It took a one week journey, two cars and three discs of Liberty Kids to move our family temporarily to Florida. Everyone, I mean, everyone, was thrilled to be out of the car. The boys snatched the tub marked “toys” and found their bedroom on the third floor.
It was hours before we saw them again. They emerged to the main floor for bare necessities – the bathroom and a snack.
The six-year-old looked at me, bewildered, and asked “uh…how do I get back to my room??”
The kid had not settled. He had no lay of the land. He knew where he had been, but had no clue how to get back.
In a new home, one quickly learns the layout and becomes familiar. But beyond the walls where you eat, sleep & bathe, familiar takes time.
Hubby’s strategy for learning a new city is to hide the GPS, intentionally get lost and find his way back. Such intentionality isn’t necessary for me. Getting lost became a regular (uninvited) part of my routine.
My first solo drive, I learned (the hard way) that our road has a different name when exiting than it does from our local approach. Missing one exit meant 45 extra minutes. The next exit is halfway to the coast and connects back to our side of town via a 14 mile drive on country roads.
This scene played out over and over again – an innocent wrong turn adding 45-90 minutes to most of my outings. Add preschool pickups, impatient kid bladders, meeting start times and on-the-clock babysitters to the mix and this was a recipe for stress. My life in Orlando was not familiar.
My life on earth can seem very familiar. I know the drill, the rhythm, the norm. But, at the same time, my life on earth also feels stressfully unfamiliar.
I live out the same patterns/habits and am puzzled that my life doesn’t change.
I’m shocked by the evil “out there” that hits closer to home with every passing day.
I’m surprised by the insensitivity of the masses.
I’m confused by my own choices and reactions.
I’m caught off guard and thrown off course by the unexpected.
I’m flustered by conflicts (direct and perceived).
Most days, in the midst of the familiar, my world feels alarmingly unfamiliar.
Cue the stress.
It seems I need this reminder yet again:
For here we do not have an enduring city,
but we are looking for the city that is to come.
I’m meant for a place that is forever familiar. My life on earth is but temporary.
That disparity recklessly spawns stress in my life.
Getting lost in Orlando was frustrating. Getting lost revealed that I didn’t know this place. Getting lost hinted that I didn’t belong here. Getting lost affirmed that life here was going to be complicated. Familiaring and settling needed to happen. And fast. This was not my enduring city, but I couldn’t live a year unaware and disoriented.
Living in this temporary home on earth will always produce stress moments. It will always be unfamiliar. The #NotMyHome strategy I need is the same as what I’ve needed to establish my temporary life in Orlando. Awareness and orientation.
Awareness of my permanent home and orientation for my temporary home.
Awareness of what I need and orientation for where I can find it.
Awareness of my purpose and orientation for how I can live it out here.
This world is #notmyhome, yet here I am. Time to familiar the unfamiliar.
Part 1: Passing Through
Part 2: Homesicking
Part 3: Purposing
[This post is #4 in the #notmyhome series]
Part 5: Identifying
Part 6: Hoarding
Part 7: Simplifying
Part 8: Investing
Part 9: Sojourning
Part 10: Borrowing
Part 11: Departing
Part 12: Reflecting