they should have left by now.
but every day this week, they’ve stopped by in our backyard. when they showed up the third day, i ran down with my camera, snapping pictures and yelling, “go on now...fly south, you crazy, old birds.” crazy, old birds or crazy, old woman? i am pretty sure any neighbor watching me yell and run and snap pictures, would have had his own opinion that morning.
it’s not the way it’s supposed to be though.
they don’t belong here. at least not now. not for these next many months.
but still, they sit. and swim. and waddle around making a mess along the lakeshore. and i watch them from my window, high on the hill, and think, “what gives, you silly geese? what in the world are you waiting for”
but truly, i get it. i wonder sometimes what in the world we are still doing here. in this north country, with cold winter on its way. the temperatures drop and the reality sets in: we’ve moved. we’ve had our little northern adventure and still...here we are. sitting. not swimming exactly. but waddling around making our messes. our own gaggle of geese. and a part of me thinks perhaps these canadian birds are kind of hanging around, knowing there’s another who lives high on this hill. another strange bird, who, on occasion, wants to fly south herself. at least some days she does.
we’ve all had those "somedays" -- that moment when we just want to head home, to return to what's normal and well known. my oldest daughter, did exactly that two weeks ago. she flew back to atlanta for a church retreat and a couple of days with her dearest friends. it was a wonderful weekend. i have to admit though, i was a little worried she might not get back on that plane returning north to minnesota at the end of her weekend. but she did. not without some confusion on her own part though. just before boarding, she tweeted (the bird theme continues) on twitter, “heading home. but really, where is home?” kind of philosophical for a 16 year old, wouldn’t you say?
but it is a question we’ve all asked ourselves with this move.
where is home?
north. south. east. west.
somedays we seem to be moving in all directions. literally. figuratively. we’re torn.
when emily arrived back in minnesota that sunday night after her weekend in atlanta, i told her i had seen her twitter post. she immediately jumped in defensively and said, “i know what you’re going to say, mom.” and she was right. i went on to remind her, “home is where our family is....home is where the heart is.” and right now, we are here and this is home. we might feel a little bit like those confused geese hanging out a tad too long. maybe we are strangely in need of some crazy, old woman to come running down the hill at us too. a woman yelling loudly. shaking our shoulders. getting our attention. pointing us in the right direction. but, it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve landed. we are here. and this is what God has given us, at least for now. how sad to call it anything else, but home.
i’ve always known, it will be what we make it. i haven’t done a perfect job creating this new nest for my family. Lord knows, i’ve struggled. it's obvious to anyone watching right now, this hasn’t been easy. i had really good intentions all along. the first week in this house i hung pictures and put out our things. i painted a wall and arranged bedrooms and lit candles. i did everything a woman could do to knit together her nest. at the end of that first week, while sitting on the front steps of the porch, i happened to look up and notice a nest, stuffed bird-like into the corner of gutter and eaves. empty, but telling. i kind of rolled my eyes at God. oh Lord, you just won’t leave me alone, will you? even in that first week, He was reminding me to prepare this place and help my family settle in ... to help us all learn to call it home. even now in november, the nest is still there. we’ve peeked in from time to time, just to be sure. it remains empty, but continues to tell. continues to remind. continues to assure -- this is home.
“If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this
world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that
I was made for another world” c.s. lewis
the truth is, we don't know when God will choose to call us home. just in these past couple of weeks, two different families we knew back in atlanta have unexpectedly had to say good-bye to their young daughters. these girls in the prime of their youth, both right around the age of 20. one with a chronic illness and one with a contracted illness, but, both, taking an unexpected turn for the worse. such heartbreak for these two families from our church and community. such incredible loss. and though i cannot begin to imagine the grief, these girls are, without doubt, finally home.
i guess sometimes in our human-ness, we can be an awful lot like silly geese with little direction and a strange sense of time. thankfully, we are not left to waddle around on our own. thankfully, we are not ultimately in control. God has a plan. He has a purpose. and, what's more, He has promised a place for us. He knows where we are and He knows the time when we'll leave. His timing is sure and certain and always, always perfect. and oh how He wants us to trust Him in our present and trust Him with our future.
wherever we call home, we first, are called His.
we are His here (wherever "here" may be)...
and we will be His, when He someday, calls us home to heaven.
"but our citizenship is in heaven. and we eagerly
await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."
~ philippians 3:20