Romp and Stomp

Vector_illustration_of_Happy_family_Fapp_30I recently ran across this quote by Miss Charlotte Mason (an educator whose philosophy on education continues to grip my heart with each passing year) and I just loved it!

We all know the natural conditions under which a child should live; how he shares household ways with his mother, romps with his father, is teased by his brothers and petted by his sisters; is taught by his tumbles; learns self-denial by the baby’s needs, the delightfulness of furniture by playing at battle and siege with sofa and table; learns veneration for the old by the visits of his great-grandmother; how to live with his equals by the chums he gathers round him; learns intimacy with animals from his dog and cat; delight in the fields where the buttercups grow and greater delight in the blackberry hedges.

I see this being lived out daily in our home…and while it frustrates me at times, fathers really are for “romping”.  As Miss Mason said, it is a natural condition under which a child should live.  Shamefully, I must admit that I have often become so irked at bedtime when Kevin gets the children all riled up again, when at the very moment I think peace is about to ensue under this roof, children are rolling on the floor in screams and fits of laughter.   Help me, Father, to embrace such moments.  For certainly, I need to realize that such is the great blessing of a father…when the strong hands of the one who provides and shepherds and leads, lovingly bends to tease and tickle, to romp and stomp.

 

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Transitions

I stood there quietly, staring at the yellow door, the odd-looking peace wreath, the missing Bradford pear tree…staring and trying with all my might to remember what “home” felt like.  My children ran and laughed in the street where they had spent all of their first days…first days alive and first days in America.  And a deep longing settled over me, an intense desire to just be home again.  This was only three weeks ago and the home I was staring at was our first home…a tiny 2 bedroom, 2 bath 1400 square foot vinyl-siding home.  Nothing fancy…the appliances were old, the counter-tops weren’t granite and the laminate wood floors had been laid by my not-so-crafty husband.  The door was once black and the Bradford pear tree out front had been carefully pruned each year so as to not lose it in a winter storm or to the brisk winds that often ripped through Louisville, Kentucky.  And the dead-end street with our best-friend neighbors directly across from us had provided ample room to romp and stomp and delight in childhood with the sweetest of friends.  And while we’ve now been gone from that place for two and half years, we’re a far cry from having a place that feels as much like home as that place.

So, here we are…about to sell our second home in Georgia and move into our third and to just be honest, I’m plain tired of transitions.  About two months ago, after much conversation and a lot of prayer, Kevin and I decided to sell the house we had only moved into a few months ago.  It seemed and still seems a little bit crazy, but the reality is that we just don’t have the outdoor space we need to be a large homeschool family.  We live in the city limits of Atlanta and we own a tiny patch of grass, just big enough for a small outdoor playset.  There’s no room to explore or to dig in the dirt or to own a trampoline (the one thing our kids have missed most since moving to Atlanta).  So we prayed, we put a “For Sale” sign in the yard and three weeks later, we had a contract.  And one short year later, I’m finding myself putting all of our belongings into cardboard boxes again, trying to be grateful for the home we will (Lord willing) be moving into in May and fighting my tendency to complain.  Oh, how many times I have felt like the Israelites wandering in the desert, fighting to believe that God really was leading them to a better place.  I’ve also come to understand how important “home” is to the woman.  So much of our life right now is simply fantastic.  We love…no, that’s not a strong enough word…we absolutely, positively adore our church family…I honestly could not have imagined a more wonderful people to link arms with and journey life with and grow together in our affections for Jesus.  We love our “little” family of seven…our kids amaze us everyday and we regularly talk of how impressed we are with their character, their affection for one another, their desire to know Jesus as Savior.  And Maggie Jane, well quite simply, she is nothing short of precious.  We are blessed.

But we’ve yet to find the home that feels like home…

I keep hearing that silly saying “third times the charm” in my head and hoping that this next home really will be “the one.” But, I’m also keenly aware that my hope is not in an earthly home…and this longing to be settled and stop seasons of transition is painfully pointing me to a much deeper spiritual reality.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.  John 14:1-4

Lord, help my unbelief that “home” is here.  Jesus is the place where my heart is settled, my fears are calmed and where I will dwell for eternity.  Help me to make my home in Him and to relinquish the strivings to find the perfect place in this world.  May I embrace my role as a woman to be a worker of the home (and make my home a beautiful place for my family) while also not forgetting this vital truth:

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Philippians 3:20