and then…

If you’d asked me four months ago if I thought I’d be writing this blog, I’d have told you I couldn’t fathom.  However, the Lord has done some heavy overhauling in both my heart and spirit in the past month.  Before I get to all that though, let me update y’all on what we’ve been up too…

We’ve been all over the Rez and up to a lot of fun.  We visited NAPI farms, a Navajo owned and run farm that provides a LOT of the produce for families here on the reservation.  They were having a customer appreciation sale and we tagged along with our Navajo family and met some more of our family at the farm.  The kids had a blast, playing on hay bales, petting sheep and eating yummy baked potatoes loaded with all the goodness you can add, minus BBQ…but hey, we can forgive that. HA!

We attended a church just north of us, off the reservation, who’s pastor and family have a heart for the Navajo, as well.  We are looking for ways to partner together to better serve our family here and are very excited about the possibilities.  Through a little God wink, I’d previously met a member of the church at a volleyball match I was calling and in turn met the pastor’s daughter, who is a hygienist at the clinic here in Monument Valley.

I traveled to Las Vegas and met up with three of my dearest friends from home.  I ran my second half marathon and finished.

We hosted our home school co-op for a “Friendsgiving” dinner and had 12 children ages 18 months to 12 years old along with three other mama’s attend.  The kids played at the playground, made a turkey craft and we all broke bread together.  It was community and it was beautiful.

This past weekend, we attended a Thanksgiving celebration at Dine Christian Church in White Rock Point.  We were able to give the children’s ministry a case of Early Reader Adventure Bibles.  The Bibles were mentioned to me in a conversation with Grandma E this summer while on our mission trip here.  We were having a conversation about her perfect ministry world.  What did she see?  What did she need?  If she could have anything, what would it be?  Her response to me was very simple.  “Bibles the children can read and understand.”  It pricked my heart in a way I can’t describe and being able to hand over that case of Bible’s to her on Sunday blessed me.  And this is where I begin to tell you about my heart change…

At the end of October, we spent the night with some of our family in Cove, AZ.  They are a precious family with four children, two boys and two girls.  Y’all, to say those kiddos are polite and respectful is an understatement.  In the day and a half we spent with them, I never once heard a cross word spoken.  They were a team, each doing their own part to help the other.  When we left, we talked about what a peaceful presence we felt in their home…and I realized I had started to feel some of that peacefulness in our own home.  I wrote in my journal that week about seeing a shift in the mindset of our girls.  A shift from entitlement and privilege to humility and grace.  A shift to peace.

That same week, we had our first co-op meeting. It was during our co-op meeting that I realized the exact thing I’d been grieving was exactly what God was providing me with…community.  Does it look different?  Yes.   Is it as easily accessible? No.  Do I have to work a little harder to make it happen?  Absolutely.  Is it any less fulfilling?  Not a chance.

You see, He’s had my people here, waiting…waiting for the perfect moment, just when I needed them…just when He knew I was ready for the next right step, He’s led me to the perfect place to provide me with a divine appointment.  My precious mentor and amazing friend, Mrs. L. has told me from the beginning of this faith adventure that He had my people.  But, y’all, it was so very hard to have faith…in the muck and mire of grief, it was so hard…and yet, my God has still been so faithful.  He looks at all my yuckiness, my bad attitude and grumbling and complaints and hears my heart anyway.  He covers it all in His mercy and grace and goodness.

…and then, I went to Las Vegas.  This was the weekend I’d been counting down to since before we moved…I’d been saying to myself, “If you can just make it to Vegas, you’ll get a little piece of home.”  And, I did.  I can not explain the joy I felt when I got to hug my best friend’s neck for the first time in four months.  I can not explain the gratitude I felt when I picked up my girl, M.  She’s like my long lost sister and squeezing her neck was like coming up for air.  On Saturday, I got to see my intellectual conscience and hug her neck too and it was so, so good…  We laughed and ate and saw concerts and MICHAEL JACKSON!!!  (The Cirque de Soleil show but still…it was AMAZING!!) The beauty of the weekend with my girls was more than I had imagined it would be.  It was so good for my soul.  It was refreshing and refilling and…

humbling.

You see, despite the joy, I knew Monday morning was coming.  I knew I’d have to take them to the airport and drop them off.  I knew I’d have to drive back to the Rez. Alone. And it did.  Monday did come.  I dropped my girls off and hugged their necks one more time.  I reminded myself I’d see them in 11 weeks for the next half marathon.  I cried.  Hard.

