- Sarah Nicholson
- Malindi, Kenya
- This blog used to be about me and my new husband starting our life together in Brookhaven, Georgia. Now, 8 years, 3 children, and 1 trans-continental move later, I'm writing for me; to document the emotional and spiritual journey I am on so that I don't forget the paths I have traveled in my heart and mind.
Monday, April 10, 2017
House without walls
Yesterday Chris and I were talking about our future and what would be best for our family. I always feel like things could change drastically for us at any time. And then again we might stay put for a while. But there is really no way of knowing or predicting. We were each sharing what we thought would be best for the family. I finally said that whether we stayed or went wherever we are going to go next, I just wish we could find a place we could settle and have a chance to put down some roots. Chris simply said, "that is just not a part of the kind of life we are leading." Immediately after he said it I knew it was true. Actually, I knew it was true before he said it, but sometimes things have to be said out loud so that I can start to process and manage whatever the reality is that I am dealing with. I would say this aspect of our lives has been challenging for me as a person who likes stability and resists change, but God has brought me so far in accepting and even appreciating this rhythm of life. I think the biggest challenge for me is that "settling in" somewhere takes a lot longer for me than it does for Chris. I need a house, I need that house to be fully unpacked and organized, I need to know the local grocery store and where to find things in it, I need to be able to cook a few decent meals with whatever food is available, I need to know a good doctor or two for my kids, I need a friend or two that I can call on or just hang out with, I need some sort of school situation for my kids, and I need my kids to be settled. I haven't asked Chris this question so I'm not entirely sure but I think his biggest needs are a car to get around with and for me to be settled. So, I guess, in that sense, it takes us the same amount of time to feel settled.
I sometimes hear people in movies or that I am friends with talk about the house they grew up in and all the memories they have there. I experienced this myself, as I lived in the same house from the time I was seven until I left for college. I remember being so sad when my parents left that house, knowing I could no longer come home to my old bedroom. Knowing I would no longer experience the sensation of walking barefoot across the parkay tile floor and feel the loose tiles lifting up under my sticky feet. Isn't it funny how things that are annoyances become sentimental when they are in the past? Unless the course of our lives changes drastically, my kids will probably not experience these emotions. After Chris pointed this reality out to me in the car yesterday, he followed up with this, "but I think our kids feel so much stability just from our own family, which I would much rather it be that way if I had to choose one or the other." I couldn't agree with him more. We will just continue to find ways to build a house that offers safety and stability and comfort to our children, and even ourselves, that isn't made of wood or cement or brick.
Last year I started blogging about my children. I just write any little memory or anecdote that I don't want to forget and add a picture or two whenever I have some time to myself. I'm not going to put it in a journal or a scrapbook or an album because these things are heavy to pack in a suitcase and they get rained on if placed in a moving truck with a leaky tarp as the cover. When I "nest" I am usually getting rid of things, always thinking about how to minimize the amount of luggage we will have for our next move. We no longer own a set of pots and pans or bed sheets or towels or any furniture because the place we are renting now was fully furnished and the idea of paying to move all these things so that we could pay to store them so that we could pay to move them again the next time just seemed too impractical. At this rate, after a few more moves we will be able to pack up and leave in all of five minutes. Chris will grab the kitchen knives, I'll grab the photo albums (which I made before I realized how impractical they were), Iddy will grab his skateboard, RM will grab her colors, and AJ will just be happy to leave all her clothes behind so I'm not forcing her to wear those stupid things anymore. So what kind of "house" are we left with at this point? I'm still working on that. But I think it goes a little something like this:
Each day we do life together we build memories and our love grows stronger.
Every time I use a Bible story to teach my kids a truth about life and a God who is love, their character is growing.
Whenever I stop what I'm doing to listen to what they want to tell me, I'm showing them that they are intrinsically valuable.
When Chris and I make time for each other and go on dates together, we are ensuring our kids that the foundation of their house is secure.
And when I put God first, deciding to always choose love, kindness, and compassion, and turning to God for help when I am hurting, I ensure my kids that the earth beneath the foundation of their house will not be moved.
This is how I will build my house for my children, and this house we will never move out of. This house will always be here for them to come home to, and mom is already fully settled here.