Finding Home

Since I moved out of my parents house in 2010, I have lived in a different location every single year. It has been quite the adventure, but I have wondered to myself if there is a place in my life that I could really consider calling home. It's hard to feel that way when you're always changing where you live. since Jon and I have been married, we have lived now in 4 different spaces within about a year and a half. CRAZY. So here I sit, thinking of where to call home, in a new city at a new coffee shop with an old longing. Jon and I consider ourselves restless souls, always loving a new adventure and a change in pace or location. It somehow fills us with energy and purpose to be travelers and chasers of unchartered roads. I know, I know. I'm writing this post complaining about the adventure I seem to keep bumping into. It's just that there is still a place in my heart that yearns for a space to call home. In some ways however, I can't help feeling a sense of "home" in each place we have lived. I want to pay tribute to the most recent places we have lived, as a form of goodbye. In each place there has dwelled a beautiful journey. In each space enclosed by manmade walls there were memories and smells and feelings and moments that I want to remember, that made up our first year or two of adventuring together. In my search for a home, I take time to remember the old ones I have enjoyed, and the times I won't forget as I move on.

The Lady's Choice

Here is the living room I shared with Bri Giles. We lived in this apartment together for just under a year. This was my favorite room, it had magnificent natural light and carried memories of long nights with friends and New Girl during the fall with hot spiced cider all wrapped in blankets. Bri and I were so excited to pick out furniture and that rug (Ikea, of course) the first week when we moved in. We made a spreadsheet of who gets what after we moved out, and spent way too much of our single-ladies money. I remember talking on the porch many summer nights, sneaking into the hot tub during winter, and breakfast for dinner all the time. We decorated for christmas together and got ready for work in our nice and mostly clean bathroom. I loved those days, it is so fun to live with your dear friends for the short seasons in life that present itself like this one.

Sister Hood

To save money for the wedding, I moved into some friends of mine's basement and lived there with my sister Katie for about 3 months. Katie just so happened to be wedding-planner certified, so it was extremely nice to be living with her during those short and busy months of getting things ready for the big day. We spent lots of time sitting on the floor, drinking wine and making wedding decorations, planning color schemes and going over venue details. We also spent some time fighting over the bathroom and stealing each other's clothes, as all good sisters do. I loved those months with her though. I'll always love living with my sisters for however long it may be, and however many cat fights we have, because they will always be my best friends. 

Our First Space

This was the first little space Jon and I shared as a married couple! It was pure bliss to enjoy endless sleepovers, cooking dinner together, 1-on-1 game nights and movies in the small space of 710sq. feet. It was just big enough to house our growing love for each other for the time being. the picture of the balloons on the table was of my birthday, when Jon surprised me with a little pile of gifts, cupcakes and balloons when we were really low on money. It was such a sweet memory to me, seeing how sacrificial and thoughtful his love for me was. Though it was a cozy beginning, we quickly realized due to both of us having freelance jobs, that we definitely needed more space. I grew weary of having our living room being inhabited by recording gear, wires and cables running all over the place and everything else Jon needed to continue building his music business. So we decided to find a home to invest in our careers and also to not kill each other. Our next house was our favorite, but the story gets more interesting. 

The House On Fontanero

Located Downtown Colorado Springs, this house was our first love. It had so much character and charm. Wood floors, quaint fireplace, sunroom in the back, open kitchen with granite counters, and those WINDOWS! we were drooling. We also adopted our first fluffy puppy named Remington (Remi for short) in this house. We'd take him for a walk every night around the neighborhood and he loved sleeping in our bed when he was a good boy. We'd listen to records and open all the windows when it was hot in the summer. It was a wonderful 6 months... until the people who owned the place decided they wanted to move back in. I don't blame them, but that didn't mean I had to like their decision... On to the next house!

Fish Hawk Point

So, this move was our third one in a year. For a newly married couple, this was a lot of change, but this house was such a blessing in a crazy time. It was beautiful and clean, with two stories and a garage (our first one). So much room for activities! This photo is of my favorite loft room, where my creativity began to blossom. I made way too many paper cranes in there and splattered multiple colors of paint on the wall (thank God for touch-up paint). I started this blog sitting at that desk Jon built for me, and that was a big step forward in my creativity. I felt like I could do anything in there... and just like that we encountered more transition. But I think I'll save that story for another time.

