Lessons Learned from a Nomad

Just two months ago, I wrote about how “There’s No Place Like Home” as my family was on the quest for a new home during this crazy pandemic. I cannot believe it, but here I am two months later, and we are still without a permanent residence. Needless to say, the nomadic lifestyle we have been living has been challenging, yet adventurous, leaving us feeling weary, yet blessed. Of course, we certainly did not have the foresight of a pandemic and a housing market slow-down when we sold our home. If we knew then what we know now, we would not be on this journey. We would have indubitably said “no” to this path. We would be hunkered down, secure in our old home, waiting this out.

However, that is not how our story goes.

And I believe that is not what God had in mind for us at all. He had an adventure in store for our family. You see, whether we realize it or not, we are all one “yes”, or decision, away from an outstanding adventure with God. And He invites us in each and every day. His invitations are infinite. When we say “yes” to Him – yes to a relationship with Him, yes to leaning into His Word each day, yes to seeking Him in all things… we embark on adventures that far surpass any expectations we might have. And while some of those adventures may leave us saying hindsight is 20/20… God likely has us right where He wants us. So, we can choose to wallow in the would haves, could haves, should haves, or we can embrace where God has us and seek Him in that because we want Him to continue leading the way.

And the word of the month is…

At Good Word Project, we choose words months in advance. Little did I know how important this month’s word, INVITE, would be to our family’s journey through 2020. This word has been symbolic of our adventure in many ways so far. God invited us into new house adventure this year. Many people have invited us to stay in their homes. We have been dependent on others’ invitations. We’ve invited countless people into our story. I’m even excited to get into a new home to which I can invite and welcome others. And I believe God is inviting me to share what we’ve learned amidst this crazy adventure. As with many adventures, we have learned our fair share of lessons so far, and I am sure more are to come. These lessons have actually been blessings to our family, because they have each revealed God’s heart for our family, and they have served as a reminder that He is guiding us well. Here are just a few of the lessons learned:

Hospitality is love in action. We have been beyond blessed by many families who have chosen, during this pandemic, to open their homes to our family.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
– Romans 12:10.

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13

Less is more. We really don’t need so much stuff. For three months now we have been living out of suitcases. Meanwhile, we have three storage pods filled with our stuff
and there is not one item sitting in any of those pods that I have missed. As a matter of
fact, we’ve offloaded some of the stuff we’ve been moving with us. We’re carrying
around less and less.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6: 19-21

Receiving is an act of faith. I will admit, as we began this journey of trying to find a home and figure out our temporary housing situation, it was not easy for me to receive offers to stay with others. My natural inclination was to take care of finding places for our family to stay, without leaning into others. Even if it meant booking a hotel room for a month. Yes, friends. That was pride seeping right in. To receive the invitation of a place to stay was very humbling for me. But with the nudge of my husband to receive those invitations, I quickly found that those yeses yielded adventures of seeing God’s blessings unfold before us.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

Character is revealed during crises. The fact that we are without a home during a pandemic might constitute a mild crisis. Given we have options and places to stay, we’re certainly talking about a first world problem here. But nonetheless, this period of time has been extremely uncertain, and our emotions have been tested daily. We’re impatient, weary, disappointed. But, as part of the body of Christ, we are called to bear each burdens and lift each other up.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
– Galatians 6:2

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – John 14:6

God is at work and His plans are better than ours. While we inherently know this, we have days where it is hard to lean into this truth, especially days when impatience settles in. But leaning into this truth has given us much freedom and peace knowing we are taken care of. We simply must remind each other of this truth each day.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6

I will be the first to admit that the nomadic lifestyle is not for me. You’ve heard the saying, “let go and let God.” Every time you “let God”, you are in for an adventure. 2020 is definitely turning out to be the year that we “let God”, and because He’s in charge, we know the end of this chapter will be GOOD.

Lord, thank you for the adventures that you welcome us into each day. Thank you that your plans far exceed our family’s plans. May we be mindful of your invitations, and may we constantly seek you in all we do. I ask that you continue to guide our path straight and yes, I ask that you bring us a home that introduces yet another chapter full of invitation and adventure. I ask all of this in according to the character of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

 

 

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