Finding Home

Home – the place one lives permanently as a member of a family.

The past few months I’ve been extremely homesick. There- I said it. I am not one to focus on the negative things going on in life, but this homesickness has been so intense, it felt like a battle everyday.

At first I didn’t share too much of this, as people asked “How are you?” (Or in British words “You Alright?”) and I would respond with “Yes, I’m great, how are you?” -because honestly, I am great. I have so much to be thankful for, and live a very blessed life… but even our lives full of blessings come with struggle and pain. Without struggle and pain- we don’t have the chance to experience breakthrough.

IMG_7601
July 18th 2016 – The day we officially moved into our new home

When we first moved into this little flat over a year ago, we bought two mugs (one for me, and one for Shanen)… and every morning for the last year I’ve had my coffee from this mug. I knew when I bought it, that my home was here with my husband. I was in my newlywed state of bliss when I got this mug, and we started to make this little flat our home… but as this last season has been rough in feeling a deep homesickness, this little mug would encourage me with the truth I saw in it that day I bought it.

22471482_10100435931453845_213942203_n

This homesickness went on for months. I love social media for it’s ability to keep me up to date on what’s going on in my friend’s and families lives. But there is a side to it that is very hard for me, and was almost feeding my homesickness. On warm sunny days, people posting pictures of my beloved Folly Beach, or Forth of July BBQ’s with friends… even when they would complain about the heat (as I always did when I lived in South Carolina) – I would still want to be there, because this is the first year of my entire life that I have not been in weather over 90 degrees- I was really craving that sunshine on my skin. But most of all, I was really missing my family. Some days I was looking up weekend flights to America just to hug my mamas, see my brothers, and fly back to England.

I started noticing things in my life that was triggering this homesickness, and as I finished my summer this year I purposefully stopped doing these things, or watching those American tv shows- but at the same time I also let the American within me rise up, and fully realized how much it is part of who I am; I am going to embrace it; I am going to love this part of me, and be proud to be an American. I may not agree with a lot of my countries decisions, but my roots are from that beautiful land, and it will always be a home to me.

folly
One of my happy places – Folly Beach, SC

The last month as the seasons turned to fall, I’ve become much happier. I LOVE England in the Fall! It is so beautiful, and the weather is what I always dreamed of autumn weather to be as a child in those hot South Carolina summers. But I learned in this last season not to let my external circumstances (like missing a proper summer with beaches and sunshine, or the beautiful colors of Autumn) effect my internal emotions and feelings. It is true, they do play a big part- but instead of dwelling in it, I had to be the one to rise up and learn from it.

One night recently I took Kutta outside for his late evening potty, and looked up to see the stars were out (this is quite rare here). I was so happy to see them I ran back up the stairs and into our flat to quickly grab my yoga mat, and took it out in the back garden to lay beneath them. In that moment I just let myself cry- feeling the tears running off either side of my face as I looked up a familiar sky. Having many nights in my life laying beneath these same beautiful stars; every constellation still there- still shining down on us, bringing beauty to the night.
God met me in that moment, with His beautiful peace and comfort as He spoke into my heart. For me, home is bigger than where I grew up. Home is more than America; and more than England.

Home is Earth.

This big beautiful world is home- and wherever I go I will experience homesickness. If I go to America, I will surly miss life in England (I usually get homesick for our flat in England after 2 weeks in America).. And there have been several times in my life I’ve been homesick for India (those who know me, know my love for this country, and even though I’ve only been there for a total of 8 months- It has become another home to my heart).

I can’t help but to wonder how many more homes I will have in the days to come.

I’ve learned it’s okay to be homesick… and most importantly, God will meet us where-ever we are, and what ever season we are in. This week, He surprised me with something beautiful, that truly “Blessed my heart” as we say in the south…

A saw with my own eyes- a Palmetto tree in England.

22384265_10100435238737055_7951242485772706818_o-1
My first reaction, was to hug it. Of course it was growing in a greenhouse, but when I turned around and saw it there, my heart was filled with so much joy- and hugging that tree felt like reaching out and touching a part of South Carolina.
*For those who don’t know, Palmetto trees grow everywhere in Charleston, and they are South Carolina’s state tree. It’s even on our flag…

FlagofSouthCarolinastateflag

So all this to say, I am truly happy to be right where I am. Here in England- for where there is rain, there are always rainbows. I don’t believe the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ (as the saying goes) because I know life here is amazing in so many  ways, and it fits me and Shanen very well. I know one day, our American season will come- along with many other seasons, but I don’t want to rush the season I am in…

I want to enjoy it- and grow my roots here even deeper.

