"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7
Its been nearly one year since I moved all my belongings into a trailer (and my in-loves garage!) and moved out of my own home (eeeekkkk!). We're talking one year of living out of suitcases. One Year of putting my two kids to bed in other peoples homes. ONE YEAR of not seeing my dishes, not laying in my own bed, and not living in my own house. But thats what pilgrims and pioneers do. Quite literally.
"Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan." Genesis 12:5
It was December 2015, I had JUST given birth to our beautiful daughter, Kenley and the Lord spoke to my heart, "get your house in order". Instantly I knew we would be selling our home and three months later we signed the closing papers!
This was our first little home as a family, we had miraculously found it just as I was about to BURST with Rowin (literally we moved in and I had the baby a few weeks later!). Our first little taste of being homeowners... I still remember the joyful memories of Rowin toddling down the hall into the kitchen, sneaking into our dark walk-in closet and shutting the door behind him as I frantically tried to find my son! The hilarity of watching Michael cut our bumpy lawn with one of those old-school reel push mowers. Walking into my living room aglow with the cozy lights at Christmastime. And I'm not gonna lie, both Michael and I were a bit emotional about selling it but the excitement of the adventure always outweighed the comfort of the familiar.
Enter the unknown. The questions came flooding in. What will I need? How will my little fella sleep in a bed other than his crib? What should I bring? Anyone who has had kids knows how much STUFF comes along with them! It seems like little humans a fraction of our size, have more possessions and "essential items" than full grown adults! Well, I can tell you from personal experience, as long as those little people have their mommy & daddy who love them and make them feel safe, loved and cared for, they have EVERYTHING they need!!!
Between then and now we have stayed in NINE homes. A few of them have just been for a weekend or a little vacation week here and there but when you don't have a home, that vacation house BECOMES your home for that week! haha
This past season has humbled me and strengthened my core like no other season before. God showed me a picture where I was a beautiful tree, then He came and stripped off my leaves, stripped off my branches, stripped off my bark until all that was left was my core and my roots. I saw Him make my core GOLD and my roots pushed down deep and wide, stretching farther and sinking deeper than physically possible. The Father spoke to my heart, "I am strengthening your core, and making it pure like gold because I care for you and want you to stand through the ages! I am making you a tree planted by streams of water - that it doesn't matter what season you're in externally, you will bear fruit!!!"
Ok... now I have to preach:
God is not simply in the business of stripping us down, he is in the restoration business! GOD restores and repays and builds and invests more deeply and purely into his people better than ANY real-estate tycoon or master builder!!! You better BELIEVE He is looking for a HUGE return on His investment too - He KNOWS that when you are GOLD you will be able to outlast every assault of the enemy, forgive every offense against you and bear fruit in EVERY season you find yourself in!!! You are not doing this alone either, you are planted by streams of LIVING water and His Name is JESUS!!!
Wow. God does things completely contrary to the way we think they should be done. Its the upside down, backwards way we have come to view things. Nature even points to this Truth, however. Any caring gardener will prune his apple trees if he wants them to last and continue bearing more and more fruit. God promises us that we will go from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), but how can we expect to do so if we don't welcome the Master Gardener as he lovingly prunes us?
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit."
I can tell you this truthfully, my heart is in heaven and until my body catches up I am a pilgrim and pioneer on this earth. Like a gypsy, every place my little family lands, I do what I can to make it home (look for an upcoming blog about what STUFF has made it out of the packing boxes and travels along with us throughout each move!) but more than any object, I have found that when my heart is plugged into the Fathers, I am overflowing with Peace and Love - my husband and children can all rest and be refreshed in that flow!!! A house becomes a home. I lean upon Jesus in prayer and you better believe that makes ALL the difference in the world too!!! Look for my upcoming blog about what scriptures I pray over my home, especially when we're transitioning from place to place!