…and then, I found myself coming over the mountain in Flagstaff and into the Coconino National Forest…I saw a herd of elk off in the distance and I watched as the temperature began to drop….and the tears stopped.  And the heaviness in my heart dissipated.  I realized as I came down the mountain and crossed back over the line to the Rez, I was headed home.  My people, my family would be waiting…not just J and my babies but the community of people God has entrusted me with here.  It was in that moment, I realized, although there are days when I long for the beach and the smell of our island, for the simplicity and serenity of running to Target (Can I get an amen, mama’s?), for the convenience of having a Harris Teeter…my place is here. In Monument Valley.

My heart and my home are here.  And it is well.

 

 

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Even in the desert…

Today I saw a dream become reality.

My little people and I started a home school co-op on the Reservation.  Along with two other families, nine kids total, we met and broke bread and enjoyed one another’s company.  We prayed together, we laughed together and our dry spirits were refreshed. In a McDonald’s, on the Reservation…in the desert, God met us.

You may remember from one of my early blogs, I talked about how moving West wasn’t my dream.  Well, once I’d conceded my own way and began to trust this was the next right step for my family, God did give me a dream.  As the reality of home schooling began to take shape, I began researching ways for my children and I to have community in such a remote location.  My results, sadly, returned very little.  There were no co-ops, no community to be had for home schooling families.  To be completely honest, that reality was terribly disheartening.

Sunday, a week ago, our girls came to me and said they wanted to attend public school because they missed having friends.  Sissy even made the comment that we were supposed to be showing people Jesus and she couldn’t do that if she didn’t have any friends.  I told them both I wanted to honor their feelings and concerns and that J and I would discuss and pray about it, then make the best decision for our family.  But, y’all, what a punch in the gut.  They were relaying exactly what I’d been feeling…and questioning…are we doing the right thing by home schooling them?  Are we doing what’s best for them, for our family?  So, I hit my knees…

…and then I got to watch my God work.

On Tuesday, the girls had worked really hard on their studies so I loaded everyone up and headed to a village about twenty miles away.  They have some modern amenities that aren’t available to us in the Valley, including a McDonald’s with a surprisingly clean playplace.  It was cold out and I’d decided we’d go play inside to burn off some energy and then have an ice cream cone as a special treat.  On the way to McDonald’s though, I decided we needed some fresh air, despite the cold.  And this, my friends, is where the beauty of this story begins…

There is a park, a really nice one, just inside the town limits.  We’ve played there several times and are usually the only ones there.  This day, however, we weren’t alone.  A young mother and her two children were there as well.  There were also some high school age kids there.  I watched as this mother went to the teenagers, confronted them about their school attendance and suggested they head back to the local high school or she’d be making a phone call.  I chuckled because this large group of teenage boys was clearly stressed over this tiny Navajo woman.  As they left, she began walking in my direction.  I told her thank you and she explained that they are students of her husband.  I introduced myself, she did the same and then she asked if we were visiting or if we lived nearby.  I told her we’d recently moved to the area and that we home schooled.  She got really excited and told me she home schooled her children as well.  Her oldest is in first grade.  She continued by telling me about two other mom’s who lived nearby who were also home schooling their children.  Then, she said these exact words, “We’ve wanted to start a co-op but we don’t have the skills to even know where to begin…we just aren’t equipped.”  WHAT?!?!?!?!  The Holy Spirit was all over this conversation.  They may not have the skills but I DO!!!!  I was so excited, y’all.  We began making plans to meet this week to let the kids play together and she’d let the other two mom’s know about it, as well.

And today happened.

We met and our kids played together.  My girls made six new friends of various ages…watching all those precious children from different backgrounds and different homes and different parts of the country had me all in my feels.  My heart was so full when we left today…with plans to return again next week, plans for a “Friendsgiving” and for Christmas celebrations and even looking ahead into the new year.  Next week there will be two more families joining us…7 more kids to add into the mix of friends for my girls…7 more answered prayers.

In my mind, I couldn’t have imagine anything better than today.  But God.

The other mom who came to co-op today, was a woman who just moved here from South Florida.  WHAT?!?! She said, “Y’all”, and I thought I might cry.

