Nomads. The word used by my college roommate when she was explaining to her husband what our family was up to.
A truer word was never spoken.
From air mattresses to hotel rooms, couches to guest bedrooms, beach houses to sharing beds with scrawny elbows, we have been busy hopping from one set of accommodations to the next. Counting down the days until we finally enter our new home, we have more traveling ahead of us, but this time in the comfort and precious homes of friends we said farewell to, almost a year ago.
We visited Roanoke for 24 hours on Christmas break. A quick trip to soak up as much time with friends as possible. My children’s request then was that on our next visit, “We have to go to church.” This weekend, we will be doing exactly that.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can replace a body of believers who have loved on all four of my babies since birth. They are our family who have prayed over, encouraged, and shared basic Bible truths since infancy. My oldest daughters were baptized there. My son played the chunkiest baby Jesus I’ve ever seen in the church Easter show (bless Mary). When our youngest had to spend some time in the NICU after her birth, our church family brought meals, transported me to and from my daughter’s isolette, as well as visited and prayed over her.
The second request, before any of my kids are delivered to their friends’ homes is that we visit a newborn baby girl they can’t wait to meet. I’m dead serious. My 6 year old son wants to love on this baby before spending the night with his BFF from preschool.
Over the past few years, I’ve really tried to teach and model that relationships with God, family, and friends are more important that anything else in this life. I have failed miserably in my own life by filling my schedule with many good things and not enough time with the people God has given me. I’m thankful God has overabundantly filled my life with family and friends who love, support, and share their lives with our little tribe.
This nomadic season has had its challenges, but in the end, we’ve always had a loving place to lay our heads. Thanks to plenty of hotel stays for Hubby, this weary mama has had a night away from the kiddos, here and there, and they have gotten plenty of hotel pool swims in.
Despite the perks, we are ready for the next thing. We have learned God always has something else in store, nothing that we have anticipated. The band Casting Crowns has a song on their new CD that immediately defined my heart in this season of transition called “The Very Next Thing”.
“Eyes wide open, I see you working, all around me you’re on the move. Step by step I’m running to meet you, in the next thing, in the next thing.
With the very next words of love to be spoken. To the very next heart that’s shattered and broken. To the very next way you’re gonna use me, show me the next thing.”
Wherever life takes us, we have to ready ourselves for what God has planned. It may be a relationship that needs healing or a simple smile to another weary mom. It could be ministering to my almost teenager or showing a little grace to a hurting soul. We just have to be ready for that very next thing.