Once there was a little rose that I planted in the ground.
“Your travels are over little rose,” I said while patting it’s new earth bed. “Spread your roots, grow and bloom for this is your home.” I used this planting experience as a metaphor for my life. After living in 8 different houses during my 20’s, I was finally home, planted in the ground in a house that we own.
Well, the rose did bloom one or two flowers but it did not grow. It actually shrunk a little. In contrast, the roses on our covered patio were flourishing and blooming like crazy in their pots. But because I was so invested in this metaphor of being planted in the ground it took me 5 years to move the plant back into a pot. It still looks pretty small in those picture below but in the two weeks since replanting, it has doubled in size.
I don’t think miniature roses are meant to be planted in the ground exposed to the wind and rain… maybe that’s why they are inside the grocery stores…
Okay, my lack of horticultural knowledge aside, this is how the metaphor continues…
I remember talking on the phone to a friend last year and hearing her say, “I could see you and Forest living in other countries and doing ministry.” That had been my dream when I was younger and single but things were different now so I said, “no, I don’t think so.. we’re pretty happy here.”
Okay, I should pause and say that this post isn’t going to end with any sort of announcement of moving. I may end up staying here for decades after all. Depending on how long roses live, my little plant may stay on the patio for a long time too. But it is portable and I want to be portable too. Having space to spread my roots and soak in the sun, flourishing where I am and also willing to go.
Forest and I attended a workshop today called “Journey of Generosity” or JOG. We chuckled as the host said, “this is the only time you can jog while sitting in a chair.” During the sessions, we saw several powerful video stories.
In the first one, I remember Rachel saying that she would have a pretty hard time if Jesus called her to sell everything and move. I would find it hard too, no doubt, but I want it to make space for it in my heart. (Rachel wasn’t called to move but she did end up giving part of her liver away.)
I don’t want to be afraid of moving/giving in this lifetime or ultimately moving from this life to the next. That is a trip that everyone is going to take.
One of my favourite passages in the bible is the first few verses of John 14 where Jesus gives the following encouragement after he tells his followers about his coming death:
““Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.””
John 14:1-4 NLT
In the last year and a half I have become very comfortable in our home. Our living room is often strewn with cushion slides and bridges. Elaina and I have literally written on the walls and drawn pictures there too. I now spend about 80-90% of my time at home. I love love all of my plant babies and gaze in wonder at all is the colours of shapes in my yard.
But, I feel so funny saying this because I am only 36, but the older I get, the more I ache for my true home with Jesus. When I anchor myself in that hope, it doesn’t really matter where I live now. Sure, I love how nice it is and being close to family but I am not going to cling to it for dear life.
I would love to spend several years of my life other countries not in fancy hotels or resorts but digging deep into culture and challenging my ethnocentrism. Or on a way smaller scale at least experience a real Canadian winter and leave my desirable, temperate province for a bit. I don’t know when or how, so for now I will enjoy the sun on my patio and call it home.