03 February, 2017

Home: a slippery concept

The current place we call home. We don't
really talk about "going home" to Australia
anymore. It certainly doesn't represent "home"
to our kids who have spent many more years
in Japan than in Australia.
Home is a tricky concept for us and for our kids. I've written about that before. I saw a heart-rending post today Velvet Ashes' "The Grove". It's based on kids who are much younger than mine, but illustrates a couple of the challenges younger kids face in understanding a mobile lifestyle. Our older kids have different issues, but these are fed by those early insecurities of changing homes.

One of our boys clings to home like crazy. He hates being away from whatever our current home is, for any time more than necessary. It's hard to help him with this struggle. I'm praying that with maturity, especially spiritual maturity, he'll feel less of a need to control his environment and be more flexible.

Our eldest is starting to look forward to moving out of home this time next year to go to Australia for university. That will be a huge change for all of us. But it is a natural moving on as our boys grow and find their own way in the world. Our home will never look the same again because the people in it will have changed. Home is not just the house you live in.

Sometimes it is helpful to remember that our homes are
really only as temporary as a tent.
I was at CAJ's special chapel meeting again this morning. The speaker emphasised to the students how important it was to have God and his Word at the centre of our lives. They are the only unchanging things in this life. Such an important point to make to a group of TCKs.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Ps. 18:2, NIV).
And my favourite Psalm: 139. These verses made me cry as I put my first baby boy to bed one night not too long before we left Australia the first time. I told him this:
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your [God's] hand will guide me,

    your [God's] right hand will hold me fast (vv 9 and 10 NIV).

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