The first time I moved I was too young to remember much of anything. It was an in-town move, just a few miles from one house to the next. From a small home where we all lived on the same level with a real wood-burning fireplace and a sandbox in the back to a tri-level home that allowed us to spread out a bit, grow strawberries in the back and get our first family dog.
At thirteen I moved again. This time to a neighboring town that was so close it felt just the same. I didn’t switch schools. I didn’t have to. But I got a bigger room.
At eighteen I left for college. Only an hour away, which had me home more often than I had planned. Whitworth University was a magical place where Jordan and I grew as individuals and as a couple. We married the same summer we graduated and immediately moved to Los Angeles, to a tiny one-bedroom apartment in the middle of the city, right off the 101 freeway.
We moved from that high-rise apartment after six months to be closer to the beach. The ocean was calling us (just like my girl Moana). Of course, we couldn’t afford to get too close, so we settled on another tiny one-bedroom apartment about 2.5 miles from the beach, just east of Santa Monica. This one had a washer and dryer and little lemon and lime trees out back.
From there we trekked to Tanzania for seven months in a two-bedroom apartment up above a curio shop on the double road in downtown Moshi. That was the biggest place we had ever lived up to that point in our marriage.
After that adventure, we found ourselves back in Los Angeles (living with Jordan’s sister and her husband for a while, then landing in a studio apartment in Santa Monica where we would bring Moses home, for one night, before we would move to a larger one-bedroom place, once again further from the beach).
When God called us out of Los Angeles when Moses was just eight months old, we lived with my family back in the same house I lived my teenage years in, for five months while we purchased our townhouse. We moved into that home at the beginning of 2013 and that was the longest I’d lived in one place since I was a teenager.
If my math isn’t off I’ve lived in eleven houses, six towns, two timezones, and two countries.
And here we are again, about to move to another country, back to Africa.
The last home was really the only home our kids have ever known. We brought Zuri home from the hospital to that home. They both learned to walk, talk and ride bikes in that home. It was home. Our home. And now we find ourselves home-less. Without a home of our own. Going from place to place with good friends and family who’ve provided a place for us to call home in this month while waiting to depart.
It’s weird. And some days it stings. The reality that we don’t have a place of our own right now, a place to go back to, a place to reset. But we know this short season is preparing us for what’s to come and it’s allowing us to further ready ourselves for this big move. There is a home waiting for us in Nairobi. We don’t know much about it and we can’t quite grasp what it’s going to be like, but it will be our new home. A place to lay our heads at the end of a long day, a place to welcome neighbors and new friends we meet, a place to worship the everlasting God.