At Home

I read this quote a while ago and it has stuck with me ever since. 

When Alex and I got married we packed up our stuff and moved to North Carolina. We knew it would be a temporary move, but we felt in our hearts that we would never be returning to Miami. 

I'm the kind of person who is slow to warm up to people. When I make a friendship with someone it's very meaningful to me. I am loyal and feel a deep love for my friends. So home sickness hit me hard. Back home my friends were getting married and having babies. And here I was in this new place with these new people. But we joined a church and then joined a small group and made friends. And I grew to love them. And now all those friends are all over the world. We have missionary friends in China and the middle east and countries whose names I can't pronounce. We have more friends serving in church plants all over the country. It's amazing to see the work they are all doing. 

We decided to go ahead and join our friends in their church planting efforts in Denver, CO. We loved Denver. And we loved that church plant. We still love it. But a lot happened and we ended up moving back to Miami. I have no regrets because I love this place. I'm so thankful to be close to family and friends that I've known for well over a decade. I thought at last we were home.

But the thing is, home is everywhere for me. Home is in a coffee shop in Denver. Home is in a chapel in Wake Forest. Home is in my friend's living room in Murfreesboro (even though I've never been there). Because home is with the people I love. 

Ultimately my home is with my very own family. My husband and kids. But I miss all the people I love fiercely. I wish I could be with everyone I love all at the same time. I wish I could hang out with all of them whenever I want. But that's not life. I'm thankful for the internet to keep up with everyone - and someday I'll be brave enough to take my kids on a plane to visit all these wonderful people and places - but for now my heart is all over the map. And home is everywhere. 

Making an idol out of rest

Recently I received a sweet e-mail from an internet friend. I've never met this person in real life but we have much in common: we both love to write, love Jesus, and have babies who refuse to sleep through the night. We've commiserated about that last one plenty of times. There's just a bond that tired moms feel. All you lucky moms with babies who sleep through the night just have no idea. ;-) It's okay, we still love you...and we'll still share our coffee with you. 

But back to the email... When I read it I had just been woken up by Isabel. It was two in the morning. Liam was sleeping next to me because he had woken me up just a couple hours before requesting to sleep in our bed. I was tired. All I wanted was to sleep. I mean, my children are 3 and 19 months old. It's time! Am I right?! 

My friend said this in her e-mail, "I don't want to make an idol out of rest (or even of my kid, that if I please her just right she will give me rest.) I want to keep my very tired, droopy, can't-keep-em-open eyes on Christ." Oof. I don't know why in THREE years of motherhood I had never realized that I was making an idol out of rest! Maybe it's because my brain is so foggy from the lack of sleep, but I honestly never caught that. 

Photo by the talented Merari Teruel. 

Photo by the talented Merari Teruel

There have been so many time when I have said, "I just want rest! I just need to sleep! If I can sleep than everything will be right with the world!" And man, do I get grumpy when my sleep is interrupted. Seriously, it's bad. When my baby cries in the middle of the night the last thing I feel is any kind of compassion. I'm usually thinking, "Again?! Just go the [bleep] to sleep!" I've blamed a lot of my grumpiness/laziness/etc on the fact that I haven't slept a full night since I can't remember when. BUT...rest is not all I need...that's making rest into an idol. All I need is Jesus. 

Listen, I know how hard it is. It's not easy waking up at all hours to console a crying child. It can make you a little crazy to constantly have your sleep interrupted. But all I can say is, this too shall pass. Take turns with your spouse caring for baby throughout the night. Try to sleep in on the weekends. Do what you gotta do to get some rest...but remember, that Jesus is truly all you need. He is there. He has felt your exhaustion. Rest in Him. 

In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus (and a cup of coffee please).