Photo by: Julie Falk
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go
as we are and not be questioned. – Maya Angelou
It’s late in the evening and I’m up typing a before-bedtime email for my friend back in India. I’m usually on the other end of the time difference and I struggle to keep ahead of the game as they are always ahead of me (by 10.5 hours!) and I’m running to catch up. Although I will say it’s been helpful in the last few weeks of pregnancy to have friends half a world away. As I wake up at 3:00 a.m. and struggle to go back to sleep because everything hurts and a comfortable sleeping position is hard to come by, it’s nice to know people on the other side of the world as there always seems to be someone available to chat.
The coffee pot is ready to be turned on tomorrow morning and I can smell the freshly ground beans. The unmade baby quilt sits on the table in pieces to be put together, but for some reason I can’t find the energy to just finish it. I know I’m supposed to be in a “nesting” mode. But when I don’t have my own nest, my own space, it’s hard for me to get motivated.
I’m less than a week away from becoming a mother of five. This isn’t the first time I’ve been “homeless” and with child. Of course we have family; and of course they generously share their homes with us–but this is the second time I’ll be bringing a baby home to someone else’s home and if I’m not careful I can get a little melancholy about that. My “nests” over the past ten years have been short-lived and not being able to put down roots anywhere wears on me.
This is where I should say something very spiritual like, “it’s because this isn’t really my home anyway.” And I pretend to be fine with all the transitions we’ve had. Well. Rejoice might be my word for the year, but it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Or that it isn’t without the other side of the coin: mourning.
I rejoice that I’m here in the US unexpectedly at a time when I most need family around. I didn’t think we would be here, but the Lord moved in ways we couldn’t have predicted and for that I rejoice. But I mourn the fact that I’ve never had the nursery I’ve always dreamed of with dark wood floors, mahogany crib and antique rocking chair. And that right now life feels like a puzzle with several missing pieces that might be hiding under rugs or in the back of the toy cabinet and may or may not surface any time soon. And I have to just sit in all the unknowns and try to be as present as I can be.
Life feels delicate right now in ways I can’t write about on a blog. And I’m about to have A BABY. Shouldn’t that alone be enough transition/life change for one person? Not what I would have expected at almost… well, almost that age. I told Jon that by the end of this I will have been pregnant for 45 months of my life–that’s a long time. And not getting proper sleep for 11 years. And that I feel every bit of it this time around. But somehow I know that when that little bundle comes into my arms all the aches and pains will diminish and I’ll wonder how we ever managed without this little guy.
But we live between worlds with stuff over here and stuff over there; Friends over here and friends over there; Speaking of home as something over here and something over there. It gets overwhelming. And confusing. And sometimes frustrating. And yes, I might be a bit hormonal at the moment with a little guy who has decided my sciatic nerve would be a good place to sit for this last week.
There are so many positives of the life we have (travel, adventure, etc), but there’s also an equal amount of drawbacks. And this longing for home, for permanency in this stage of littles is one of them. And I’m not sure what the grand takeaway is here other than I just needed to say it and process what’s been on my heart for weeks now. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this desire for a home that feels solid, where I can make plans and whatever I want it to be.
There are no answers late in the evening. Just thoughts and stirrings in my heart on what it means to long for something I’m not sure will be in my future any time soon. And an opportunity to trust in the One who gave me the desire for home and loves to give good things to his daughters.