We are just getting settled in our new home. Tonight will be our fifth night of sleeping on blow-up beds. Add to that 3 days and 2 nights on the road. Tomorrow the movers will come and bring furniture and lots, and lots, and lots of brown boxes.
We have been extrememly blessed with a wonderful place to live again. The house is beautiful. We are renting – still own a home in San Antonio – and we have the most amazing landlord. The neighborhood is close to hubby’s work, close to our (new) homeschool community, and close to any kind of store you could imagine.
Everywhere we look is landscaped…ok…xeriscaped. For those of you with lush gardens and plush grassy yards, this means lots of dirt and rocks and a few drought tolerant plants.
When we lived in San Antonio, we saw xeriscaping. But we also heard about the Texas wildflower season – when the roadside becomes a riot of color. Wildflower season is so iconic that it is a major tradition for people to take their childrens’ pictures, every year, amidst Texas Bluebonnets.
But for most of the time while we lived there, the area was suffering from drought. The wildflower season is in the spring, so a dry winter and spring can mean little to no wild flowers. And real drought just brings brown, brown and more brown. Texas does have a wild and rugged beauty, even during a drought, and we loved it.
Somehow though, all that brown made us keenly aware that we were not at “home”; it was so foreign to us! How we missed the green of the Gulf South while we were there! We even missed the kudzu! This past year, we were back in Mississippi – and again we saw such a wealth of green! Green grass, green trees, green shrubs…flowers everywhere. We just loved it!
Now we are in the desert, and we knew to expect the brown. But here in Phoenix there is red too, in the dirt, in the rocks. And there is much more green than we imagined. What a variety of cacti! There are some long grasses I recognize from San Antonio, an abundance of tall, tall palm trees, and some amazing plants I have never seen – such diversity! And there are mountains all around us in the distance. Great!
Not so great: new friends have warned me about the bark scorpion – the most venomous scorpion in North America; and they are very common here. My husband was chatting about the scorpions with an installer that came to the house, and the gentleman added, “Don’t forget about the rattlesnakes and tarantulas!” What?? Wow. Here again, we are more familiar with the bunnies and songbirds in our backyard. Being from Louisiana, we know about snakes too, but I have thought of tarantulas as zoo inhabitants or pets for interesting people, or robotic toys bought for nephews from etoys.com.
We are looking around, and wondering, when will this unusual, new place feel like “home”.
Yet there is such peace and encouragement in the Sovereignty of the Lord! We are not adrift in the wind. We are not here by accident. The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Prov 16:9).
Jehovah God is purposeful. He is not careless. He is not forgetful. He is not negligent. He is not weak. He is not limited in scope or knowledge or power…As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
There will be times that we just feel “out of place.” Our newness may be a little obvious to others (more on in another post soon!). Our “y’all” may stand out a bit. And I know we will miss the green, and the family and the friends…but as Christians, are we ever really, really “home” here on earth? As we draw near to Him, don’t our hearts draw away from the world? Don’t we see a difference between who we are and what we see in our culture? Sometimes aren’t we a bit “odd” in the ways that we think, compared “everyone else”? If not, maybe that is a good cause for some soul searching…So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Cor 5:6-9
The moving experience is like any other major change…we leave the familiar, and must acquaint ourselves with the unfamiliar – this is true with job or school change, the advent of marriage or motherhood, major illnesses, losses of loved ones, losses of status or losses of material things. When the familiar is stripped away, constant adjustment is required. This is the place that chafes. But this is the place where must choose to trust God’s plan and His character. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation (Psalm 100:5).
justAgirl…just like you!