Home. What a complicated word. I always thought I would call northwest Arkansas home, and in many ways it is. But it doesn’t feel the same as it did. It’s not a bad feeling, just different. In many ways it is freeing, because I don’t feel so dependent on my location anymore. Now that I have experienced home being somewhere far from this place, it helps me realize that the location of home is not essential anymore. And I think that is good. I think that we need a widening in our view of home. If we belong to the kingdom of God, than we need to realize that his kingdom exists all around the world, full of people from every tribe, tongue and nation. I hope that my heart will only continue to realize this wider view of my home.
But in practical terms, we obviously have to live somewhere. And we are very much still influenced by beautiful, comfortable surroundings. This house that God provided for us has the atmosphere that makes us feel at home. It’s old and has its little quirks, but we like that. It’s even more special since my aunt, uncle and cousins lived here several years ago, so the house itself is almost like family.
We are very much still in transition. As we sort out details for jobs to meet our daily needs and discuss long range dreams and plans, we are thankful for all the little and big ways that people have helped us get settled here. Despite the uncertainty of the future, it is wonderful to have the basic necessities and a few extras so that we can settle in and feel at home. We have been loaned and given much of the furniture we need, with a large portion (including many kitchen items) coming from our good friends that were heading back to Germany just was we got here. Little things like bedding and towels and cleaning supplies showed up when I needed them, gifts from friends and family. The kids even got a few extra things like a swimming pool and a scooter.
Unfortunately we couldn’t wait as long to get a vehicle here as we did in Germany. Driving is sort of a necessity. We were happy for the loan of John’s Dad’s truck, but after a week of squeezing everyone in for each trip, we were happy when Herbie (my brother in law) found us a very affordable van. It’s nothing fancy, but drives wonderfully and fits everyone with room to spare.
We still have little things we need, but the basics are all met. We even got to host another recently returned missionary family that we were close to in Germany. It was wonderful to know we had the room to offer them our home for the few days they needed somewhere to stay. And we were so happy to reconnect with these friends who have walked through the last few months with us, since both of our families were and are on similar paths.
So, as we seek God’s plan for the future, we hope we can practice really being at home wherever he has planted us. My hope is that my house is truly a home, not just for my family, but for others. Please feel free to come on by and live a little bit of life alongside us.