Thursday, July 28, 2011

What I Learned From an Underwater Squirrel

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Blue on blue, aquamarine Bay meets a California summer sky, world-famous San Francisco skyline stitching the seam together. Thousands of people around the globe would give their eye teeth to live as close to this view as I do! And yet, I am caught between worlds, between water and steel, sky and concrete, natural wonders and city marvels.

The city is not my home, not my native habitat. I don't mean San Francisco, but city in general. I am as much a foreigner here as a fish out of water, as much a misfit as an eagle living underground. I have lived in California now longer than all my other homes combined, but I don't think I'll ever feel like I'm from here. Even our quiet spot in the suburbs is more city than I'd like in my heart of hearts.

There are times when I have a lot in common with the SpongeBob SquarePants character, Sandy Cheeks, a Texas squirrel living at the bottom of the ocean:




I'm not from Texas, and I don't have to live in a glass bubble in order to survive, but I suppose I will have to confess to a certain squirrely-ness from time to time--my family reads my blog, so I have to tell the truth right? =)  And, if I AM truthful, the constant low thrum of homesickness is something I've lived with a long time, first as a kid from Iowa living in British Columbia, Canada, and for the last 30 years as a country girl living in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Yes, I can identify with Sandy Cheeks.

But wait--PLEASE understand--it's NOT that I am discontent! I am unspeakably thankful for my city boy Hero Husband--I believe he's the reason God brought me here and he's the reason I stayed, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat! I am filled with gratitude for the life we have here with the two beautiful, talented children God has blessed us to raise. I am not here against my will--I chose to follow God here and will continue to choose to be here as long as this is where God has our family.

Yes, like Sandy Cheeks, who misses the place she's from but stays in Bikini Bottom by choice, making a joyful life among her ocean friends, I am here by choice, and so I also choose to be joyful here among the people who are only here.  I also choose to look for and notice the beauty here, beauty like the view of San Francisco across the glittering blue Bay from the charming little town of Sausalito. Looking at the picture above, you might think it's easy, a no brainer, and that I couldn't possibly have to work very hard to find the beauty in this place, and most of the time you'd be right. But sometimes, when I've been too long away from "home," too long out of the mountains, too long away from fresh, smog-free air, too long confined by city streets and traffic and people who look through you, or worse, uncomfortably invade your space, it can be very hard work.

I have this sneaking suspicion that maybe I'm not the only one who, in some aspect of life, feels sometimes out of place, alien, foreign in the place where God has them. No matter the blessings in "this" place, there are longings for people we miss, for those other, unlike-here places, things we can't have here and now, and it is a dull ache that doesn't ever really go away. Anybody???

In a moment of clarity I notice it . . . Jesus left heaven to live on earth . . . He knows. He truly knows.

If you know that achy corner in a heart both out of place and right where it belongs, I pray that God would fill you up with His Presence, with the hominess that comes from being in the arms of the One that makes His home in us. I pray that He would give you a "Sausalito" view to infuse your homesick heart with beauty that will weave new joy right into the place He has you.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." 


Do you ever feel homesick for somewhere else, loved ones you miss, or a way of life you used to know?
How does God meet you there?
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I'm a bit of a "Johnny come lately" today, but
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