I grabbed a new book this week. At Home in the World. What an appropriate title.
It begs to reason that building a house would set my mind spinning in a thousand directions. It has made me feel a lot of Big Feelings.
Not the least of which is restless.
Because it wasn't supposed to be this way.
It wasn't going to end up this way when I studied abroad in college. I wasn't going to end up back in a small town in the Texas Panhandle.
It certainly wasn't going to end up this way when I moved back to Italy a few years after college. I declared myself a world citizen and couldn't have imagined myself back on dust blown prairies.
Even as we packed our bags to move back to my husbands hometown, the mirror image of my own hometown across the Canadian River, we looked each other in the eye and reassured each other it was temporary.
So we rented a house and booked tickets to Bali.
We knew for sure then it was only a matter of time. We imagined mission fields in distant lands. We imagined packing up all our things and heading out.
Even as we were sleeping under mosquito nets in Uganda to adopted our boys we were pressing open doors to the mission field.
They were all firmly shut.
Maybe slammed is a better word.
After three months walking the red dirt roads of Uganda we arrived home as a family of seven.
We had set up our whole life ready to run. Mentally my bags were always half packed and attachment always hanging by only a thread. We were still ready to go.
Imagine my surprise when I felt the press of the sky on my heart. The pull of fields on my soul. A walk had simply been a walk every other time I had gone. Something had changed. When I walked now, everything seemed to be brighter, more beautiful.
The problem with limiting attachment is that you never find a place to belong. My heart hadn't ever been in this small town and so this small town had never been in my heart. I'd lived seven disconnected years with my feet planted firmly in the blocks.
I hadn't realized it wasn't a race.
We have never been more sure of a calling on our life than this one: We are to stay.
It didn't stop the wanderlust.
When we first started talking about building a house (and for sure when we started signing papers) I would wake up in the middle of the night and look up plane tickets and family hostels. I would calculate exactly how far around the world the money to build this house would get us.
The bright and beautiful world still pulls at my heart. I hope it always does.
But I know it now, this is home. This place that exists under a sky bigger than any other I've ever seen yet. This town surrounded by fields that stretch out as far as the eye can see.
It has light and life that I had failed to see.
I thought I needed to see the world, and I hope I still get too. But I get to practice seeing here. Because what is a place made of than people, places, and landscape that wait to be seen. I had never even bothered to look.
I about cried when they dug our well. It felt sacred when they poured the concrete. It was roots. The roots I had resisted digging into the ground for so long, and with them hope of flourishing. Flourishing at home. Flourishing in the world.
So as we walk and wonder at tadpoles in a horse tank, listen closely at our feet for the sound of rattles to run from, and sit on the dirt and watch huge thunderstorms blow in, I find myself blown away. Because it wasn't supposed to be this way, but it is. It is home.