It's gray and windy out there.
I'm sitting at this big, familiar kitchen table and staring out at that big, familiar yard. I've seen it so many different ways and all of them are my favorite.
This morning, there is no life out there - no digging, darting little squirrels leaping around in the branches, no hopping birds on the sidewalk, no rare glimpses of the tiny mother chipmunk that hides her babies in the bush by the front door.
This morning there is only the shudder of the leaves as they are tossed and spun in windy circles. And the cars passing by. One at a time I see them through the trees, the arch of that one big branch from that one big tree framing it all so gracefully.
If I stare long enough, surely I'll see something dart or fly or move, but no luck. They must all know the rain is coming.
The wind chimes seem almost eerie on gray mornings like this but I'm thinking about leaving this place and everything seems painfully pretty right now.
Soon I'll hear the thud of Annika's two feet sliding out of her big bed and hitting the floor at the same time.
Her door will creak open and they'll "bump bump bump" their way through the kitchen and into my lap. She'll be clutching Pounce or Isa and she'll say, "Hungry?" like she's a baby and I'll sigh and not like it, but know one day I will remember it with longing.
We'll make breakfast together on the cold side of the curtain, trying to feel warmer in the bright light and sound of that old 80's radio. I'll fry eggs and the teapot will whistle.
We'll carry plates and pepper and apple butter into the big room, the warm side of the curtain, and it will already look so different out these big windows.
Either the sun will push it's way through and things will be golden, or the rain will finally come and this will feel like the coziest place on earth.
Not because it really is but just because I believe it.
Because no place has ever felt like home before, not like this.
No place has ever housed our joys and sorrows like this house has.
No table of mine has ever been spread with play-date snacks and mommy laughter or cups of tea and the Word taught, dinners shared and extra chairs pulled up, like this table.
In five years of marriage, we had never renewed a rental lease before. I've had never been able to give directions like a local. (Well. Still can't do that.) We had never been the ones to welcome newbies at church. We've always been the newbies.
But not here.
Not in this town or at our church or in this house.
This was finally not new.
This is comfortable, familiar, and sweet and suddenly everything about it is seeming so incredibly fleeting and precious.
What will I do when I write a blog post like this and no one meets my eye and knows a thing about it? No one knows my story or the light-filled little house on the corner where we used to live?
We've gotten used to moving on and it's always bittersweet.
Usually I'm just tasting a little more of the sweet and less of the bitter. Pained less with the leaving because roots hadn't gone down too deep yet.
But this one... I know this one's gonna hurt. This one's going to be the hardest Leave we've ever done.
And all I can do is find a way to worship in it.
I know God is going before us into whatever future awaits us. And that's just another one of those things that Christians say and I don't really know what it means or how it works but I'm trusting the heart of it. The truth of it.
There is no place where my Father is not. My future is infused with him just like every moment of my past and that gives me reason to breathe deep and take it all in. Let everything come and go in it's time.
To be moved along in these seasons without struggling so hard against them.
And to be thankful. Always thankful.