Temporary Residents

I think it was less fun than this picture might indicate!

I think it was less fun than this picture might indicate!

Nothing reminds one of their temporary residence on Earth like being displaced from their earthly residence.  I’m certainly not the first to find myself transitioning between interim locations on the way to a more stable situation.  I’ve thought a lot about those that have found their home destroyed by natural disaster or had spouses deployed–neither of which is my situation.

Jared left headed to Texas last week.  He has now started his new position at First Baptist Church, Round Rock.  On the way, he made the rounds visiting parents, visiting friends and transporting the cat to my parents where she’ll stay until we get settled.

I began the process of moving out of house the next day.   The packing happened on Wednesday, the loading on Thursday.  Thankfully good friends who are more like family stepped in and helped me take care of the kids while relocation took over our existence.

moving collageWe were provided with a place to live until Kati Ann was able to finish school.  We stayed at the local Missionary house at Willowbrook for 6 days.  We kinda camped out.  The kids were a bit uneasy about sleeping in a strange place so we moved some twin mattresses in the master bedroom and as Kie said every night before we went to sleep “we’re having a sleepover!

IMG_0007 (1)

Today, we’re on our way to the first set of grandparents.  We’ll be there for awhile before we move on to the next set of grandparents and eventually we join Jared.

I don’t want to over-dramatize our situation but I have continually been reminded through this process how similar this journey is to our voyage as believers.  KA,  Kie and I miss Jared so much.   We miss being together.  We miss our home.  Our goal is to be with Jared and back together as a family.

As believers, our ultimate destination–the final goal is being face to face with Jesus.  The ache we feel for another person (a spouse, parent or loved one) should pale in comparison to the longing we have for Jesus.

As I sit in a hotel room at my computer, I don’t need anyone to remind me I’m currently not at home.  Yet, for believers, there seems to be a need for such a reminder.   This place–this life it’s not the final destination.  This is a short-term gig.

When we find ourselves entrenched in the world, we lose our angst for Heaven–for Jesus.  Becoming familiar with our culture can cause the longing to fade.  We start to feel as if maybe we belong here and we forget our status as citizens of Heaven.  We forget we are visitors–strangers in a foreign land.

So, I’m displaced for a while between earthly homes.  This present circumstance serves as a reminder of my final home in Heaven.  It stirs in me a yearning for a place and a person whom I will see on day.  I will fall before my Jesus in awe and know I am finally home.

Question: What are the circumstances that have reminded you this isn’t your home?

 

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5 Attitudes That Will Help You Find Contentment in the Gap

5 Attitudes that will

Today the movers show up. If you are following our journey, this is just the next segment to our saga.  Since making our big announcement more than two weeks ago, things have been Crazy (with a capital C)!  I’ve found myself living in this chasm between two worlds.  It’s the place I’ve found myself many times though its not always so obvious as when you literally pick up one life and transfer it to another.

This chasm is the in-between place–the gap between where you once were and where you going.  You’re not there yet but you’re on your way.  It’s in this gap where you have a choice of how you will live, what you will learn and how you will make the most of the journey.  The gap isn’t usually the stable place.  Though the gap is a place where we can find contentment if we take these five attitudes.

1. Be Thankful Through The Journey

Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty kinda person?  I naturally don’t see the glass as half empty or half full.  I more see the glass as needing to be cleaned or improved with a totally different glass!  However, I’ve made an intentional choice to daily take time to address areas of gratitude.  In my time with the Lord, I write down five things every day that I’m thankful for during that day.  I am careful to think creatively and to notice little things in the midst of my chaos that I’m thankful for.  It might be as simple as air-conditioning but when you’re moving and its May that’s pretty legitimate!

2. Embrace the Mess

I don’t like mess.  I like neat and tidy.  I like the floors swept, the clothes folded and the kids in bed on time.  I want it all to look like my imagined picture of perfect.  Just because I like neat and tidy doesn’t mean it isn’t messy.  If you do life with people, its going to get messy.  People are messy, kids are messy, families are messy and the in-between is certainly messy.

Do you know it’s in the messy, God shows His character?  He reveals my need for Him when things are outside of my control. If I get too worked up over the mess, I miss the message.  Don’t get so bogged down in how you think it should be that you miss out on the beautiful story God is writing in your life.

3. Label Your Emotions

Let’s be honest—you feel something about your present circumstance. Often, our negative behaviors during a time of transition comes from a lack of dealing with our emotions. If you’re afraid, call it what it is—fear. If you are frustrated with what you are walking through—name it. Then, take it to God. If you don’t label your feelings, it is hard to surrender them to God.

4. Cherish the Moments

During our time of transition–slap-dab in the middle of no-man’s land, we have had some of the most precious moments with those closest to us.  We are truly making memories.  Years from now, we will look back on this season with pleasant memories or traumatic memories depending on the choices we make right now.

This gap has served as a catalyst for meaningful conversations with our children, some of our closest friends and even acquaintances we might not have had.  These are moments to be cherished.

5. Document the Wonders of God

The ground feels shaky in the gap.  You’re not sure where it all fits or how all the pieces will fall.  It is in these in-between times when the evidence of God’s hand is most clear.  God is your provider physically, emotionally and spiritually.  He goes over and beyond meeting the needs of those who lean into Him for strength.  You want to be content in the gap?  Don’t miss what God is up to.  He is at work.  He is paving the way.

I love the way God says it through the prophet, Isaiah in Isaiah 43:19:

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Be confident that God is doing His thing.  He is working out the details even if you don’t understand or see it.  But when you do see it–write it down!  You don’t want to forget all that God did to bring you to the new place.  You’re not there yet but find contentment knowing God is working in you and  for you.

Where do you find yourself in the gap today?  Share where you are and how you’re dealing!

 

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