Monday, April 15, 2013


That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1:3

"Mom, it's purple flowers.  The tree."  We were driving to church.  My daughter was being her observant self.  She has been extra vigilant lately, watching the news in the mornings - keeping her eyes and ears open for the daily forecast.  Definitely a warm-weather girl, she was really excited to get into her shorts drawer last week - shorts and t-shirts.  And sandals.  Funny girl -  she shows me how the pink in the plaid of her shorts matches the pink shirt she's picked out, that matches the pink sandals... Where did she get that (I'm rolling my eyes, here...)

One of the discussions my husband and I have on a fairly regular basis, is about where we are going to retire.  This last move was a hard one.  We left a house we loved, a house we had worked on - made to fit our wants and needs - to start over again in a new place.  I remember talking with my sister about the impending move.  She was telling me that the thought of moving boggled her - having to set up a house, establish - new friends, new schools, new church, new, new.  Silly me.  I told her that home isn't a place - it's not the bricks, wood, plumbing, and yard.  It's not the house.  It's the people - the family; it's bringing out and putting up the keepsakes that travel from place to place.  The pictures, the books, the familiar...

So, we moved into a house - a rental.  And we should be happy.  We have our stuff - we both have jobs.  My daughter has been able to establish a schedule that she likes.  It's not a small house.  It has a big yard - with trees, and grass.  It has a big driveway.  It's not too close to neighbors; it's not too far from shopping and amenities.  It's in a safe neighborhood.  We thought - two years.  We can make it work for two years.  Yet....

We've been struggling with this house.  It doesn't belong to us.  We can't change the things we want to change.  There is no flow - the rooms are choppy and isolated.  We have made the house work for us, but it doesn't fit us...  Everyday, we think two years...

We love this area.  It fulfills a lot of our family wants and needs.  I like four seasons.  The area has four seasons.  My husband and daughter like warmth.  Spring, summer and fall stay fairly warm - winter is short.   It's close to the things we need - a good church, a military base, a good school district, active adult programs for my daughter, proximity to interesting locations - the beach, historical sites, cities.  The people are friendly.  There are lots of outdoor recreation opportunities... We love this place.

We're in the process of looking for a house to buy.  Something that fits.  Something that will be a home for us - a place of refuge.  These trees fascinate me.  I was impressed with their fall colors last autumn.  I enjoyed the tracery of their bare branches during the winter.  I relish the neon green of the leaves that are now pushing through the spring buds.  The variety and intensity of the colors blooming amaze me.

About two states ago, as I was leaving a 'dream job' for our move to Texas, I was told to bloom where I was planted.  That's what these trees are doing - glorious leaves and blossoms.  That's what we need to do here - God is preparing a place for us - a sanctuary.  We may find it soon, we may not.  Our job, my job, is to bloom where we're planted.  Home is not this house - home is us.  It's time to appreciate those purple flowers with new eyes.  Eyes of gratitude.  And praise.

Thank you, God.  For providing us with this home, this place, this opportunity.  Help me to choose joy.

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