Saturday, July 14, 2012


For those of you that don't know, we "sold" our house yesterday.  After just 8 short days on the market, someone came into our home and decided they wanted to make it theirs.  I would like to think it was because they felt at home here, that and the baking brownies candle wafting delicious smells from the kitchen. 

From our first encounter with this home last spring, I could walk into the house and immediately feel like I was home.  I would smile pulling into the driveway most days because I loved that warm-fuzzy feeling I would get when I stepped over the threshold and knew that this was the place where my entire body would sigh with relief after a long day or a doctor's appointment or a long day of work.  I homeschooled in this home, so it was also a place where we learned, grew, challenged and blossomed.  It has been my sanctuary and it has held me closely as I have been healed, restored and renewed.  When people say "there is no place like home" - I never really understood until we moved into our home here in Ohio. Before anyone accuses me of this sense of "home" being linked to the amenities, let me clarify - while I do adore the big kitchen and tons of cabinets and the immense spans of the "go play in the basement" basement, it has been more than that.

I arrived on the footsteps of this home a broken and battered mess. Fresh of a tragic loss and then another long distance move, I was lost, emotionally bankrupt and ready to resign to defeat.  Visions of what home means swept over me as I walked into the cold and vacant house, and as I wandered through the rooms and began to imagine myself drinking my coffee in the office or my kids playing in the backyard...I began to feel at home.  The waves of calm that this place emanate have been therapeutic for us all and I know we are better for having lived here.

When this whole process began I was devastated for several reasons, but in part it was because I knew I was going to have to give up my home.  The internal monologue that began weeks ago railed against corporate America for hauling our cookies (again) all over God's creation and the urge to dig my heels in was overwhelming.  I would sit on my front porch and pine away for the times that I had coming "home" here and already started to miss it a little. 

Then it hit me, like a wasn't really about the house or the extra kitchen cabinets or even the enormous basement; the grief I was feeling was more about the fear that I would somehow lose what I had become here.  A home to come home too was an integral part of making this place a great place to live, but what we have experienced in our church home has been of greater significance than any other time in our lives.  Here we have been healed.  Here we have been taught.  Here we have been ministered to in a way that we have never experienced and leaving that scared me.  What if we leave here and lose what we have gained?  What if we leave here and lose the ever closer relationship we have with our God?  The same comfort I felt walking into our home, I felt while listening to our Pastor preach and the praise band sing in worship.  I have been transformed and what if that starts to fall apart when we don't have that anymore?

Of course, I have since been reminded, again and again, that He made me into who I am today through this experience and the only way that can change is if I let it.  He has reminded me continually that His hand is present in every area of my life, now more than ever, and the healing can continue - the closeness does not have to change.  So, now as I walk around my house in the early morning hours I know that He goes before us to make a place for us in our next destination.  I know that what He has done in me cannot be undone unless I let it be undone, and even if I start to unravel and become "undone" that He can do every bit of what He has done here again and again and again in my life if I let Him.

Our home has held us as God has ministered to us in monumental ways and I will be forever grateful for this experience.  I will look fondly upon this place and this time as the place where surrender occurred, where healing took place and where "home" finally had meaning.  But, now it is time to move on and let someone else find refuge in these four walls.  I am going to lift them up and cover them in prayer as the time approaches that my sanctuary becomes their own.

So, yes, we are currently homeless.  However, instead of the initial panic-stricken calamity I envisioned when we hopped onto this crazy train, I feel oddly at peace because I know that while I might not have a home to go home to that is my own, I always have a home with Him and that has made all the difference.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Hours behind the wheel of the car gives you plenty of time to think, consider, ponder, pontificate, pray and listen.  Above the cacophony of my children's giggles, yells, play and DVD selections, I am given a work day's worth of time to just focus on the road and give my life a thorough once-over in my mind.

I am struck time and time again that just when I think I have it all together, I find myself back on my knees trying desperately to put the pieces back together again. 

There is something catastrophic about being humbled to your knees as everything around you falls apart - it feels like getting kicked in the chest and as the wind escapes your chest and you gasp for air, you wonder how anything will ever feel right again.  It is devastating and yet the most beautiful process that a human can endure.  While you cling to the hope that life will be returned to how it was before it all fell apart, you soon realize that nothing will ever be the same.  To return to the same life before the brokenness would ultimately lead you back into catastrophe, right?  So, sit in the brokenness and revel in the pieces of life that have fallen around at your feet and then let the God that relentlessly pursues your very heart catch you, mend you and heal you.

He is relentless in His love, relentless in His grace, relentless in His mercies. Our ability to be independent from Him does not negate His desire for us to be dependent on Him, our wanderlust for the things of this world does not deny us the enormity of salvation, our brokenness and weakness is made perfect in Him. He is relentlessly patient for me to turn to Him as things fall apart and surrender it all at the foot of the cross.

I find myself, after a thorough once-over is that He is my healer. I lift my hands and praise Him for being relentless. His healing has given me a life far beyond my own hands could ever create, a life far better than before, a life that could never have been mine if not for the catastrophic brokenness. I gave myself over to Him as a broken sinner, shamed, disgraced, bound and broken - miraculous and beautiful, restored to anew as His child, His daughter and His masterpiece. The beautiful process of destruction was all part of reclaiming me, part of freeing me from bondage and bringing to light to whom I truly belong. The theme of His relentless love for me has echoed in post after post, He says to me, "You are mine."

He is relentlessly seeking you too. Too much of a blessing not to share.