It’s almost like a dream but it sure looks as if the Jacksonian nomadic journey has ended. In a stunning turn of events — a la Bob Parr — we bought the house we were renting. We closed on August 20th, and have been making it more our home with each passing day. I have to admit it’s something of a relief. I’ve actually never lived any place that I’d thought I’d stay. When we were first married we lived in New Orleans but there was essentially no chance of us staying there because Will was finishing up medical school, and was already committed to doing his residency with the Army. We lived in three locations in Northern Virginia during Will’s residency and fellowship, but even though we owned two of them, our mindset was still transient. Why on earth live in the DC area (where the cost of living and traffic are absurd), when we could live anywhere? So when Will’s commitment to the Army was fulfilled in 2006 we moved to Florida.
Will went to work for a great guy, at a wonderful health system, and we made some very dear friends. Our boys went to an incredible preschool, and played competitive sports at a level that simply does not exist in Northern Virginia for the same age groups. We also bought a beautiful house. But, we were only there for a short time before an opportunity for Will back in Northern Virginia became available and was hard to pass up. We ended up staying a total of eighteen months in Florida, although we owned that house for about 75 months!
Back here we’ve had three more addresses — moving had become a way of life! But we are hanging up the nomadic tendencies, and putting pictures on the wall — not where there happens to be a nail, but where we want them. We’ve unpacked every last book, some of which are pictured above, and yes I have a C.S. Lewis-only shelf! The color schemes are mine. The sunrise view from the deck is mine, as are the squeaks and the weeds. We have no plans to go anywhere, and boy does it feel good.
Of course, the nomad does possess one advantage over the stable homeowner, and that is it’s easier to hold stuff loosely. The flip-side is the classic have-not problem, and that is that the have-notter may foolishly believe that having is the path to happiness, and of course, no matter what the thing is, happiness is NEVER the result (sex, money, stuff never made a single person happy).
So my circuitous domestic journey has ended. May I use my new house for God’s glory, may it be a place of peace and joy, of comfort and laughter. May I now devote the hours I use to burn house-hunting wisely. May I hold our house loosely, may I always remember that no thing on this earth could ever satisfy my soul.
Instead, may I always turn my eyes upon Jesus, confident that “the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”