^^ deck reconstruction (still) in progress… 😉
Along with the photo, I shared this caption:
When we are on the mainland, the conversation never fails to come up: Should we consider moving? There are so many pro’s to that idea: we’d be closer to family, lower cost of living, so many more opportunities for kids and school and travel (and we won’t even start on Trader Joes or other details…) There are great people and churches and awesome things over there! But then I get home, and wake up to this. It’s quiet. There are uncrowded beaches. (I was caught off guard last night realizing again how much of our drive home from the airport is 2-lane country roads.) And though we drive beach-mobiles, full of sand (and more than a few friendly cockroaches) not fancy cars…and though electricity and milk and bread cost 3X as much here, and though we can’t take road trips or go to Ikea…our simple island life seems to suit us just fine. In my dreams we’d have a home on both sides of the ocean, but for now I’m just being thankful. Thankful that we get to enjoy some sweet time in California, and then that we can return to this place we call home.
PS I’m sure someone out there relates to these little home/family/life mind games…feel free to share yours!
I received a lot of comments in response to this — from people in all different situations, most of whom share my mixed emotions in one way or another. I heard from people who live in a city and dream of the country. Others, like me, who live on an island and miss a bit more civilization (or family, or Trader Joes.) I heard from big dreamers who are planning a big move, and others who are choosing contentment right where they are. A lot of us fantasize about having two homes to go back and forth between. (and a private jet to get us there, but let’s not get carried away.)
I read the post and comments to my family, which opened up some great conversation. One son was surprised: “What!? I didn’t know you ever talk about moving!?” Luke was like, “There is no way we will leave Hawaii as long as I’m around!” haha. Josiah just smiled proudly and said “Well, I am moving to California!” (Just a tad excited to head to Santa Barbara for college next month.)
But really, I think this is a ponder-worthy topic. Where you live and raise your family is a big deal! And there are many factors that play a role in this: From the neighborhood and community you are in, to the climate, nearness to family/friends, and much more. Your home is where memories are made. Character is developed. Bonds are built.
And yes, some families may be happier if they moved to a different location. (Sometimes we let fear of change or fear of risk get in the way.) Other families imagine that moving would solve their problems. (and sometimes it does, but often it doesn’t.) Of course a big move should be well thought out, and is best done after much prayer and wise planning. Most of us can recall a time when we may not have fully appreciated our living situation, but later realized how great it was. (Like the year the 6 of us lived in a 900 square foot condo…I thought I was going crazy a couple of times, but later we all agree those were some of our very best family memories!)
My friend Ana offered the important reminder to “trust that God has us where He has us for a purpose way bigger than our comfort and preferences–and usually for the benefit of others.” (She knows this well, being a sun-loving surfer, living in Rhode Island! :))
In the end, most people agreed that it is fun to dream, but there really is “no place like home.” And one of my favorite comments came from my friend Megan, a new Mom in Seattle who said “Home is where family is.” I couldn’t agree more.
I enjoyed this conversation so much, I wanted to continue it here. I know I have blog readers from all over the world. (I’ve literally discovered new countries through my blog readers, which may be more an indication of my poor geography knowledge than anything, but it’s still super fun!) So now, I’d love to hear from you! Would you comment and share where you live, and how you have made that place home? Is there somewhere else you dream of living? Why? How do you find contentment where you are? Wisdom and encouragement for others are always welcome here!
PS Because I get a lot of questions about raising a family in Hawaii, I am long past-due to share a blog post on that topic. Later this summer/fall I will be doing a bit of a blog-makeover (yay!) and hope to add a few links for people planning trips to Hawaii or curious about life here. Let me know if you have any specific questions you’d like me to address then!