Friday, August 26, 2016

Alien and Stranger

Just a few days ago a good friend of mine posted a picture on her Instagram.  It was of tents in an area similar to the outside of a mall.

I was hit with the reality of the millions of people today who are more than homeless. They have left their homes, communities, almost all of their stuff. All of this so their families can be safe.

We are settling in and getting used to things we lived without for the past year.  I am enjoying the choices I have when I grocery store. There are many viable, healthy options that don't require much preparation. I for one am loving eating peppers of different colors, tomatoes off the vine (thanks Mom!!) , and going to Swann's for 50 cent frozen pizza. (Not to mention hot showers any time I want)

So many people ask when we are going back. (Or they ask if we've left yet). Not having a timeline leaves me personally feeling unsettled. I wasn't sure I wanted to leave my convenience, my friends, my family, my comfortable bed.  I have been there done that had the chips and dip to prove it. I missed this life and this culture. I am thoroughly immersing myself in "home".

And yet? Seeing that picture calls me again to something different.

I have a good friend who is adding to her family in two ways in the next year; through both, birth of a biological child, and adoption. Some people look at her and wonder why. When all is completed, her family will have 11 children. When I talked to her, I was reminded of my own call. The passion she has for taking special needs children out of an orphanage setting kindled afire my passion for the "more" in my own life.

What does it really mean to live as the Bible calls us, as an alien and stranger? I could choose to live as a refugee. I could choose to not embrace the conveniences here that I really enjoy.  I honestly believe that for us it is comes down to embracing fully where God has us. We won't hold too dearly to our orange peppers, but we will eat and enjoy them here. I will choose to see those around me who aren't sure where they can find home.

As we look toward fundraising and leaving, I remember that my "home" is mobile. Being in the center of his will is the best place to be. I may find myself feeling like a stranger. I may feel comfortable.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Finding a nesting place


Just saying the word brings up many feelings for me.

I grew up in the same area from when I was 5 until I turned 18.  Around my 17th birthday I really felt challenged by God to "do something different". I went to Christian middle school and was attending Christian High School. I went to summer camp, and sang the songs in chapel. God asked me if I was really committed?

That summer changed my life, but it happened over the next 18 years.  I spent 8 months in Mexico.  Although I would never consider myself a TCK, I will tell you that shaped me greatly. I left part of my heart in Mexico, and every time I return, I feel like I'm finding a bit of me again.

Missions continued to pull at my heart, and Nathanael's.  We thought we may go on the Mercy Ships, Costa Rico, South Korea, and Jamaica.

The path to Belize ended up in our family of 6 spending a year living with my parents. (It was originally supposed to be only 2 months) Going to Belize meant we had a house to ourselves. At the same time I missed what I had come to love in the year we were gone.

Now we are "home"(with my parents). Some things feel the same as they did 2 years ago. We are enjoying convenience. We are loving seeing people face to face and  hugging them. There is an unrest in the "limbo" of what our lives are right now. I have a new awareness of how difficult it will be to say goodbye.

I keep asking myself how to live in the present, how to hold loosely to the things that don't matter and embrace the things that do. I fall in love with a place that at one time seemed so unexciting and ordinary. At the same time I know that my calling is not for "here" (in PA) right now.

The call to something greater doesn't mean I can't have home. It means that I work at home being not a physical place, but the people I share my life with. It means I embrace to the best of my ability whatever home looks like.( I will spare you the pictures of our living room, piled high with all sorts of odds and ends.. clean clothes, school books, stuff for our return to Belize. )

Slowly, somewhere along this path, I am learning to find that space, and love it. To look at the calling, and embrace what is around me. Sometimes I even decorate! (Pictures of some places that have been nesting places for us in the past year)