There’s no place like HOME….but where is home?

19! That’s the number of houses/apartments I have lived in since birth.  8 of those have been within the last 3 years.  And that doesn’t include 3 dorm rooms and the countless number of summer homes for internships.  On top of that, I went to 7 schools from K-12th grade.   Moving and living new adventures is nothing new to me. 

But in all of my years, I’ve never questioned where HOME was.  It was wherever my parents where.  I knew that if I had to go anywhere I could go to where they were.  And technically that will always be true.  But over these last 3 years, this concept of HOME has been something I’ve really struggled with.  We’ve all heard “home is where the heart is” and although that’s a nice little quote, my heart was all over the place emotionally these past 3 years and that made “home” something that was hard to grasp. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a joy and security in being wherever my husband and children are.  But again, our many moves and life’s circumstances made it difficult to feel like I was truly HOME.  I realized this when we moved for a short time to Tennessee to be near my family.  We were there for only a few months when I realized I had lived most of my adult years in Michigan. That made me think I would feel more at home there.  (don’t worry Mama and Daddy wherever you are will always be a place I love coming home to).  And then out of nowhere God graciously called us to serve in ministry back in MI.  I was thrilled b/c it was the HOME I thought I was searching for.  And although we cherish our time over these past 2 years, there was still this unsettling in my heart. 

When we decided to move to Pittsburgh so Eddie could go to school, I was terrified.  Not so much for the move (been there done that), but b/c I thought I would never feel like I was HOME again.  I didn’t just want this for me, but for my husband and kids too.  Moms set the tone for home life and I knew that any unsettled feelings I was having would have a direct affect on my family.  But as always, God has been so gracious to us.  And even more specifically to me.  We have lived here for 1 month!   And I have to admit that I am feeling more settled than I have in a long time.  Being the analytical person that I am, I had to ask the question, WHY?  Why am I more settled than in years past.  How can I have this much peace when there are so many unanswered questions regarding our future?

Unbeknownst to this inner struggle, a great friend sent me a text over the weekend.  She knows our story and thought the verse might encourage me. (Thanks SS)  It was Psalms 90:1

Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! (NLT)

So here’s what I’ve learned and what was confirmed in this verse.  I can be anywhere anytime and it is in Christ that I will find my HOME.  My husband, kids, house, and stuff are merely blessings that have been given to me by a loving and gracious Father.  We are in the center of God’s will for our lives.  It’s scary at times.  Lots of uncertainties.  But I know we are where we are supposed to be.  And with that certainty comes a sense of HOME.  I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this! 

Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  My treasure is in Christ!  In His Word!  He provides a dwelling place that is truly my HOME no matter where I live.  I guess with this in mind, HOME really is where the heart is….when you’re Heart is focused on Christ!

Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!

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Human BEING

I’ve been in some sort of ministry role for as long as I can remember.  I think I was around 12 when I first started doing kids ministry almost every Sunday.  That was 23 years ago.  I love ministry.  For those of you who know me, you’ll know I like to be busy and to work.  It’s been one of my greatest assets and most definitely my biggest challenge.

But that was my old life.  A couple of years ago our family went through the most difficult season we’ve ever faced.  When chaos hit, I re-evaluated what was really important in life.  No longer was church or ministry so high on my list.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love doing God’s work in the local church, but I had it in the wrong place of importance.  At the top of that list became my relationship with Jesus and His word.  I could not have survived the last 2 years without the comfort and guidance of His word.  Then I saw with new eyes my role as a wife and mom.  This is my greatest calling.  For the past two years I’ve learned to prioritize a bit better and for the first time ever our family feels more balanced and peaceful than it’s ever felt.  And not just for a day or two.  It’s consistently been this way for well over a year.

Ok so to the real topic at hand.  A few months ago, my husband felt a renewed calling to pursue ministry.  He’s always had a dream of going to school but we both knew a four year college was out of the question.  And then after our season of uncertainty he really wasn’t sure if and how God would still use him.  Then the door opened and everything fell into place for him to attend Northeast Ministry School at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.  Now, we’ve moved before but this time we really knew NO ONE.  A little over two weeks ago we made the move.  School doesn’t start until the end of August so for the next several weeks we get to just BE.  During this new season, I want to blog about where I am.  How I’m transitioning.  The challenges of taking a break from “full time ministry.” I’m not saying it’ll be profound, but I pray that a) I can have a log of this season to look back to and see how God showed Himself faithful yet again and b) that if someone else faces anything similar they can be encouraged.

So the first two weeks in Pittsburgh have been good, interesting but good.  The first few days proved extremely difficult but those details worked out.  Eddie’s bro & SIL came to help us move and when they left that was really hard.  The good thing was they came back the next weekend to surprise us.  But after the dust settled, I was surprised at how I felt.  I’ll be honest, this was a new place for me and it may sound horrible, but it’s the truth.  I felt bored!  Now what?  I didn’t have a lot to do.  Well I did, but it wasn’t the stuff I was used to doing or really wanted to do.   I felt stir crazy.  I was working during the day when I’d rather be putting my house together.  Yet when I got off work I didn’t want to do anything around the house.  We were so eager to go to church every time the doors were open but the first two Wed. nights in town church got cancelled (holiday and bad weather).  I didn’t wanna watch TV.  I read a book. I did the normal mom tasks.  Finally got around to putting some stuff up on the walls.  I was struggling with just “being” instead of always “doing.”  I’m one of those that lived as a “human doing” instead of “human being.”

I think I was surprised b/c I thought being less busy would be so easy.  But for this lady it proved to be a little more difficult.  But I saw quickly that it was a season of learning something new from Jesus.  I felt like He was calling me to switch from my Martha kind of ways and learn to be Mary for a little while (Luke 10:38-42).  It’s not always easy.  Eddie watches me pace when I’m looking for something else to do.  I know some of my mom friends would love to have some down time like that, but I think sometimes we think the grass is greener on the other side when in reality it’s still just grass.  Just a different side of the fence.   I know this won’t last forever.  Eddie starts school in a few weeks.  I’ll start home school for both kids in a few weeks.  Life will get busy again.  But while I’m in this season I want to learn to value it’s blessed fruit and not rush to the next big thing in life.

What a journey to follow Jesus!  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.   My greatest desire is to see each season for the blessing it is and to not devalue what God wants to do in my life right now.  He has a plan.  I just want to learn to wait patiently while He reveals what it is.

Learning to be be a human BEING!