Away From Home

PHOTO CAPTION: On the road to far away!

Being away from home can be restful, lonesome or even stressful,
depending on where you are and why you are away. I like to travel.
Getting away on vacation is fun and gives me a much needed break from
my usual work, but I also like coming back home to my own bed and my
own familiar things.

I’m a grandma now and my own kids live close by. My mom and my
siblings live out of town, yet not so far away that I can’t go to see them
on a somewhat regular basis, but I wonder what it was like for Joseph to
be away from his family and his home? He wasn’t on a much-needed
vacation, he was forced to leave home; sold by his brothers as a slave and carried away to Egypt to be sold again. Did he wonder if he would ever see his family again? Did he question his God-given dreams? Did he wonder just
what God was doing and where his faith fit in to his present situation?

When I’m away from home, I’m usually away for a good reason, to visit
out of town family or just relax. I do, however remember being away
from home as a child a couple of times when it wasn’t quite so fun. My
very first year at a Christian camp was not the best of experiences. The
cabins were not built yet so we were sleeping in tents. As I remember it,
we were sleeping in old army tents. One of the first nights we were
there, the weather turned bad. We had a huge summer lightning and
thunder storm. Not only were many of the kids afraid of the storm, but
anyone sleeping on the top bunks got wet because the tent leaked. I
remember crying and wanting to go home. I was majorly homesick as
were my friends. When your friends are homesick too, you don’t exactly
feel comforted! However with the help of a kind pastor and his wife who
took us under their wings, we stuck it out and guess what, the next
year I went back and had the time of my life! Not only did I go back
the next year, but I also grew in my relationship with God through the
experience. Somehow being away from home helped me to realize that
God is never far away. I can call on Him any time of the day or night.

I wonder, is that what Joseph experienced the first few years he was in
Egypt? Did he realize that God was with him there even though his
family wasn’t? Did he understand that God was still working in his life
even when his dreams were far away? I’m not sure what went through
Joseph’s mind or what he learned in Egypt except I know he continued
to trust God and live with integrity, following God’s principles in what he
said and did. (By the way, I think integrity is a little bit of grit and a
determination to do what’s right no matter what.) Joseph honored God and
God blessed him. I believe God was preparing him for his future. Being a
slave could have destroyed him and his reputation; instead it refined him.

God is with us wherever we go, yes even those difficult places. When you are away from home, take God with you. He is with you whether you realize it or not. Do you live the same away from home as you do at home or do you let your guard slip a little? Whether you are away from home on a vacation, caught in a storm somewhere or working hard on a business trip, remember God is with you. Trust Him to give you wisdom, joy and peace wherever you go. Trust Him with all the circumstances of your life because He is with you even when you life is not going as planned and even when you far away from home.

Dear God,
Thank you that you are with me everywhere I go. When I am alone, you are there. When I have hard things to do or am facing challenges beyond me, you are there. When life just seems a little too busy, I’m working hard and still not seeing any headway on my dreams, you are there. When I feel stymied by family or friend problems, you are there. Thank you that I never have to face anything alone. You give me the strength and wisdom to face today with courage. I want my kids to know that your presence is with them no matter what they might be going through. May they know that they can talk to you and look to you for help. Teach us, Lord, to come to you first, even if we are praying as we work. You are amazing, Lord. Teach us to come to you with our broken dreams, broken relationships and all of our disappointments as well as our successes. Teach us to trust that you are leading and guiding our steps and teach us to say, “Yes!” to you whatever it is you may be asking us to do. Work out your plan in our lives, every step of our journey. Amen


  • You know your child – it’s your call whether or not they are ready for that first night away from home.
    • Talk about it with your child ahead of time. Help your child know what to expect – what time you will drop them off, pick them up, how they can reach you if needed.
      • Let your child take something from home that is familiar and comfortable such as their favorite stuffy or blanket.
        • Before your child spends the night with a school friend, let them spend the night with a relative that they know well.
        • If your child is staying with a friend, make sure you know the friend’s parents and know what their expectations are.
          • Keep your phone on and close by in case your child does need to call you. It’s okay to pick them up in the middle of the night. Also let your child know that they can call you anytime they feel uncomfortable about anything and you will go get them.
            • Send a note with your child – if your child isn’t reading yet, a picture note works.

              Remind your child that God is with them wherever they go.

Kid’s Section

STORY: Joseph Works Hard – Genesis 37 & 39
Your child can help you tell the story by saying, “That’s bad!” and showing thumbs down when something bad happens in the story and saying, “That’s good!”and showing thumbs up when something good happens as indicated in the story.

One day Joseph’s dad asked him to go see how his brothers were doing. Joseph said, “Okay Dad!” and he did what his dad asked him to do. He went looking for his brothers. (Thumbs up, smile and say, “That’s good!”)

His brothers were out in the field taking care of the sheep, (Thumbs up, show sheep and say, “That’s good!”) but his brothers didn’t like him very well. (Thumbs down, shake head and say, “That’s bad!”) When they saw him coming, (Put hand by eyes.) they put him in a big hole in the ground. (Thumbs down, shake head and say, “That’s bad!”) Later that day, they decided to send Joseph far away from home. (Thumbs down and say, “That’s bad!”) So they did! They sold Joseph to some people traveling to Egypt. (Thumbs down, say, “That’s bad!”) In Egypt, Joseph was sold again to work as a slave for a man named Potiphar. (Thumbs down, say, “That’s bad!”)

Joseph was sad to be so far from home without his family. (Thumbs down, make a sad face and say, “That’s bad!) He had to work very, very hard. (Thumbs down, pound fists together and say, “That’s bad!”) He couldn’t do what he wanted to do. (Thumbs down, say, That’s bad!“) I wonder if he thought about his dreams and wondered if they would ever come true. Still God was with Joseph everyday. (Thumbs up, point upwards and say, “That’s good!”) God helped Joseph even when he was working very hard (Thumbs up, pound fists together and say, “That’s good!”) God was with Joseph even when he was far away from home. (Thumbs up, say, “That’s good!”) God helped him do a good job in everything he did. He blessed Joseph’s work. (Thumbs up, say, “That’s very good!”)

God is with you and helps you everyday too just like He helped Joseph. (Thumbs up, say, “That’s very good!”) He will help you even when you have something hard to do. (Thumbs up, pound fists together and say, “That’s very good!”) He will be with you at home and away from home. (Thumbs up, say, “That’s very, very good!”) He will be with you even when bad things happen, just like He was with Joseph. (Thumbs up, say, “That’s very good!”)

Dear God, I’m glad to know that you will always be with me and help me just like you were with Joseph. You were with Joseph even when he had hard things to do and I know you will help me when I have hard things to do too. I love you and trust you. Amen

MEMORIZE: Matthew 28:20 NIrV – (Hands like holding a book.)
I am – (Raise hands upwards.)
Always – (Roll arms.)
With you – (Point to self.)

KNOW: God was with Joseph. God will be with me.
TALK ABOUT: Who helps you when you need help? How can I help?
ASK: Who is always with you? God is always with me.
AND DO…When I need help, I can ask God to help me.


  • Ask your child to help you with small chores at home this week. 
  • Remember to pray and encourage your child to pray when learning something new or when hard things happen.