Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where is home?

 I had to say the yet again dreaded 'goodbyes' to my family this past weekend. You'd think after 7 years of going back and forth over the ocean it would get easier to say goodbye. It really hasn't!  I think having a 3 year-old nephew and an almost 5 month old niece has something to do with it.  Saying goodbye to my other family and friends is hard in its own right- but they will look the same in 6 months to a year's time (perhaps a few more wrinkles!)-- It is the little ones that change so much!  I realize how quickly time is passing each time I make a visit 'home' and see how much they've grown and which developmental stage they've reached.   

And yet when I'm at 'home' with my family my heart aches for my other home as well. I think of the ministries I am a part of, the families that God has had me meet, the children I've seen adopted and then I think about how I want to hurry back and settle into my 'normal.'  I always laugh because it seems as if I use the word 'home' for wherever I am currently NOT located.  If I'm here in Kiev and talk about home I usually mean Washington. And when I'm in Washington and I talk about my home I mean the one in Kiev.  It is an odd phenomenon to describe.

In some ways I think living in this tension is healthy. In reality it challenges me to be reminded of the fact that neither location is truly my home.  Neither is the place that will bring me true contentment or fulfillment.  I have this tendency to think that wherever I am not is better--- you know, the famous, 'the grass is always greener on the other side.'  Each year I learn more clearly that it is not. 

Problems exist both here and there.  
Pain exists both here and there.
Heart ache exists both here and there.
Joy exists both here and there. 
Jesus is at work both here and there.
Greener grass is really only an illusion.

I was thinking about the part in 2 Corinthians where Paul talks about longing for heaven.

 "For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)

Yep, I'm longing for heaven- and I'm so thankful for that deposit of the Holy Spirit to remind me of that truth.  I'm trying to keep that in perspective this week as my heart is aching just a teensy bit more for home. It reminds me of the famous C.S Lewis quote: "If our deepest desires cannot be satisfied in this world, then we must have been made for another world."  That statement has always made so much sense to me!

So that is what I'm thinking about this week as I settle back into 'normal' in this home :)

AND since she is so darn cute- I will finish this post with my final little photo shoot I did with my niece Savannah last week! I am a little biased- but I do think she is the cutest baby ever.

I think she's about the sweetest thing I've ever seen!


Our Adoption Story said...

Your post made me sit alone with my sweet Jesus and long for home for just a quiet moment....I spent 2 days with you at your house in Kiev with our new daughter Maria...if I do not see you this side of heaven again, I will see you at home!

Natasha Jones said...

Such great pictures, Karen! And yes, Savannah is one precious little angel! Miss you.

MamaPoRuski said...

She is precious! You are such a great auntie!
Praying safe travels back "home". The more you labor on behalf of orphans, the more you will see when you finally reach our true home in heaven. Praying for a greater addition to the family of God this year!

Tara G. said...

Well, I'm (I'm with italics!) glad you're home! I missed you!! Praying for you and that all settles down as you re-enter! :)

Anonymous said...


I'm sure that you feel like you've constantly got one foot on each continent! Surrendering your life to God's call even though you are far away from your American home and family is so encouraging. Thanks for the impact you've had in our lives.