Five years ago today, I crammed as much of my life as I could into a tiny space. I left my career behind, distributed my possessions out, and said goodbye to friends and family. I released financial security and the culture I knew. IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS!
I didn’t start this January 14th like I did the January 14th of 2010, when I was squishing my life into a thrift store suitcase.
I started this January 14th with a little boy in his underwear curled in my lap for prayer, with a dance party, and with a new school uniform.
After four years of letting him go, laying down my understanding, expectations and interpretations of my Father’s whispered words to me, something unbelievable has happened…
LIFA IS LIVING WITH ME THIS YEAR FOR SCHOOL!
AND I spent the weekend moving out of the cottage and into a larger house on the base, thanks to the help of my TTH family. We set up the most beautiful Spiderman room with bedding and toys that have been stored in suitcases for a year and a half while we’ve waited for enough space to unpack.
There was SO MUCH unpacking. The house we are building isn’t finished yet, so this is just a temporary place, but I unpacked it all. I had to make it feel like home. For years, I’ve had suitcases full of house stuff stacked high and covered to make end tables and nightstands in the cottage. And now we’re using actual furniture, and we’ve unpacked those suitcases.
They were suitcases full of memories of people who’ve come with bags full of love and of times when God spoke to me to plan for His promises, not basing my decisions on my present circumstances.
It’s the beginning of a new era.
A long time ago, God told me to build a house. To make a home.
So I did. I just didn’t have the walls or the roof or the rooms.
Or even a bathroom door. Important side-note: We currently have TWO bathrooms, and they both have DOORS.
It’s time to unpack, to spread out, and to live like I’m Home.
Because if I can’t live well, how can I love well?
If I’ve been given space, how could I not thank Him by using it?
And if he’s never belonged to a welcoming, safe and loving home, how will he know he belongs in His Father’s house?
This isn’t the grand finale, or the happily ever after…
We haven’t finished our house. We don’t have a birth certificate. I haven’t had time to paint my toenails in a month.
This is the end of cramming life into suitcases and hyper self-consciousness about the way stereotypes or my insecurities say I’m supposed to live.
I was made in the image of the most generous Lover, an extravagant Father, and a secure Home. I’ll look only at His face to see my reflection and how to live with the days He has numbered for me.
The only thing that could be worse than living like what the stories and stereotypes say about how people who “sell out for Jesus” should live, would be if the people I came here to love let their identities become what the stories and stereotypes say about the impoverished, the sick and the orphaned.
There will be stretches and seasons ahead of letting go, laying down, packing up, cramming in, and who knows what else.
But on this January 14th, I had a first day of school banana split party; I tucked in the most exhausted basketball player with skinned knees; and I plugged in a brand new freezer. (We are going to have ICE and SMOOTHIES and FROZEN THINGS!)
I’m still unpacking His promises one by one in this unpacked temporary home.
I’m going to live all the way, so HE can love all the way through me.
I’m going to make space for banana splits, dance parties, and things that are very, very cold.
I’m going to open my house, and spend myself on building His home.
Thank you family and friends for praying with me, crying with me, encouraging me and loving me through every twist and turn of these past five years. You’ve been His arms around me, and held my arms up more than once. I’m inviting you in, further, more intimately, and more openly into this next five years… this new era of unpacking, making space for more of His glory, and being a full time mama. Please pray with me for His perspective, His strength and that I steward what He’s entrusted me with wisdom and without holding back.
And please stay tuned for a First Day of School video… because it’s gonna be good.