What is Home?

I’ve lived out of my suitcase a lot this year…which, in retrospect, surprises me a bit, because I thought that after Africa, I was going to ‘settle down’ a bit.  I guess I’ve caught the travel bug for good…

From Italy to working in D.C. to a conference in Chicago to the beaches of North Carolina to visiting family in Colorado…and most recently, to San Francisco…(this time, for a different conference).  Next up is New York City with my Mom & Sister later this month!

I love traveling.  And, I have a hunch that I won’t live in Maryland forever.  But, let’s be honest…traveling can be exhausting.  It’s not just the packing…it’s the preparation and being en route and unpacking afterward that simply wears on you.  And, you Moms do it WITH kids in tow…?!

My most recent trip was to San Francisco for Opportunity International’s annual conference.  It was a fantastic experience, and I met some stellar new friends who are doing amazing things, personally and professionally.  Above, our entire Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO) group is pictured near the Bay Bridge for our post-conference YAO boat cruise.  These chapter members are located throughout all major U.S. cities, and we enjoyed brainstorming, team-building and getting to know one another better over the weekend.

Aside from the incredible line-up of conference speakers and panelists who spoke on the latest micro-finance initiaties, venture capitalism in the context of the non-profit world, women and leadership, agriculture in developing, rural communities worldwide, and much more…one exciting part about my trip was meeting Connie Neilsen, Actress from Gladiator:

Connie and I spoke for a few minutes on the slums of Nairobi,

where she recently started an outreach program

Currently, I am serving as Co-chair for the DC Chapter of YAO, and welcome you to participate by connecting with us through YAO-DC’s Facebook page!

All things considered, I’m so so thankful for the many doors and travel opportunities God has opened up for me this past year.  Whether through growing friendships with colleagues, deepening relationships with family or sweet memories with childhood friends, my faith has grown and been stretched in ways I never could have anticipated.

Yes, “home” is Maryland.  But, one day soon, we’ll turn in our old walking shoes and leave behind the things of this world, and depart from our sojourning ways, and go to our real home…FOREVER.  And, NO re-packing or unpacking will be needed…because God will lay us in the House He has been building for all Time.

There’s a quote from one of my favorite books that sums it all up much better than I can:

“Time is our natural environment.  We live in time as we live in the air we breathe.  And we love the air – who has not taken deep breaths of pure, fresh country air, just for the pleasure of it?  How strange that we cannot love time.  It spoils our loveliest moments.  Nothing quite comes up to expectations because of it.  We alone: animals, so far as we can see, are unaware of time, untroubled.  Time is their natural environment.  Why do we sense that it is NOT ours?

C.S. Lewis…asked how it was that I, as a product of a materialistic universe, was not at home there.  ‘Do fish complain of the sea for being wet?  Or if they did, would that fact itself not strongly suggest that they had not always been, or would not always be, purely aquatic creatures?”  Then, if we complain of time and take such joy in the seemingly timeless moment, what does that suggest?

It suggests that we have not always been or will not always be purely temporal creatures.  It suggests that we were created for eternity.  Not only are we hurried by time, we seem unable, despite a thousand generations, event to get used to it.  We are always amazed at it – how fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of it is gone.  Where, we cry, has the time gone?  We aren’t adapted to it, not at home in it.

It that is so, it may appear as a proof, or at least a powerful suggestion, that eternity exists and is our home.  Golden streets and compulsory harp lessons may lack appeal – but timelessness?  And total persons?  Heave is, indeed, home.  What it will be is quite beyond anything we can imagine.  And yet it will be home.  Of that we may be sure.”

–  A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken

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