So. Where is home? I'm still not quite sure locationally. It's definitely something we're learning to build. We now live in another house as of 5 days ago, in another town I'm unfamiliar with. How long does it take to establish "home"?  Is this the life God made for us? to be mobile? To move around, always fighting to keep it all together, carefully remembering and executing many spinning details and schedules... I will be honest, I am not sure. Jon and I both believe in the Sovereignty of God, and that no matter where we are He will always provide for us. We know we are under His will, and that no scheme of the enemy can take that away from us. And above all, I know God. Is. So good. So in times of uncertainty, I have learned that there is definitely one place that I can ALWAYS call home. It is found in the consistent and steady presence of our Father. He is always with me, in every house, apartment, city or state. I'll tell you what, I've never felt the homeliness of God more than through the past year and a half. I have finally found where my soul can rest, where I can reside and not feel confused or alone or unsafe. I can't begin to explain what happens when we invite Jesus into our situations, into the chaos and craziness of all the change that seems to be following us. He has made his Presence my home. This story that He's writing of our lives is most definitely an adventure, but adventure can only come if something falters or goes wrong from the original plan. This can cause confusion, fear, loneliness, a sense of direction lost. But if we are to enjoy and fully step into the adventure, we must have faith. If we are to have strong faith, we must trust and KNOW our Father who is going to lead us through the journey with peace and joy. I have been finding that no matter where I am, because He is with me, I will always know I am home in Him. 

The Year of the Lantern

Once there was a girl who had a dream. All she wanted for her birthday was to see the floating lights. She believed that they lit up the night sky just for her. But never did she think she would encounter as many obstacles as she did along her journey. People tried to tell her that her dream was unreal, that she wasn't thinking clearly. Others tried to sabotage her journey by tricking her into believing she wasn't worth such a beautiful thing. She didn't know where she was going, and she found herself lost many times along the way. There were moments she thought she would never be able to see the lights, that her dream would fade away like the sun at the end of the day. It had become too hard to hold on to her dream.

But one night when she had grown too weary to continue, she stopped to rest by a lake. As she laid down on the sand, she looked up at the moon. His face brought light to the peaceful waters, and she longed for her dream once more.

"Mr. Moon, if you can hear me, can you lend me a beam of your light? I am sad, for my dream has become dim. I can't seem to find it... I thought maybe if you lent me some of your light, I could hold it in my hands and it would help me find it again." And with that, she closed her eyes.

Suddenly, she felt a growing warmth surround her, and opened her eyes. There on the other side of the lake, she saw a swarm of twinkling stars. They danced a waltz of brilliant colors, and floated across the water until they were above her. It was more beautiful than she could have ever dreamed it to be. She looked up at the moon, and he was smiling down on her with the kindest face.

"My dear, your dream is alive because you have asked me for it. I have watched you on your journey, and have been waiting for you to notice. I have loved seeing you be brave. Your dream has always been important to me, and I have been preparing this special gift for you. If ever you are to dream, I will always be there to give you the light you need to find your way to it." 

Thinking over this last year, I couldn't think of how to describe the journey in any other way. This story (inspired by Tangled) is what 2016 has meant to me. I have dreamed many things, and have searched for the means to make them come true. I have encountered many hard and surprising challenges, ones that have left me feeling more hopelessness than I have ever experienced. I have longed for the depths of my heart to be known, and to act upon the passion for the things I love. I am still learning, still falling, still searching. But the Love of the Father has become more real to me than anything I could ever dream up on my own. He never changes, and is always with me. It is so good to be truly known by a Father who's love never ever fails, who believes in me more than I could ever believe in myself. He sees all of my many dreams, and longs to adventure with me to find them.

I have also learned the love of a man whom I didn't know I needed. I have fallen so much deeper in love with my husband in our first full year of marriage. I have realized how deeply broken I am, and how much he sees past my failures on countless occasions. He is funner than I thought, braver that I though, more talented and more passionate about the Lord than I knew before. Marriage has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but the reward of doing it with him has been greater than a life without him. I'll never know another year without him, and i can't wait to see the adventure unfold.

Fun story: the picture above is from last night, New Years Eve, when he and I lit our own lanterns. For my birthday this last year, he bought us tickets to see the lantern festival in the Springs, but it was cancelled last minute. It was a tough month for us, and I cried because I was looking forward to it so much. Later, he informed me that he purchased some lanterns so we could have our own festival, because he knew how important to me it would be. They didn't come for a while, so we sent up our wishes with our lanterns last night. That, is how incredible Jon is. He loves my dreams as much as his own. Happy New Year :)