I have the whole world to explore and my whole life ahead of me. I am truly thankful for this season that has taught me how to find the truth in homesickness, and to be okay with experiencing it.

rainbow
where there is rain, look for rainbows

 

This morning I woke up to sunshine, and out my kitchen window was a beautiful rainbow. The sign of God’s promise. I remember in 2014 when God first told me I would move to the UK, and at that time, there was no possible way…
Yet here I am. Looking out my kitchen window, remembering how excited my heart was at the possibility of one day living in England.

I am home.

Scotland- The Cobbler

This past weekend, Shanen and I rented a car and drove up to Scotland for two nights to celebrate our one year anniversary!
Before I write about it, I just need to share this pic of KuttaBear when I told him he was coming with us.
He is so photogenic. 🙂

So Saturday morning, we packed up the car and hit the road!

img_7175
Family Vacation!

We drove nearly 6 hours to our little airbnb trailer on one of the lochs, arriving just before sunset so we were able to take in this gorgeous view!

img_7210

After enjoying the view, we took Kutta on a little walk.
on the route we found a beautiful forest, and I couldn’t help myself- I had to go explore!

img_7232
The entrance into the forest

It was quite muddy, and I completely ruined my slip-on fabric shoes.
I ended up sliding in the mud, and ripping both of them
(they already had big holes in them- they were well loved).

But, it was worth it because within the forest I found a really cool old abandoned house!

I was kinda creeped out, so I waited for Shanen to catch up
before I was brave enough to go in.

Inside it was quite dark- but it would have made an awesome clubhouse!

We spent the evening enjoying leftover curry that we brought (that I had cooked the night before) and watching one of the DVD’s at the airbnb.
My favorite kind of night!

The next morning I had one of my favorite simple breakfast’s of baked sweet potato with 2 TBSP of peanut butter (my peanut butter also has sunflower and pumpkin seeds!)
So simple, so delicious, and so filling!

img_7248
I had already eaten half when I took this photo! 😉

 Then we packed our lunches and snacks and drove another hour or so until we got to the mountain we wanted to hike – The Cobbler!

img_7249
On the way to our hike!
img_7255
Beautiful view from the parking lot

This was our second time trying to hike this mountain.
We came up here in January, but got a late start on the hike.
A few hours into the hike we were about halfway up and it was already sunset!
(The sun sets early in the UK during the winter- like 4pm! I still find this mind-blowing)

This time we planned to start early- but we actually ended up starting around the same time. At least this time it was summer, and the sun sets a lot later!

img_7256
Here we go!

img_7360.jpg

img_7267
Can you find the hidden heart in this picture?
img_7264
“Come on, Mom! Keep up!” – KuttaBear

We stopped a little over halfway for a snack break, and enjoyed
fresh mountain water from a stream…

img_7283
Look at that handsome mountain man!
img_7277
I love Aldi’s Chocolate Hike bars, paired with a banana! Great fuel to keep me going!
img_7298
Water straight from the Earth!

Again, we didn’t make it to the top.
For several reasons, including time, the drive back, getting dinner, and not pushing KuttaBear too much- (the last hour is a steep climb!).
But we made it much further than last time!

We were okay with not making it all the way up- because there is always next time!
I was kinda sad though, because I had carried a big rock with me from the bottom of the mountain, and I was planning on putting it on top of the Cobbler to say “I did it!”
(Like Moana in the Disney film does with her rock)
🙂

But we hiked back down and were very happy we did it!

img_7318
We did it!
img_7320
Exhausted KuttaBear

After the hike, we picked up a takeaway on the route home, and ate it at the airbnb.
We were so hungry!

The next day we were well- rested, and started the journey home.
It was a short trip, but sometimes that’s all you need to take a break from the routine of life, and have a weekend to be with each other, and be thankful for the time together, and with nature.

img_7331
He’s a proper traveling dog now

x