We live in a basement with two rooms. My parents and grandmother live above, and all four generations share one kitchen. When we are not on the road and living out of our trusty prius (which we do 75% of the time), we are here, being initiated into the sense of communal living one finds in India.
Today is Black Friday, and since we are rarely home, we are celebrating it with a little web-surfing on the couch. Some days I yearn for overseas, when we will have our own apartment—however humble—and get into the “real life” there. But then I wonder, did God not call us to this season too? Is it his desire for me to live with my entire focus somewhere else? I know it isn’t. I know we were meant to live and breathe in the here and now while also working hard for the future.
As I spent a few moments this morning with Jesus, I sensed Him bringing my focus to this day and this basement. Yesterday we spent Thanksgiving with family and a few friends. We went for a walk in the crispy air that caught our breaths after a lavish feast of turkey, sweet potato casserole and Gramma’s pumpkin pie. There was a lot of laughter as Dad brought out an old love letter to Mom from 37 years ago. At times I have wondered how he won her over with a surprise proposal (when they’d never dated), lots of letters mailed from overseas, and just several weeks of dating. But listening to his letter I understood…. He was abruptly transformed from a gallivanting ladies’ man/ traveler to a sobered, faithful, life-long friend/admirer when he decided to pursue my mom. He wrote of his days in India as well as his hopes for a future with her and I thought, No wonder she was won over!
After organizing our basement, I woke up today to a somewhat de-cluttered, cozy space, where I could actually think. As I sat with coffee in hand I was struck with gratefulness at this in-between season. I realized that I could actually rush over and even miss the value of the in-between.
Three nights ago I endured a horrible visit to the dentist because in the stress of constant travel with a 9 month old I seem to be grinding/gritting my teeth. Hence, pain in my jaw, teeth and head and a hypersensitive nerve.
Yuck. What a wake up call.
My parents always said, “Home is where we are together”, and they meant it, whether we were in another family’s house in a unfamiliar country, a hotel room, a grandparents’ basement, or a house we had decorated and made to “ours”. By the time I graduated high school we had attended 8 schools in 4 different countries. Home really was where we were together. Home is not how furnished, how finished, or how personalized.
Home is where we are together, and we are at peace with one another and with God.
Today I am thankful to be home.
We are so very blessed. Next thanksgiving I will be finding ways to live in the “here and now” in a mountain town in the Himalayas with new friends, roads, new words, and a very new perspective. On our last Thanksgiving here—for a while—I give thanks for the in-between.