Friday, August 12, 2011

Not Home

This was the only time I have gotten out the camera...late at night with Brandon out of town.

Today marks a week of life in our little hotel room.  I can say that overall we really like it here and that we're grateful for this little season without the everyday stresses of daily life.  Brandon was home this week for some meetings.  When he returned last night he said, "Being there was a return to reality.  This all feels like a dream world."

We have been surprised by how much we are enjoying this town.  There is much to do here, and we have seen many friends...some who live here and others just stopping by on their way down the interstate.  We have even ran into friends unexpectedly at malls and restaurants.

Our hotel room has worked out well...with the challenge of getting Caleb to fall asleep at night getting easier as we go.  My sweet mom arrived on Wednesday. She was able to come to my OB appointment yesterday.  It is wonderful having her here.  Caleb has asked many random people, "Do you know this is my grandma?"

So, life in Albuquerque has been slow and sweet.  Every day we wake up without much of a plan and what seems like an endless day stretching before us.  In many ways, this little place has become "home."  I brought my own bedspreads, and we have a pretty plant and some sunflowers.  We have unpacked our clothes into the dressers and have our own cleaning and cooking supplies.

This, however, is not our home.  I have thought many times of something Randy Alcorn wrote in one of my favorite books, The Treasure Principle.  The book is about giving, and God has used it in my life numerous times. 

The single, greatest deterrent to giving is the illusion that this world is our home. Suppose for a moment that your home is in France and you are visiting America for 80 days and are living in a hotel. Here is the rule: You can’t take anything back to France on your flight home, but you can earn money and wire deposits back to your bank in France. Would you fill your hotel room with extravagant gifts and expensive wall hangings? No! Your time here is short, so you send your treasures on home, where they will be waiting for you when you arrive. Scripture says that we are here for just 80 years or less and that is not much more than 80 days (Psalm 90:10). Scripture says that our life here is just like a breath (Psalm 39:5). We are here on earth on a short-term visa. It’s going to expire soon. So, let’s not spend too much time fixing up the hotel room. Sure, there can be an aesthetic thing here or there. That is understandable. I’m not saying that we can’t have anything, but I am saying that we should wire it on ahead because we aren’t going to be here much longer.

(excerpted from his sermon on this site:  Generous Giving <--- Read it.)

Again, this hotel room, though comfortable, isn't our home.  It would be foolish to invest anything in this little space.  Yet, neither can we truly call home our three-bedroom ranch a few hours down the interstate (even though our sweet cat is still there).  Paul says in Philippians 3:20 that "our citizenship is in heaven."  This world is not our home.

As Alcorn writes, "We are made for a person and we are made for a place. Jesus is that person and heaven is that place. We will never be satisfied with any other person less than Jesus, and we will never be satisfied with any other place less than heaven." This has been really helpful for me as well as we face the strong possibility of giving lifelong care to a child/adult with a disability.  If we had any dreams for the long-term future, they are once again where they should the hands of our Father. 

With that, I don't mean to say that I am not excited about the future.  I can't wait for our little boy to be born and am counting the days 'til we get to meet him (18? days).  I know that everything will change, and I feel hopeful and grateful.  God's plan is good, and I am thankful that our "times are in His hands."

"Show me, O Lord, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life. 
You have made my days a mere handbreadth; 
the span of my years is as nothing before you. 
Each man's life is but a breath."
Psalm 39: 4-5

"But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, 'You are my God.'
My times are in your hands."
Psalm 31:15


Anonymous said...

What a great reminder sweet friend. I needed to hear that and again be reminded of the bigger plans God has for our lives. I miss you, think of you often and pray for you each day. Can't wait to meet this new little Pelton! Love, Laura

Elizabeth H. said...

You are such a beautiful writer Mandy, both of your children are incredibly blessed to have you and Brandon for parents. I've been thinking about you guys a lot lately, sending up little prayers each time you come to mind. You really are inspiring others by living your life as only you can, with God's help. Sending you love and hugs!

tasha said...

i love this post - the content/subject and your cool blogging photo and layout skills! i love that self portrait of you -the lighting and shadows. your heart inspires me, mandy and i'm so thankful for how you share it with all of us thru this space. praying, praying, praying for the 4 of you.

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