Friday, May 18, 2007

Home... What is that Exactly?

During the last 8 months in the States, Heather would sometimes cry and say she wanted to go home. She didn't mean she wanted to go back to Portugal, though she did miss it.

Colin would sometimes question her about it but I knew exactly what she meant. She wanted a room where she could put all her things away. She wanted to pick the color of the walls. But mostly, she wanted a space in which our family felt "at home."

It's 3am and I'm wide awake because California still dictates to me when I should feel wakeful. In this wee hour of the morning, I have been worrying about "home."

We need a house in the next few weeks. We need one sooner than later and it needs to be fairly near to our dear teammates, Peter and Tammy. Complicate that with the fact that they will be leaving the place they live in by the end of November and looking for a new place so the new place will need to be fairly near us, wherever that is. And there is not a vast array of options here.

I open my eyes into the darkness and wonder if God can handle all the details. Will our container of furniture and household goods arrive from Portugal at the right time for moving into the phantom house we haven't found yet? Must I adjust my expectations to fit closer to one house we saw yesterday which I thought was really substandard? Is it ok that I want something that feels pleasant to me? Are we nuts for "jumping into thin air" as my friend Ruth in Belfast called it, hoping that God will catch us by finding us a place and opening the way into this new life before us? Were we wrong to think that's really the only way we could do it?

You would think that after so very many years of experiencing how the Lord watches over our details as we follow him into the adventure, well, you would think I would be an old pro at trusting. You would think.

But I get to this place of thinking I have expended all his favor and grace and detail-watching. I assume He doesn't have time for this anymore.

Of all the things I love about Africa (and there are many I don't love as well) the one I love the most is the way it makes me feel my desperation for the Lord. The housing issue is complicated and challenging, but OH MY WORD, that's nothing compared to the issues of poverty and spiritual need. Just thinking about living here during our last couple of weeks in the States put me in that aware-of-my-desperation state. I would be running errands and find myself muttering prayers under my breath the whole way. Mysterious heart prayers that my spirit churned with. I trusted that the Lord understood them. It felt good to connect in that intimate place where words don't have to be intelligible.

So I have no idea where we'll be unpacking our bags. I long to unpack them, that's true. I can't picture home yet, but I sense I'm getting closer.

I dream about a house but as for home, I think this place under His wing is it.


Rachel said...


I had to read that twice because your words are so beautiful - and more than your words, the honest heart behind them. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.


shelley said...

Our friend Dennis, another missionary in Africa says this phrase that I just love..."God is good all the time. All the time God is good."

I can't wait to see what God provides...

Heather said...

I get you Lisa. I'm praying for that home, and in just the right time.


Jenelle said...

I love you and am praying for you. I like it when you're really really honest. It's easy to imagine you with cast-iron trust and faith. But I know God will awaken that little girl faith inside you as he gives you just the right house.

Pam said...

Hi Lisa,

I would LOVE to help you find and make home. I just moved, again, for the 3rd time, and I understand the need for home. I need "home." Let me help in any way I can, if you want me to drive you around, talk to people, WHATEVER! I am YOURS! (or His actually, but I am willing to be of your service!)

Mimo said...

God Bless you guys with a home, In Jesus Name Amen! Not just a house, but a place that feels like Home. Blessings, Mimosa

lisa said...

Pam, thanks so much! I got your nice email yesterday (?) but am having trouble sending. Grrrrrr... We would love to have dinner with you next week. Thanks for the invite. Thurs, Fri or Sat would work. We've looked at 8 places so far will look at a few more on Sat. Any leads you have, let us know! Looking forward to seeing you next week. Oh, we ended up getting Jesse in at Hampton. Thanks for the offer of helping with that too. So, you're like the Moving to Arusha Angel? See you soon.

Dore' said...

Hi Lisa,
I am so glad you made it safely, all tucked under His big wing.
I look forward to hearing about your new house. I've been praying bunches about it.
Much love!!!!!

Pam said...

How about dinner friday night? My place. 6 pm ish?

Any requests? Food dislikes? Allergies?

Anonymous said...

I´m praying for that...God will surprise always...
you guys are so precious to Him...

Love you more (not more than Him though)