(Photo credit Scott and Jennifer Myhre)
Today I spent the day doing school with the boys, baking a bunch of cookies for upcoming events, decorating the porch with the boys after school, and raking leaves because they have finally all fallen off the trees. As I was raking I was daydreaming about what the garden will look like in the spring, since we have not yet experienced that here. I made plans in my mind about how Shawn could add so much beauty to a yard that needed a little TLC, but still had it’s own beauty.
Suddenly that sneaky little feeling of anxiety crept in. “This isn’t really your house. you have a two year lease is all. Don’t invest too much – you never know when you will need to leave.”
If you read my previous blog you know what a gift this house is to us. I love everything about it. But while it is our home right now, it belongs to someone else who will eventually call it home again. Though we would love to be in DC until we retire, this house will probably not be our home that whole time. And suddenly that feeling of anxiety about not having a place to claim as mine started to overtake.
I never wanted to buy a house. I never felt the need. I liked the idea of being able to pick up and go whenever I needed or wanted to. We have learned in our crazy life how to make a home pretty quickly. But I’ll be honest, all of that has changed in me since coming back to the States. I want roots and home and a place that my kids will know is always there for them even as they all enter into adulthood and make their own homes.
Most of the time I am content with giving that to God and letting him take care of it for me. But today I felt the stress that happens when I am not consciously doing that, and I started to feel panicky for no real reason.
Suddenly I heard the Spirit say, “Heather, build your pizza oven.”
No, I am not going to literally build a pizza oven – I am not even sure I could legally do that here! But this statement brought me back to solid ground and a trust in God’s plan for us. A few years back I wrote a blog about how friends of ours and missionaries extraordinaire who had lived around East Africa in some hard places for the last few decades chose to mark their places as home. No matter where they lived, even if they knew it was not long term, they chose to put roots down and make a life. One way they did that was to build an outside pizza oven of stone and brick. They’ve done this at places on the equator as well as in their home in the States. There are many people who have benefited from this tangible way of saying, “We are home. This is home. The Lord has provided.” Though I knew that an outdoor pizza oven would not be my marker, I also knew I had to figure out what was. What are those things we do as a family, those things we put in place, no matter where we go?
As God brought things to mind about how we are making this place home for us and our kids (what a blessing to hear Anna say this was like coming home when she was here from college for Thanksgiving break), I knew that no matter what house we live in we will make it home. We will open it up to friends, family, and strangers – who usually become friends! We will always have food and drink for people along with a place on the couch to talk and pray. We will put up some of the same decorations and do some of the same things at the same time each year. We will pray together at night on our bed as a family before everyone goes to sleep. We will try to remember to speak thankfulness at dinner times together in the evenings.
In other words, we have our own pizza ovens. I am so grateful for these friends who spoke this into our lives.
What are some of your “Pizza ovens?”