I am in the tension. I miss my home.
The smell of a burning candle. The creak of floorboards under bare feet. The windows opened wide in the morning. The bluejay in the primroses outside the kitchen.
The kitchen itself is torn up, the first place I would head to each morning. Tiptoeing to open the shutters, letting out the dog, waiting for the light to flood in while the house still sleeps.
My soup pot is tucked away in storage. My baking sheets in boxes with my spices and mixing spoons. I miss cooking. I miss baking. I miss the familiarity of simple things: walking our dog around our neighborhood, going across the street to get the mail each day, visiting Berta, my ninety-two-year-old neighbor, playing music through the speakers while I write and then make dinner, leaning on the counter while my kids eat a snack and tell me about their day.
Our furniture is stacked in the middle of the family and living rooms, a mountain covered in plastic sheeting to protect it from dust and wood chips and paint. We walk through before picking up the kids from school–climb up onto the stair-less porch, visit each small room, shutters clapped tight.
I walk through to the back, where the writing studio is an open shed with a fixed roof now. Insulation will be installed soon. When we move back in we won’t be cold in the winter and hot in the summer when we sit at our desks and listen and write.
In the backyard I find the old metal watering can and grab the hose. There are still plants in the backyard that are green and need tending. It feels good to turn on the hose, let the water flood through and pour into the potted soil. I water lemon trees, and shrubs, and a climbing vine with purple flowers. (I have never known the name.)
Things are a mess inside and out. Walls torn up to the studs. The wood floor covered in thick paper and tape. Dust layering everything. Our front and back grass are dead. There is a gray porta-potty by our front window, next to the fence.
I miss my home.
But I mostly miss the rhythms, the privilege of taking care of it–cleaning and caring for the little bungalow He gave us nine years ago. I miss my family harbored inside, the familiar rhythms of waking and walking and listening and cleaning and working in it. Most of my writing has happened in these walls.
Maybe that is what I miss most–not only when the house is filled with voices and smells and warmth and movement–but also the stillness of the place when everyone is gone and it is just me in it. The moments with the house to myself when I sit at the kitchen counter, or on the floor, or walk around the neighborhood and I listen and I write.
Things feel unfamiliar now. We have been out of our home for three months now. And there are months more to go. My days are spent book marketing, and driving the kids to their schools back in our old neighborhood, and asking God to show me how to listen for Him, find Him, in this new space. I miss the simpleness of routine, of comfort, of familiarity. With this book launch, I am so out of my comfort zone. I don’t even know how to write about it here.
And that is when I have to trust that I can do all things with my God. And that a place does not equip me for success. And familiarity can make me stagnant. And adventure and newness and uncomfortableness push me to lean on Him.
Father, remind us how you are our constant. You are our rock. You are our fuel and our guide and our solid path. We are not floundering. We are not forgotten. We have not lost our way.
What season are you in now, sister? How do you need reminding that God is steadfast, despite your circumstances?