I daydreamed of a beautiful old English house, with a flagstone hallway, big comfy sofas, and fine antique oak furniture. I pictured hollyhocks swaying outside the open windows and the scent of roses and lavender wafting in on a summer’s evening—not that I’m much of a gardener.
The dream seemed within my grasp, until I watched international movers advance through my home like locusts, swiftly wrapping every item we owned in cardboard.
It took four months for our possessions to reach us in America. They rattled along the road by truck before being transferred to a container and riding the high seas. They passed through the port of New York City and then arrived at our rental apartment.
Being in your own bed always makes you feel more at ease. Yet, even with all my worldly belongings, my new location felt foreign.
“You’re a woman without a home” is how a pastor’s wife described me one day. I’ve pondered that label for a long time.
I didn’t belong here, where I happened to be living, and I didn’t belong there, where I had been born.
Instead, I learned my heart pined for people more than a place—relaxing and chattering with my mom in her kitchen over a cup of tea. Or laughing with my college friend and her husband over dinner in their townhouse only a few miles away from the Edwardian house with the tiled floor, comfy sofas, and Wisteria hanging over the door which I had within my grasp.
Many of our possessions stayed packed in boxes; heaved into the loft, or stacked in the basement as we moved from one rental residence to another. They stood ignored and forgotten as we invested in more important and valuable assets – our own family of a daughter and twin sons.
We could have left the Gaggia espresso machine with its incompatible voltage, an antique sewing machine, and my wardrobe of business suits behind in England.
So, in my pondering I’ve discovered I want family and friends to fill my life.
With the ocean like a barrier between us, I’ve learned to not let our differences do the same. Instead, I practice letting go of the things that niggle so I can make the most of the moments we are together.
Say I love you.
And I’ve learned to relish the moments with my husband and children and the fun the five of us have together as a family. God has shown me it more important to say I love you to the ones you cherish rather than wish I had that English garden for my children to run in.