I told her we’d lived on St. Simons and she begins to tell me how her mother has a business partner of SSI.  As she explained the line of work her mother does, I threw out a name…

Her mama is business partners with some precious friends of ours!!  I can NOT make this stuff up!  Here we are, my sweet babies and I, having lunch and playing with a woman we’ve never met and her children and yet we have this small but GIGANTIC connection.  It was as if God said, “See, I have you…all the time, I have you.  Relax.”.

I’m telling you this story for several reasons.  First, because I am constantly in awe of the way we’ve seen God since we began this adventure.  Second, my family has been up against some serious junk since we stepped into this faith journey and my God just keeps showing up, day in and day out. Lastly, I complained about the Holy Spirit not giving me a dream, not giving me vision for what this journey would look like…not believing the co-op would ever be a reality for my family.  And yet, He was working all the time.  He was holding my head up and holding my hand and leading me every single second we’ve been here.  He knew exactly when I’d need to meet V at the park, when my girls would need someone to call friend and how the gifts and skills He equipped me with all along would be put to use.

I am reminded of a story from 1 Kings that J and I have seen play out in our lives many times…Elijah was alone in the desert and God sent the ravens to feed him.  Alone. In the desert.  And He came to comfort Elijah, to provide for him and to remind him that he had not been forgotten.  That’s what happened for me these past two weeks.  He came alongside me, comforted me and reminded me that my family hasn’t been forgotten.  The absolute truth is He’s been working behind the scenes in every way to provide me with a divine appointment at the park…and then again at McDonald’s…

Even in the desert, He is bringing living water and it is so very sweet.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1

Good Shepherd

In this photo, you can see several things…a precious Navajo grandma with her “sheep boy”.  You can see the modest corral the sheep that little guy loves, come to every night. What you can’t see is this little guy’s other Navajo grandma, Maàsani. You can’t see the way these two women gently love and guide my children, how they have openly accepted my family as their own. How they have both wrapped us up in their arms the way I imagine Jesus will wrap His arms around us one day.

What I see in this photo, is my Little Man, loving where he lives…I can vividly hear my girls calling the sheep by name and I can hear “Mister”, the ram, saying goodnight.  I can feel the cool wind of the desert blowing through my hair and across my face and in that memory from a few evenings ago, I feel peace.

This month was a doozy. We had no internet service for 16 days… I had some dental stuff that turned into oral surgery, the kids and J had the stomach bug and we had a conversation with our girls about why there is death because they lost their precious friend. It was not the month I’d envisioned. Nothing, really, about this move has been what I envisioned. Not the good and not the bad.

After a long week, with a trying weekend ahead, we ventured out to serve one of the churches we are blessed to be a part of winterize their buildings. It was then I snapped this shot of Little Man with Grandma E.  The beauty and nostalgia of this photo are not lost on me. The simplicity of the way Little Man loves those sheep and the peacefulness of being with my Navajo sisters is a little slice of heaven. My girls walking around in their boots and talking to those sheep and reminding me that we have to “shepherd the sheep because they aren’t smart enough to find their way, Mommy.”…so true, girls, so true. The life lessons and truths my littles are learning and EXPERIENCING and the conversations I get to have with them because of this step of faith are more than I could have pictured.

And yet, I find the enemy creeping into my thoughts more often than I want to admit. I hear him saying we aren’t cut out for this. I feel the weight of our service here heavily on my shoulders. I feel the stress and anxiety and expectation that things must look and be perfect so that we can build a solid ministry. But God. Y’all, he didn’t call me or my family because we’re perfect-I know, that’s very hard to believe. Ha. ::sarcasm completely intended:: He called us because we are broken people who love broken people and want to love and seek our Father above all else…because we want to show others their brokenness is NEVER to broken for God to put them back together.

The most precious moments of this month have been simple ones like this photo. The peace of this month has been found in the conversations with my Navajo sisters, meaningful deep conversations about where our hearts rest and where the enemy seeks to destroy us. The beauty has been in phone calls home to my crew to say this is hard and I’m not sure and what if I can’t…only to be reminded by those who believe in me AND for me at times, I can’t but HE can.

His perfect peace feels me when I see this photo of Little Man. Those sheep…they just aren’t smart enough…but neither are we. Good thing we have a Good Shepherd to lead us home.

