The Places I’ve Lived

What follows appears tedious and has a point, though silly. It is a list of all the places I have called home, some for short periods of time and some for considerably longer.
1. Trailer in Buchanan, MI on Red Bud Trail N (10 years)
2. Farmhouse in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (7 years)
3. Campground in Bloomfield, IN at Beechwood Lake Camp with Adventures in Missions. (2 summers)
4. Campground in Niles, MI at Michiana Christian Service Camp. (1 week at a time for years).
5. Modular home in Buchanan, MI on Chamberlain Rd. (2 years)
6. and 7. 2 different Dorm rooms in Johnson City, TN at Milligan College (1 year)
8. Dorm room in Kalamazoo, MI at Western Michigan University (1 year)
9. and 10. 2 different Studio apartments in Kalamazoo, MI in town (1 year)
11. Bedroom of a home in Portage, MI with the Bannisters (2 years)
12. Church in London, England at Manor Way (2 weeks)
13. Church in Bielsk Padloski, Poland (2 weeks)
14. Bedroom of a home in Bellarus, Russia (1 week)
15. One bedroom apartment in Kalamazoo, MI (1 year)
16. One bedroom apartment in Kingston, PA (3 years)
17. One bedroom apartment in Boca Raton, FL (1 year)
18. Townhouse condo in Coconut Creek, FL in the Township (3 years)
19. One bedroom apartment in Glendale, CA (9 months)
20. One bedroom apartment in Clearwater, FL (5 months)
21. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Wellington Green (4 1/2 years)
22. 3/2 House in Lakeland, FL in Country Oaks (6 1/2 years so far- current location)
This is documentation for my children to prove that I am truly as insane as they believe that I am and proof positive that I understand and embrace moving when the need arises to do so. I have friends who never have moved, still live really close to their birth place, who do not even have any natural curiosity about the world outside their town or city. I have other friends who have moved more times than I. Regardless of how much travel you do, reading can suppliment travel in many good books but some form of reading or travel or speaking to travelers must take place to grasp the enormity and diversity of the world as well as the smallness of it all. Communication is extremely important and somewhat easy in other places for everyone has similar loves- family, food, sleep, pets, entertainment. Communication has differences everywhere you go in the states or abroad but always is read best through body language and eye contact or lack thereof. And when traveling and moving, it is a beautiful understanding you get quite quickly to simplify your life, belongings, clothes and take with you what you need to live not want to beautify. It is important to appreciate God’s world He made to worship Him the best way possible. It is difficult to praise the Creator when we see little of His creation, in my belief. The more we see and travel, the better we understand some degree of His greatness and also His richness, that He owns it all and so much more. These are beautiful things to ponder. I have traveled much also while living in these places, many road trips, many vacations, many beach days, many many hikes. It always points me back to quietness and simplicity and God’s amazing greatness and attention to detail and love for differences. But home should always be where you feel the most comfortable in the world with those you love. And never underestimate the power of a decent bathroom and kitchen!

Moving People

People move a lot. So many reasons for this. Some go where the job is, so go for climate, some to chase other people who already moved, some for change, some running away, many reasons. You learn (when you have lived quite a few years) that change is I evitable and that you live in this moment as big as you can. Take it all in, take pictures, remember because you do not know how long you will have this person in your life. I used to walk with a friend every morning I walked but now I don’t have that privilege anymore. I miss it. I had friends who hugged that I no longer can hug. I miss that. I know many friends who have enlarged their families since I left that I will never know, and I miss separation from their lives. As many times as I moved for school, I always made beautiful friends that I had to leave behind. I miss them. When you move, you always leave some or a lot of your heart behind. Of course, there is a flip side to this. Wherever you go, there are more people. I have searched for places without anyone, but you wouldn’t want to live there. So, opportunity exists to make new friends, enlarge your heart where you are, repair it. And there is one Friend you take everywhere you go. God never leaves your side. He never decides He is done with you. He never decides one day to stop holding you or showing you His world. He is the one constant in this moving world. We move, others move, God is already there. Love that about Him. If you need arms to hold, He will somehow get some to you or He will just hold your heart. It is beautiful. Each day with a friend is a treasure. Guard it, make it count. And never forget your constant Person in life.

Wondering About Wandering

I have traveled extensively, more than most but not as much as others. I have traveled all through our great, diverse country as well as abroad (and yes, I have always been annoyed by that word). I also have moved a lot and lived in 6 states (MI, IN, TN, PA, FL, CA) and in many different apartments and houses within those states. I have moved, changing addresses 25 times. I have traveled through or spent vacation or missions time in 3 countries overseas and at least 19 US states (including Hawaii) and Canada. I hope I am finished with the moving now, though probably not with vacationing. I know college and jobs accounted for a lot of changes but I began to wonder why I have wandered around so much. I believe the answer is that I was not ever at peace. I was restless internally for various reasons and being an activist (I was taught to do something about it), I tried a new location, did something different, changed it up. And I was fierce and bold enough to do it. However, those of us who wear our I securities as well as our good and bad stuff so openly to the public are bound to fall prey to those who prey on the open. So, do not envy my lack of fear or reserve. It does not always serve me well. Back to the thoughts at hand. Sometimes people move around a lot, not because they are trying to “find themselves” but because they are trying to find true peace and security and belonging and love. And while we have these things in God and with Him, sometimes we keep that knowledge in our heads and not let it sink into our hearts that He is really the only One able to fill and heal all the parts of us and wants to. We search for an alternate resource that is tangible yet negate the fact that nothing is more tangible than our minds. Our perception guides our reality. One person walks out into a drizzle and complains about the dampness. Another rejoices that her flowers are being watered. It is the perception. Both are right but only one is better off for their perception. Gloominess lends itself to more gloominess. Positivity lends itself to additional positivity. It is how things work. Off of tangent two (sorry about that), I enjoy travel exceedingly but not moving at all anymore. And I have determined that the reason is that I am home now. Not because I have my family or this particular house because those things can be taken away. It is because with God I am always home. He fulfills me. He heals and satisfies. His goodness and blessings humble me. I am able to rest and have peace in Him. I am home.

Helping Hands

We had a few good men and women help us unpack the moving truck today for my parents’ move into town. Many were asked, few responded. And we had a piano to unload! So, needless to say we were very thankful for the few who responded, but it left me scratching my head and so seeing why more didn’t help. I thought perhaps that they were too busy or working, but plenty of them were not working today. It made me think of who did show up. My pastor did and my good friend that I interned in the mission camp with and her son. That was it, other than my Aunt and Uncle who had come for the occasion and my husband. So, I discovered that the ones who helped were grounded in their relationship with the Lord so strongly that serving Him and His children comes before their own agendas and desires. I mean, no one wakes up in the morning and looks forward to moving a piano and unpacking a moving truck. It is painful, hot, uncomfortable, a lot of work, etc. Everyone knows that. However, when we think God and other people are more important than what we want to do, we do things that are uncomfortable to us in order to help them. We have lost a lot of those important social skills and priorities. It seems that we have become so important to ourselves that we don’t want to do less for us so others will be helped. So, for those who helped us, I am very grateful. And when someone needs help, I will help them because I know what it’s like to be frustrated when you don’t feel that you get the help you need when you need it. And I will remember that we are servants here, earning royal status by our thoughts and actions. Also, I will remember how great I feel in my heart and soul when I help someone meet their needs.