- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
For the past 1 1/2 years we have lived in a beautiful house, in a wonderful town, full of friends and family. This is an ideal place for us to "base", and it has been a gift to come home to this luxurious 3 bedroom 2 bath setting for so many months.
We have lived in this home longer than any other in our 10 1/2 year marriage. Our son celebrated his first birthday two days before we moved in. What a priceless time of life it has been, watching him grow from a boisterous infant to his charming 2 1/2 year old, big boy self. This house will always own the priceless canvas of countless memories I will cherish and admire for the rest of my life. We are so thankful for the time here.
Among our random fascinations in life, Geoff and I really enjoy home renovation. Together we can tackle a wide range of projects that actually turn out pretty well - almost always.
We bought this home knowing our travel life couldn't maintain such a location long. And we have enjoyed fixing it up and making it as beautiful as we can for another family to enjoy, and we are excited for the new tenants moving in this week.
And now we are ready to begin this new journey. We are not moving "to" anywhere in particular, making that common question difficult to answer. Neither can we even joke about being homeless (a very real affliction for too many in the world) because we have countless places we could call home around the world, with friends or family, or by using our own means to secure lodging at any needed time. The rare gift of such abundance is not lost on us.
We don't know when we will next have such a "home base" as we have enjoyed for the last year and a half. This is equally daunting and exciting. I believe the best way to make a meaningful impact is through the day to day commitment of being part of a constant community. I think that's always the goal. But our life is quite different from most of our peers, revolving around frequent long distance travel, that makes keeping the day to day rhythm very difficult, even with a home base.
But the greater reality is, we've been too comfortable here. We've been in the nicest house we've ever lived in (which is still modest by many standards), but far exceeds the needs of our small family; especially considering how often it stands empty when we are gone. It has also been the perfect place for us to become recluse when we are in between travel. Our introverted nature is ill equipped to overcome the ease of life in such a comfortable, idyllic neighborhood.
Increasingly we have let the world revolve around us, seeking first the needs of our own kingdom. Always an unsatisfying pursuit, and one we are not destined for. I'm constantly amazed and ashamed at how hard it is to avoid this entanglement, especially (though not exclusively) in this glutinous culture. The nation's current events have wreaked havoc on values and relationships, as we endure leadership that inspires with fear and accusation rather than hope and vision. We are ready to fight for the good in this world, and to rally with others intent on the same as we embark on this season of pilgrimage.
Our next international travel is set to begin at the end of this month, and in the interim we will enjoy lodging for a low season steal in my snow angel's favorite place - the mountains. Over the next few months we have plans for short term lodging at a variety of destinations as we lead groups in Israel, travel around the Mediterranean regions, track down great friends separated from us by geography for too long, and explore new horizons of loving God and people everyday.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers