First breath of home


I caught my first breath of home this weekend.

Driving down route 66, our aging mini-van echoed with laughter as my son entertained us with his car-seat-dancing-antics.  The giggles rolling, we rounded a curve toward the mountains, and my soul breathed a sigh of belonging. Three-months in, this new place felt like home for the first time.  The road, the mountains, the palm trees, even (dare I say) all those pesky inappropriate billboards we have to keep explaining to our kids (for the record, “AdultCon” is just a meeting for adults, and the couple humping each other on the back of the motorcycle were just cuddling, ok?) felt familiar and part of life.

Out the window, a (gratefully appropriate) billboard summed up the moment:  Vive hoy.

Live today.

I smiled.

That’s what our giggling, ice-cream filled souls were doing.

We were living.

In our home.

Mountains watching our every move. Pollution coating my outdoor laundry room. Decadent signs of wealth. Desperate murmurs of the unemployed. Spanish, everywhere! More cultures than I can count. Horchata stands at the grocery store. Stoplight buttons. Freeway mazes. Trader Joe’s ten minutes from my house. Indian grocery stores that sell carom boards and cricket bats. Traffic jams and road closures.  Fender benders that make me go argh. Seas of new faces. An endless supply of Asian food.

So many moments are forming snapshots of our new life in this place. And today, it feels oh-so-good.

Vive hoy.

We ended the day listening to a university choir sing a concert of praise in an atrium framed by the California sunset.  The power of their voices proclaimed the depth of a simple truth I have long known.

All to Jesus, I surrender

All to him I freely give.

I will ever love and trust him,

in his presence daily live.

And their melody reminded me that for all the loss and hard moments that come with transition, the surrender of my life to the One I love and trust can be as breath-taking as these quiet mountains that are slowly starting to feel like home.


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