Sometimes for no apparent reason I randomly remember the craziest of things. While enjoying a mother daughter date today I suddenly remember I neglected to add a scripture verse yesterday! I should have money stopped from my wages…. Oh hang on I don’t get paid- ummm
Today I got to lie in- no alarm, what a treat. Then a leisurely breakfast and catch up on facebook before Beth and I headed out to a ‘red white and blue’ bizarre at the school, a ‘small businesses’ event and finally a trip to Farmstead Antiques. It was great to attend these events, see such beautiful crafts, products, furniture, services, and meet friendly folk. We had great fun and after we had sampled everything…., twice, we headed for ‘The Tea Cup’, an awesome tea shop, a super tasty chicken pot pie and maybe a little cake. Sitting to write today’s pause for thought, I reflected on my day and how much it reminded me of home. Then I reflected on the word ‘home’. I tried to ascertain exactly where home was. Was it England? Staffordshire, where I grew up and where my family are? Do I consider Cranleigh, Guildford, Uwhurst, Godalming, Bridgend, Littlethorpe, or even Pensacola as home? What had I actually experienced that felt like ‘home?’
We often say to people, “where’s home?” Or “Wow you are a long way from home?” And so I got to thinking about ‘home’. As a teacher I clearly remember doing an assembly on this topic, finishing with the phrase- ‘Home is Where the Heart is!’ It was my mantra for a long time even to the point of having a ‘sampler’ with it on, hanging in my living room. So is home where the heart is? I am going to say NO. But I would welcome your feedback. In recent years I have wrestled with being so far from Staffordshire and my immediate family. It is hard being so very far away and not being able to travel freely due to the cost etc of going back to the UK.
Home is not so much where my heart is, for me anyway, it is where God has put me. But here is the thing, when we decide to make God our focus and our home where ever He has placed us, our hearts follow.
When we surrender to the will of God and leave, family, friends and careers to follow where God leads; when we are obedient to the call, and the work of that call, then despite the challenge, we find something, a contentedness, peace, comfort and hope, a knowledge that if God has called us to it, it will be OK. Don’t get me wrong, or misinterpret my choice of words. Note I did not say you find things easy, pink and fluffy with a great feel good factor, and just full to the brim with overflowing happiness and joy. In fact I can say from experience that I have not been happy on many occasions. I have felt frustrated, angry, fearful, and if I am honest, resentful at times. Thankfully, God in His wisdom and mercy has brought people into my life that have talked Godly sense. Obedience does not always bring immediate peace, sometimes because of, in my case, a stubborn and determined will, peace is delayed. This year has seen many challenges for me and my family, in fact we are facing one right now. Only 10 weeks ago we moved from Pensacola to WA- 4627 miles, 5 nights, 6 days travelling, with everything we owned in a small Penske Truck. Starting again to make new friends, settle into a new school, house, ministry. Then there is the task of finding a church, dentist, doctor, mechanic, hairdresser, emergency facility, shops, banks ….. the list is endless and the paperwork never ending and the cost more than I want to think about.
I have come to realize that ‘home’ is not where my heart is but where my focus is. If my focus is on the past, places, or things of this world, then that is where my heart is. If my heart is anywhere but on God then I am frankly doomed. If I have learned anything it is this, my relationship with God, is imperative to my functioning, living and loving, effectively in the world and with everyone in it, and making “home” right where I am.
Luke 18:29-30New King James Version (NKJV)
29 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.