Another Home

We lived in a dingy, Indian apartment for three years. We shared square footage with mountain monkeys, mice, and mongooses (mongeese?). The pipes leaked but only when we weren’t experiencing water shortages.

We ended up kind-of loving that place.

A dear family member visited us once and delicately called it a shit hole. After taking a deep breath, I looked around and tried to see it through his eyes in order to cut him some slack. I couldn’t. After all, the neighbors were living in tin shacks. Our concrete floors and lumpy walls had begun to look decent to me. My bedroom with the little porch felt familiar the way pajama pants do, the ones you wore after having your third baby.

Now we’re two years back in the US and we’re house hunting. I find that I’m at odds with myself and Husband about everything pertaining to domiciles. I mean everything. I look at ramshackle houses and love them (memory-soaked walls)/find them repulsive (why must the ceilings be so low and the walls so wood-paneled?) I visit new construction and salivate over stainless steel appliances and shiny wood floors while judging these Americans with their monstrous master bedrooms and cocktail party baths.

I decide that I want to stay in the cottage we’ve been in for two years, the one my parents own.  The one in which I crashed and burned upon our reentry into This American Life. But it feels itchy, like arrested development. I’ve got rocks in my nest, as good as it’s been.

I am propelled forward.

Husband will board a plane to Africa today. The kids and I will wave goodbye and then set the GPS to look at another house. I will imagine myself in it.  I’ll come away hopeful, then worried about money, then worried The One will slip through my fingers. Or I’ll come away muttering.

I will face the fact that I am uncomfortable searching for a home and that this is OK. I will remind myself of what Scripture says. Also C.S. Lewis.

I’ll find a house one of these days and it will be good.  Time will make it a (temporary) home.

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Small Things

I believe God heals people because I’ve seen Him do it.  I believe he releases persecuted people from prison because it’s happened to friends of friends.  He does big things, and I know that he does small sweet things, too.  So why am I always surprised when he blesses me in the most minute ways?

I’m trying to adjust to life in the US.  One of the things that’s been hard for me to deal with is the difficulty of finding clothes to wear that don’t make me feel uncomfortable.  I wore kurtas in India, long, blouse-like tunics that hit about three inches above my knees.  They’re beautiful, hide everything, and feel uber-feminine.  I liked them.  Ok, not the orange, paisley ones with silver sequins, but most I loved.

Since our return to the States I’ve not been able to make myself wear shorts.  Not that I think shorts are bad.  I just can’t make myself do it.  I trust I don’t need to reiterate my issues with swimsuits.  Even little t-shirts make me feel weird.  So I was hoping that today I could go shopping with my sister and find tops that would be pretty and make me feel comfortable in my skin again.

But wait!  Plot complication alert.  I hate shopping, and we don’t have a lot of money.  And we had my sister’s 2.5 year old with us.  And I had a short window of time before picking my kids up from music camp.  It was a dicey hope at best.

I had $100, 1.5 hours, and a ridiculous sinking feeling to bring to today’s outing.  But what I left the store with were 7 American-style kurtas (!), three pairs of earrings, and the ridiculous exhilaration of someone who spent $99.54 with tax.

It’s not a big thing.  It’s small, I know.  But then I also know how it was a direct blessing from the Lord; how today he reminded me, yet again, that he cares about small things, too.