Tag Archives: home

New Stomping Grounds

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Country road,
take me home to the place where I belong…
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This little town has found its way into our hearts.
So, we wanted to share some shots of our new stomping grounds.
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Hard to believe we have been here for almost 3 months.
Just enough time to get settled in and learn the important things, like where are the best pão de queijo and frozen cappuccinos. To find our way around the grocery store and the farmers market. To get our kids on soccer teams. To find a church we all are excited to be a part of. To overhear people say “there’s the Americans.” T
o start to dream big for these cities in Brazil.
That the church here would raise up to be the light of the world,
like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.DSC_0002

Home

My parents still live in the same house I was brought home from the hospital. I lived there all my childhood, elementary, NKOTB, and high school years without packing a single moving box. DSC_0754But the last umteen years have made up for that. This last year alone, we have moved 3 times. Each space has been different. Each has had its own character, hosted its own share of dinner-parties, made its own memories. I will always smile at the good times we shared under the different roofs.

We spent newlywed months in an apartment where we could vacuum the entire place without plugging into a different outlet. Our landlord would mow our lawn in her bikini and direct our guests to where they should park in her bathrobe. But nothing mattered, because marital bliss!

We had a cardinal that banged into our living room window for 2 years until it turned from red to ragged-gray. Here we saw 2 lines for the first time!! 9 months later, we welcomed the teeniest, loudest, preciousest little bundle into our family.IMAG1938
We moved to a house right across the street from the church Andy was pastoring. Here, we saw 2 lines as well…although they seemed much blurrier holding our 4 month old. It was a beautiful dream to live 30 minutes from my parents for these years. DSC_0696
When we moved back to Indiana, we rented a space for some months until our house was built. 14 cats lived here before we moved in, and our allergies regretted every day of it.
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We built a little house that turned out to be where all our money went and when we realized we had bigger dreams than keeping up with our mortgage, we put a For Sale sign in the yard. The pic is not very flattering, but it’s real life. (Also real life is not being able to find most of the pictures we took during those 3 years.)
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We were uncertain where circumstances would take us, and some dear people let us rent their house as we waited on the Lord for the next step. Meanwhile, we savored the crimson sunsets across the fields, barefooted play in the yard, blankets of snow, and laughter of friends that filled this house.

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We bought an old house that had been condemned and poured blood, sweat and tears into making it new again. We loved this place. But when it was time to move on, we were so thankful that all along we knew it was a gift.
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We sold it all, packed it up, and in our last months before moving to Brazil, we were blessed by the generosity of a family who let us live next to them. And sunsets over the lake!!
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We moved into a house where parrots were nesting in our attic. We didn’t mind, because we heard they eat the scorpions…which was a relief, since we saw 5 there. Our kids haven’t let language become a barrier and never skipped a beat in inviting friends over.
2013-12-12 10.47.39And now. Here we are!!!IMG_5728This is the view of the school from the road. Our house is in the top right corner.DSC_0100It has been quite a hike to get here. But, some One hooked us up with an amazing view!!!IMG_5740After living out of boxes since we sold our house in September, it feels like we are finally settling. We’re unpacked, and able to put down some roots. But I just don’t want to forget that this is not our home either. Literally. This is a house the school built for us to live in, for right now. It’s not ours.

Sometimes I wonder how it will be for our boys, moving around so much…
I wonder if they will grow up feeling uprooted.
I wonder if they’ll feel conditioned to have to move every 3 years.
I wonder if they think their home is in the US…but when they get there, not feel like they fit in.
I wonder if they will then feel like they belong neither here nor there.
I wonder if they’ll want to revisit these places.
I wonder if disappointment will follow when they do.
I wonder if they realize the treasure was not in the structure, but in the memories we made.
I wonder if they will know that wherever we are, we have done our best to make it home.

But I hope they always know that it doesn’t matter whether we own or rent.
Whether we are near or far from family and friends and everything familiar.
Whether we live in North or South America. Or, wherever we live on this round world…
We have a Home that is greater than anything out there!

Through all the generations,
LORD, You have been our Home.
Psalm 90.1 (NLT)

My Shelter

We closed on our house this week.
It took awhile to talk about it. Or really, to talk at all 🙂
It hit me harder than anticipated. Not so much the selling our house. Probably more the signing a 4-page lease to rent it for another week. That just felt weird. An all-of-a-sudden feeling of being home-less. We’re still living in this house, it’s just not “ours” anymore.
I know, this is all very much a first-world problem.

I guess sometimes it takes awhile for my heart to catch up with what I believe in my head.
I want to rejoice in all the ways the Lord has lavished His kindness upon us. But instead there was a little bit of panic and a whole lot of pity goin’ on. Then, these verses “happened” to appear in my Bible reading:

Whom have I in heaven but You?
I desire You more than anything on earth.
My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak (and we may sell our beloved home),
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever…
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.
Psalm 73. 26, 28

Once again, my heart found the strength it needs.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter. We may be house-less, but we certainly are not home-less. Home is wherever I am with You. And, the good news is that He is mine. My shelter.
Here. There. Forever!

Sorry, no pics this time. We’re in crazy stages of sorting, ridding, packing, salsa-making, moving.
One more step in the journey, and we are so blessed to have you joining along.
Enjoy your weekend, friends 🙂