Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where is my next dwelling place?

My first childhood home on Mansfield, built by my Dad
My spirit is feeling stirred. Maybe in not such a great way, I think to 
myself. Becoming more unsettled? Yes, that is it. I know something is coming up. Maybe not immediately but something is getting ready to separate me from this present place where my heart rest. That feeling of boxes, packing tape and that annoying loud bubble wrap and ugly tan paper causes a queazy stomach.

Recently I helped a wonderful couple downsize from their home of 20 years to a smaller beautiful space. I have done this work before as a "Move Manager," so I know the inner turmoil. I listen to the words being spoken and the signs to encourage them when needed. When people have two feet in separate homes it is a tough place. You are drawn to the old home and the comforts. On the other foot trying to adapt your treasures into a new place and feel like you can make an imprint into the new is mentally exhausting on top of the physical. Not every shoe is made to fit, nor is a home. Sure enough, tiredness set in and the words came out, “I want to go home.” She said as she stood at the new kitchen sink. My lower lip formed a pouty face for her.

“To where the hearts inclined, the feet will follow.” 
                                       Robin Jones Gunn

In my life sometimes I have to look for the subtler hints that God gives me. Last summer I read a book that stirred my spirit. The story was so similar to mine. The author’s tale of selling a home she loved that had great heart history in order to pay a debt. Ok, did that twice, so lets pretend to move on. Or a book given as a gift that focus’s on “Nesting.” Based on how to find that happy place as you rent.  The intention was to give me pleasure in seeing how someone else does life as a Interior Designer in a home that is rented.  But deep within the message was encouragement to view that place of joy in the midst of not so perfect. Having to rent. Then a 3rd book, the latest fiction by Robin Jones Gunn. Not again a story on.. you guessed it, knowing a move is unfolding. Really?  Ok so I get the message. 

             Loud speaker warms up. 
PREPARE your Heart! 

Where is your dwelling place?  It can vary you know. For many, it is a person or being close to those that are familiar that you love. Perhaps it could be in a current or former home, camper or a location you grew up near.  For many it is in the heart or for others in the spirit. Some attach their heart to a event or a time they remember that was so hopeful. Is there such a place in your world with the tumultuous times around you that makes you feel safe?  
From a large home to a camper This is my brave girlfriend!

It is starting to sear my space, lose my place and tear my peace. 
If ..Oh if, I allow it to.

I recently read a story about a very large group of people who were set free from captivity. A very unsafe place. They traveled miles to escape and encountered many road blocks. They turned and looked back and could see the enemy coming after them again. The enemy regretted setting them loose. The chasing pressed these people up against a large expanse of water. Low and behold the people running found an opening in front of them and crossed over. Next they had to look in for their source of provision of food and water in the midst of weariness. Also, signs of light to guide them so they would not get lost by night or by day. Sounds tough huh? Can you imagine not knowing where you were going and what is in front of you?

They finely arrived to a very nice region that was offered to them with a couple conditions. They were too scared to accept the gift. So they sent in some bold family member to check it out. Upon their return three said it was very very good. Others said it was nice but they saw some tough people who look to big to fight in order to posses their land.  And the story unfolds more.

Many family members balked and said take me back to my former captivity. They knew how to handle the familiar. Those were the ones who lived in fear of the unknown but hated the fear of the former. Then others paused and thought some more. They sat and talked about it and decided they would go for it and do what was asked of them. In their hesitation they lost their timing. After much uncertainty some went and fought for that victory. Many family members died and so did the favor upon them. Their time expired. Why you ASK?  The gift was offered. Yes, But they did not trust the giver. The giver sees the heart and knows what’s best.

How many of us chose to go to a new place. Job, state or situation, but unfamiliarity over takes us. Fear creeps in or a voice speaks, the obstacles are too big.
Some of you recognize this story of the Exodus to the Promised Land. Many of us can imprint this story over our own. Fear, timing, not sticking it out, not trusting what the small voice said. Or simply mot be courageous!

Where is your place of belonging, of resting in turmoil or peace? What? 
You know, the place where your heart rests nightly when you quiet down and breathe in the night air? 

Come all who are weary with your heavy loads:
 lay down your burden, find rest for your soul.

 Living inside a mystery of where your journey is going is a hard place to be.  I want to shake people who have lived in the same place for twenty something years and say do you realize how wonderfully fabulous this is? That was me in 2003. Taking it all for granted. Before the rug got pulled out from under me and packed. But I stand on prayer. Do not be dismayed Rebekah, or hopeless. Your God, though quiet, is actively working behind the scenes and pulling circumstances together for your good. You have an active hidden role in how it is playing out and the timing. He waits and we react, and we react and he waits. It’s a tug of love even if you feel like it is a war!

I am reminded of this verse that is one of my favorites. “He or she that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps. 91
In my email drafts I keep a special letter to myself. Its been there for years. Here is what it says. Simple truth. Feel free to copy it, and insert your name. Rest your heart in near the presence of peace and security. Psalm 91

 1   Rebekah dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
     and rests in the shadow of the Almighty.  
 2   Rebekah says of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my        
       fortress my God, in whom I trust." 
 3  Surely he saves Rebekah from the fowler's snare 
       and from the deadly pestilence. 
 4  He covers Rebekah with his feathers, 
       and under his wing Rebekah's shield and rampart. 
 5  Rebekah does not fear the terror of night, 
       nor the arrow that flies by day, 
 6  nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, 
       nor the plague that destroys at midday. 
 7  A thousand may fall at Rebekah's side, 
       ten thousand at her right hand, 
       but it will not come near her. 
 8  Rebekah will only observe with her eyes 
       and see the punishment of the wicked. 
 9   Rebekah makes the Most High her dwelling— 
       even the LORD, who is her refuge- 
 10 then no harm befalls her, 
       no disaster comes near her tent. 
 11 For he commands his angels concerning Rebekah 
       to guard her in all his ways; 
 12 they lift him up in their hands, 
       so that she will not strike his foot against a stone. 
 13  Rebekah treads upon the lion and the cobra; 
         she tramples the great lion and the serpent. 
 14 "Because Rebekah loves me," says the LORD, "I  will          
        rescue her; I protect her, for she acknowledges my                      name.
 15  Rebekah calls upon me, and I answer her; 
       I am with her in trouble, 
       I deliver her and honor him. 
 16 With long life I will satisfy Rebekah 
       and show her my salvation."

I was reading “Victim of Grace” By Robin Jones Gunn
“The Nesting Place” by Myquillyn Smith
“Home of our Hearts” By Robin Jones Gunn
The Bible, NIV

EXODUS comes from two greek words meaning “exit” or “way out.”