 

It’s not you, it’s me…

Last week was probably one of the hardest weeks we’ve had since moving to the Rez.  All the ladies of the house were homesick.  Terribly homesick for our tiny island, the ocean, the smell the salt water makes as the tide goes out, our friends and even our little house.  The family who moved into our house, precious friends of ours, posted a video of our Papa mowing the yard.  That did not only me but both of the little girls in…it was odd to see someone else looking out our big picture window, odd to see a little boy other than Little Man waving as Papa did circles around and around the yard.  It wasn’t the other little guy or the family’s fault we missed our Papa so badly, it was us.

The girls and I talked about why we were missing all those things, all those people…why it was important to talk about those feelings and get them out in the open.. We talked about how when we don’t say how we feel and tell others (who are safe to tell) what we need, it gets all jumbled up inside like a big bowl of spaghetti noodles.  Last week, I was a giant bowl of spaghetti noodles.  All the feelings were getting jumbled up in the mixture of knowing we’re here for a purpose that was set out long before we had any clue and wistfulness for a life I wasn’t quite prepared to leave behind…dreams I wasn’t ready to let go of and hearts and hands I wasn’t ready to stop holding… I have a dear friend who reminds me frequently that if I don’t fight for what I need, no one else will… so last week I had to do some fighting on my own turf…some soul searching and digging, only to realize it was no one else’s responsibility, it wasn’t “you”, it was me.

Over the course of the past three years, I’ve done a lot of work around who I was, who I am and who God intended me to be…who I am to Him and what He says about me.  Old tapes play like a broken record and often times they just have to be burned…and yet, at our weakest and lowest moments, the enemy of our souls, refurbishes those bad boys and breaks them out for another spin.  Last week was a week of old tapes.  It was a week of pulling up my bootstraps and remembering who my Father says I am and then ending the week by walking in the strength of who He has called me to be and the journey He has called me to…  It was HARD, y’all.  It was utterly exhausting.  It was a week of apologies and making amends with myself, my husband and my children.  It was a week of calling out the old and relishing in the new, in the truth, in the righteousness of my King.  It was a week of renewing my mind to see this place the way He sees it, loving others the way He does…unconditionally, without exception and expectation.  Meeting people where they are and loving them despite themselves…loving myself, and living well in the midst of this new season.

My prayer throughout last week was that my babies were learning something from the mess…that they would see that its okay not to be okay, that perfection is for Jesus and no one else, that asking forgiveness is hard but living without it is harder…I’ve spent a lot of time working to create a perfect image of what I thought this life was supposed to look like…only to realize the only thing this life is supposed to look like is the beautiful, crazy, limitless love of our Father.  Because He created us each in His image and that my friends is enough.  He created us…we are His perfect creation.  EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Can’t produce any image much more perfect than that, can I?

“So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.” -Gen. 1:27

Loyal

I am in a perpetual state of awe when I sit down and really think about the goodness of my King. I have felt Him in such tangible ways the past two months.  I have moved in and out of grief and joy and despair and He just continues to gently guide and remind me that His love is never-failing.  One of my favorite songs these days is Lauren Daigle’s “Loyal”.  My favorite verse talks about how He hears every time I speak and He sees everything, even the things I want to hide.  It goes on to talk about His love being loyal, more faithful than the rising sun and that I can never outrun His grace for me.  I can tell you that each step of walking in this new faith journey has been covered in all of this.  He is so loyal, friends.  He is so good.  His heart is for us, all the time, forever.  And this week has been another testament to how deeply He cares for His children.

All week, I’ve had tiny reminders that He is fully involved in what we feel are insignificant pieces of our lives.  It started with fresh eggs.  We left behind our three hens because we aren’t allowed to have them here in teacher housing.  They went to a fantastic home where they are well-loved and well fed.  Eggs are expensive and when you are feeding a family of five, they are REALLY DANG expensive.  Long story short, He provides.  We have been introduced to a lady who has LOADS of eggs and sells them for just enough to replace her feed.  WHAT?!?!?!

When we decided I’d home school the girls, I began dreaming of what it would look like to have a home school co-op here.  There aren’t any currently, and I knew I’d have to be the one to put something together.  I had dreams of teaching other women how to educate their children at home because sometimes its insanely hard for families here to get their little ones to school.  Who I am though, right?  This is the first time we’ve done this…but that still, small voice has been there, begging to be heard.  And then on Monday of this week, I had three mama’s contact me and ask if we could chat about what it’s like to home school and how they could get started. He cares so much for the deepest desires of our hearts…why wouldn’t He, He placed them there in the first place!!

