Do you ever see patterns in your life? Topics that seem to come up regularly or seasonally? Well I've recently noticed one in ours. We seem to be on a two year rotation.
Around one and half years we start to get the bug to travel or add something adventurous to our lives. It all started with our plan to get out of debt. That goal was tied to an adventurous hope of moving overseas. Then, after we realized we'd stay in the US for a while longer, the desires for adventure inspired Project Derelict. Next, we looked closer to home and began to invest in our neighborhood, the people right around us. This resulted in a home-based church group which lasted a few short years before those involved began moving away. Again, around the 2 year mark, we moved to another house (our dream house), right in the heart of the city. We decided to take on a home remodel (which we NEVER want to do again haha!) and enjoy family and neighbors again. Two years later, we attempted to move to Marseilles, France. And after that we packed up, traveling around the US in our travel trailer. I might write about that story at some point.
But here's the deal. We seem to get the adventure bug every two years. We'll begin dreaming and planning and, if God allows it to fall into place, sometime in that third year we're off on our yellow brick road, hoping it leads to something magical. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. But either way, it's discipleship and God teaches us something of value, like patience, trust, love for difficult people or contentment.
Well guess what? It's been almost 2 years. We've hit that one and a half mark and the discussions are forming. Discussions about adventure, about travel, about new experiences to be had. All the things that get us dreaming and excited about life. And we can't help it because God created us to long for adventure. It's who he made our family to be.
What does dreaming of adventure look like?
I love globes. We have one in our living room. The oceans are off-white and it looks antique and full of mystery. The mountains pop up off the surface and invite touches and imaginary climbs. Occasionally we'll play a game I suspect everyone plays. It's the game where you spin it with your eyes closed and when it stops that's where you'll live or go next. Our kids love doing it with us and it's becoming a favorite activity.
In the past two weeks we've been all around the world. I can see the desire growing in my children to experience the world God has made and it lights me up inside. Although this game has taken us to Algeria, Thailand and India it's also given us less than exciting options like Ohio, Venezuela (not the right time!), and Siberia.
I find it hilarious that something so simple can occupy our time and bring such joy as pointing our fingers on the globe and pretending we're going to live there someday. As always, who knows what will be next, but it does seem like we'll be here in Southern CA for the next school year and perhaps a bit longer, even though our finger never ends up there during the game.
And although Oklahoma has never been a part of the globe games, it is the place we became a family, the place we fell in love, the place 5 of my children were born and formed their first friendships. It's where I have friends that date 15+ years...that's hard to beat! I'd be surprised if we didn't return to our lovely remodeled home to live and continue to raise our family. But then again, God has surprised me many times. He may bring us back to Oklahoma or he might take us to Thailand, Algeria or Japan. We don't know. However, we do know that God has us here in Southern CA and I'm being present. I'm remaining invested where we are.
They say "bloom where you're planted." I agree that this is true, but sometimes you get transplanted and have to bloom again. Being planted isn't a permanent situation; it can be changed. Sometimes a plant needs to move to a larger pot because it was designed to get bigger. And that's how we feel. There's more for us to experience and that may mean stepping into a bigger pot for a while, letting our roots grow more deeply. Then, if we get replanted in Oklahoma, it will probably be in the yard instead of a tiny pot on the kitchen windowsill.
As long as I'm focused on living fully where I am, life will be a beautiful experience no matter where we are or where we end up. There are times when I wished I was the kind of person to stay in one place, root myself in one community and live there my whole life. Then I remember that I'm not that person and that's okay. God has a purpose for all the types.
We love the globe games and am looking forward to where our fingers will take us next. But while we're stationed here in Southern Cali, I'll travel with my finger across the world while enjoying the reality of today. So here's to dreams and contentment living together in harmony.
Where would you like to visit or live if you got the chance?