometimes crazy, but it’s an amazing sight to witness. There’s so much love in that little house and I wouldn’t trade Christmases there for a penthouse suite in the location of choice. My grandmother, who recently passed away, taught me about faith and showcased Jesus’ love in everything she did. She also treated everyone who graced her doorway like family…no matter who they were. My heart is in that house…with the laughter, stories, smells of southern cookin’ and the love of family. That’s what makes a home and I strive to carry on that legacy with my own children. I pray that they learn a home is much more than walls….it’s the love and faith housed inside.
“…you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on your door posts of your house and gates. -Deuteronomy 6:6-9″
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