We’ve been searching for months for a mini schnauzer.  When we began discussing, as a family, the potential for getting a puppy, we also discussed names.  The one the kids and I had our hearts set on was Oscar Mesa, Mesa for short.  I can not tell y’all the number of emails and phone calls J and I have made over the past months, only to be told every time, “Oh, I’m sorry, we forgot to remove our ad.” or “Oh, we just sold the last puppy about thirty minutes ago.”  To say we were beginning to slide towards being disheartened would be an understatement.  However, I kept reminding myself and the girls that our dog hadn’t found us yet.  Then, Wednesday night, I emailed a gentleman about his ONE male puppy.  He emailed me back and said we could come get him.  Great news, right?  But y’all, listen to how good my Father is…the gentleman we bought our puppy from, his name was Oscar.  He was in Mesa, AZ.  I can’t make this stuff up!!  He literally lead us to exactly the pup we were supposed to have!!  Here’s a photo of our little guy.

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On the way home from picking up Mesa, it got dark.  The kids and I were traveling alone and y’all it gets REALLY dark in the desert at night.  We were coming through Flagstaff and my low tire warning light came on in the van.  First, I had cell phone service.  That is a miracle.  Second, we were no more than 200 yards from a gas station.  Also a miracle. Third, the puppy was sleeping, Little Man was sleeping and the girls were quietly watching a movie-miracle.  I called J and he began walking me through my best options.  While on the phone with J, the gas station lights went out.  The attendant walked out and locked the door.  I had a temporary internal panic attack.  Should I also mention it was 47 degrees.  That is COLD for this southerner!  The attendant turned around and I felt like I needed to ask him for help.  I told him the situation and that I was traveling alone with the kids…who tells a perfect stranger those things?  I asked if he’d be willing to use my flashlight and help me check out my tires.  He was AMAZING.  He went back inside the station, turned the lights back on so we could see better and then went to his truck and got his pressure gauge.  He checked each of my tires and because I have a husband who is typically OCD about things, I had an air pump in the van.  He then aired up my low tire, told me to be safe and to have a good rest of the night.  Can we say Good Samaritan? He was headed home, to his wife and children he hadn’t seen all day.  He very simply could have said he wasn’t able to help but instead he told me his prayer was that someone would make the CHOICE to help his wife and kids if they were ever in the same situation.  That gentleman chose love and kindness on Thursday night and I am forever grateful.

My Father goes before me.  Of that much I am certain.  And y’all, I’m so, so glad he does. So while this season has been far from perfect, my family and I are covered in His infinite grace.  We were made specifically for this season, this calling and for this place.  Oh, I miss my little island home, some days way more than others, but I also know we are walking His path and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Rocks and running

I have a severe case of “survivor’s guilt”.  I guess, technically, it’s not survivor’s guilt but I’m having all the feels about our chosen family in GA and what they’ve been through this weekend.  I’ve watched the videos and the photos of our beautiful island flooding…from afar.  It’s surreal to watch the place you lived, literally three months ago, be ravaged by a major storm like Hurricane Irma.  I realize it could have been so much worse.  I realize there are so many others who legitimately got the short end of the stick with this storm.  We are praying big prayers for all those affected.  I am praying big prayers for my little family, for my sweet girls who have asked repeatedly if their Nana and Papa and P are safe, if all their friends are safe, if their teachers are safe… Both girls have asked throughout the day what will happen to the playground, the pier, the beach… My answer has been the same-He makes beauty from ashes.

Sissy looked at me a little funny the first time I gave her that response.  “What’s that mean, Mommy?”.  I talked to her about something she could relate too.  She has discovered a passion for rocks since we moved here.  Not just any old rock, she studies the texture, the weight, how they feel in her hands and then makes a seemingly calculated decision before choosing said rock.  She brings them home and washes them…(she’s asking for a rock polisher for Christmas…if anyone knows where to find one appropriate for a seven year old, help a sister out…)… she always talks to me about how dirty they were before she cleaned them and how beautiful the colors are once they’ve had a “bath”.  After we talked about her rocks, she understood.  “Just because our island looks yucky and dirty right now, it doesn’t mean God will let it stay that way.”  Exactly, little one.

