highlights reel

So we made it to the end of The Nester’s 31 Days Challenge.

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I hope at least one of these posts was a blessing and an encouragement to you.

If cased you missed some, here is my personal highlights reel:

That time I tripped over a simple question

That time my sisters walked 60 miles in three days

That time my son thought we were moving again

That time I was a compulsive mover

That time I wished I had a Pottery Barn nursery

That time I was singing alone in the car

That time I almost threw up in an airport

That time I cried through sixth grade camp

That time my friend and I swapped blogs

That time I sounded like a foreigner in my hometown

For the full contents page for this series, click here.

home sweet home

So here we are.  Day 31 of ‘Defining Home in 31 Days.’

It was a teeny-tiny goal in the grand scheme of things, but the fact that I made it to the end carries with it a sense of accomplishment.

Those who have taken part in 31 Days may be able to relate.

We have arrived.

We made it to the end.

Maybe you’ve had other goals you’ve accomplished.

My sister writes novels in 30 days.  To reach the end of the month with 50,000 words is a great accomplishment.

Some of you are runners.  To train for a race and make it to the finish line feels amazing.  (At least, I would imagine … I’ve never actually put myself through such torture.)

finish line

If these earthly goals can carry with them such pleasure, imagine what it will be like when we make it to the end of the all-important race.

When we arrive at the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls.

When we lay down our man-made trophies and pick up the crown of life.

When we, Lord-willing, hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

It is purely by His help and sustaining grace that we could ever attain such a goal — not by our own works, but by the grace of God Himself.

And certainly it will not be due to our own accomplishment, but solely because of the One who hung on the cross and declared, “It is finished.”

We won’t be patting ourselves on the back that day for a job well done, but will be praising the One who began a good work and was faithful to complete it.

What joy will fill our hearts when we come to the end of this journey and reach our final destination.

Only then will we be

home, sweet home.

This is Day 31 of ‘Defining Home in 31 Days.’  Tune in tomorrow for a highlights reel.

Photo credit: Pete

moving day

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This past January marked my tenth move in ten years.

Among those temporary abodes in the past decade was the furnished home of some missionaries who went on furlough for a year.  Our family had the privilege of looking after their belongings and their dogs while they were away.  Prior to this twelve-month arrangement, we had spent four months in a different rental nearby.

Shortly after we had moved in, my husband’s back started to give him problems, so we decided to try a mattress with firmer springs.  The day the new mattress was to be delivered, we hauled the old one from the master bedroom to the garage.  As our youngest son  saw the mattress floating by, he asked nonchalantly, “Are we moving again today, Mom?”

In many ways, moving so frequently has been a blessing.  It has helped me to realize afresh that this is not our home.  By not allowing the roots of our earthly dwellings to grow deep, it’s easier to remember that this life is temporary.

Like my son, we should be daily asking our Heavenly Father, “Are we moving today, Dad?  Is today the day you’re going to take me home?  Is today the day your Son is coming back?”

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42).

This is Day 9 of ‘Defining Home in 31 Days.’  Click here for a full index of posts in this series. 

Photo credit: Cyril Caton

31 days :: the kick-off

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So, today’s the day … Here I am, kicking off my first-ever blog post series:

Defining Home in 31 Days

I do, however, feel the need to preface this particular topic, and perhaps even offer a bit of a disclaimer.

Obviously, my ‘definition’ of home is biased.  I don’t seek in this series to define home for the reader, but rather to share how my own personal reflections of home have changed and developed over the years as a result of various experiences and circumstances.

As I shared in a previous post, over the course of the next month, I plan to share:

  •       reflections on my experiences moving ten times in ten years, including two inter-continental moves,
  •       how my cross-cultural family has influenced my definition of ‘home,’
  •       how my mom’s death at age 59 affected my view of ‘home,’
  •       my temptation to get comfortable in this world, and
  •       my deeper conviction that heaven is our real home.

The way I have processed these experiences, however, has been swayed and influenced by my upbringing.  My worldview is not a neutral one.  I’d venture to guess that yours isn’t neutral, either.

I write through the lenses of a female, a Christian, a middle-class American, a wife in a cross-cultural marriage, a mother, a missionary, a motherless daughter .. and the list goes on.

All of these factors will affect the way I ‘define’ home over the next 31 days.

I have a feeling that the ‘middle-class American’ in me will dominate the way my words fall into lines as I recount my journey thus far.

You see, I have always had a home.  I’ve always had four walls and a roof protecting me from the elements.  I’ve always had a warm bed, every single night.

This is painfully untrue for far too many people in the world.  My slanted concept of ‘home’ is vastly different from theirs.

Ultimately, I hope to arrive at the end of this month of blogging with a firmer conviction that our individual perceptions of ‘home’ are immaterial … as long as we cling to the hope of the one, true, eternal home offered to us in Scripture — through faith in Jesus Christ.

So I hope you’ll join me in this journey — may it be a mutually encouraging one.

For a full index of posts as they are written, click here.