This conversation lead into another conversation with Mouse and Sissy about how God doesn’t let us stay ugly and dirty.  The reason He sent Jesus was to make us clean, like their rocks.  I’m loving the little lessons I’m able to draw from experiences.  It’s one of the blessings of having the privilege of homeschooling them.  We get to have REAL conversations.  There is time for them to ask ALL the questions, to give their thoughts and opinions.  If you’d asked me a month and a half ago if I ever imagined God could make beauty from the ashes that was our first week of home school…honestly, I’d have laughed in your face.  Seriously.  He’s brought us a long way.

I went running tonight in preparation for an upcoming race.  Mostly though, tonight’s run was about clearing the space in my mind that had become saturated with images from the storm, from conversations with precious family who have no clue what they are going back to or when.  While I was running I started to feel some rhythm for the first time since moving here…my legs were loose, my breathing was right and my feet were landing just so…it occurred to me on the last half mile that even the trivial things like running…yep.  He makes those beautiful too.

Over the past six weeks, I’ve watched this desert go from looking like a giant dust bowl, in my opinion…to a place of rest, of beauty and wonder.  I wrote a Facebook post several months ago about running and how I was beginning to realize that despite my best efforts, running was starting to like me.  Funny thing is, I started running because I wanted to honor my best friend.  We ran our first half marathon together in February of this year and when I think about watching her cross that finish line, I am reminded just how beautiful He can make our lives even when we feel like all we can offer are ashes.  He’s doing the same thing here, y’all.  Each time I see the faces of my precious Navajo brothers and sisters and those beautiful babies, I know that He is making beauty from ashes.  He’s mending this girl’s heart, drawing me back to Him and showing me just how beautiful He can make any circumstance.  We I just have to let Him.

 

Home

Whew…what a week and a half it’s been.  I’ve sat down to write a blog multiple times only to be distracted by something, anything that needed IMMEDIATE attention according to the tiny people who live in my house.

I haven’t known exactly how to put into words all that has happened in our neck of the woods over the past week or so.  The best way I know to explain the happenings of this heart of mine is to talk about becoming a mama times three.

After we had Sissy, I was convinced I’d never love another baby the way I loved her.  She was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  My heart and life were so full and I wanted to share every waking moment with that little blonde haired, blue eyed beauty.  Then, along came Mouse.  Man alive, that girl has been fierce since day one and as soon as I laid eyes on her, my heart exploded with more love than I could imagine.  How was that possible?  To love two people so much it hurts but in two completely different ways?  Every aspect of those two girls are completely different from one another and yet my heart could have almost burst with the love and joy I felt each time I looked at those darling girls.  And then our Little Man came along.  He was everything we never knew we needed.  At least, I didn’t know I needed him.  Each time, the enemy would creep in and have me convinced I didn’t have what it took to be a mama, again.  Selling lies about how little I could love another baby.  And, that’s just what the enemy wants…he wants us to believe his lies.  He wants us to live into what he says about us and not WHO our Father says we are.

I’ve been walking in some of those lies since we moved here.  Not living into who my Father says I am.  Not allowing myself to like it here because this isn’t “home”.  Walking in fear and believing that the task at hand is too large for my family.  And, truthfully, it is too big for us.  Its not too big for Him though.

The past week has brought some healing to this heart.  We’re finding new rhythms, making some unlikely friends and I can feel myself beginning to enjoy this pace of life.  Oh, I still have my moments of what in the world are we doing but last Sunday something clicked for me.  Just like I wasn’t sure my heart could hold anymore love for my babies, I wasn’t sure I could feel at home in a place that doesn’t look anything like “home”.  As the five of us walked in from exploring, I caught this precious picture.

In looking at it initially, you might not see anything spectacular.  Let me explain though. It was in this specific moment that He reminded me my home isn’t a place. Its not an ideal destination.  My home is with those four people in that picture.  Those three babies and that man are my home.  As long as I’m with them, I’m home.  So, regardless of where my Father calls me, I can be home because He’s helped J and I build our house from the ground up.

He’s been preparing our family for this since day one because He knew exactly the moment and time we’d be here.  The girls have started calling the Rez home…referring to our tiny island as exactly that, the island.  They have already gotten what their Mama is just now getting.  Home isn’t a house, home is a family.

I love the peace that has started to take root in my heart.  I’m loving the flow of our days as we begin to gently fall into a new rhythm with home school and J’s job.  I see the simplicity and beauty of the lives here and I’m beginning to turn towards thankfulness for the opportunity to share my life with the Navajo people.  While I still don’t understand parts and pieces of this new season, I’m home.

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” -John 14:23