Recently, I asked the gals in my Connection Group (because they’re rockstars and we still chat regularly) if anyone wanted to write about “Home.” They had all been in their current home for a fairly short time, so I knew the topic would resonate. I was elated when Tina said, “Yes! Me!”
Tina Ferry, originally from Colorado, is currently serving in Ecuador with her husband of 14 years and daughters, ages 10 and almost 12. She bubbles with joy, laughter, and wisdom every time our group talks. It’s evident that she adores the Lord and strives to obey Him in this adventurous life.
The year before we left the States to live overseas, God gave me the meditation of “abide.” I searched the scriptures for synonyms and antonyms. I talked to everyone and anyone who would listen about abiding in Him. I camped out in John 15. Finally, “abide” was boiled down to my favorites, and to this date I chew on the depth:
STAY – to continue to be in a place for a significant amount of time
LIVE, DWELL, RESIDE – to have a home
BEAR – to put up with something painful or difficult
REMAIN – to remain indefinitely in the same state or existence
Just this week we moved into our new home overseas. We have lived abroad for a year and a half but have been in transition for over 4 years. You know how it goes – pack the house, sell the house, find transitional housing, language school housing, temporary housing in your country, and, finally, find your permanent home. I almost can’t type “permanent home” because it lacks meaning. Permanent isn’t a thing for me anymore. I feel like I’m floating along the surface of the earth asking the Lord, “What’s next? Where next?”
Home isn’t a place. It’s becoming a person for me now. My roots aren’t set quite so deep down into the earth’s soil anymore. They are growing deep into Him. Rooted and established in LOVE.
As a young girl I remember feeling that the time spent in worship was my real home. Sitting on my CareBear comforter sensing His presence and resting in the surety that I am His and He is mine. This sense of home and belonging has deepened with every refining year, with every refining move.
Living abroad has brought me home. The more I feel unsettled in this world, the more I realize He’s my home – my hiding place.
When I sit with Him on someone else’s couch, He tells me, “I am your hiding place. REMAIN in me.” When He calls me to his side for a chat while I wait in long visa processing lines He tells me, “RESIDE in my presence and you will find peace.” When I struggle to set up a house that will feel like home for our family he whispers, “DWELL with me daily and you’ll always feel at home.”
Can I get real? I’m sensing I need to change the way I’m communicating about this with my girls. I look into their almost 10 and 12 year-old faces and have told them for years, “Home is where we are together.” But that’s not completely true and I’ve felt it in my spirit for a while now.
Now I wonder, is telling my girls that “Home is where we are together” really helping them rest in their true Home? The conversation will continue as the refining continues. The concept of home on this earth, with or without family or in or out of our home country, is something that slips away more and more with every passing year. This is a good thing. This is a hard thing.
So now I will continue to carry with me my Home and root down in Him when everything around me screams, “You aren’t home!” By God’s grace I will allow God’s refining work in me to overflow onto those He places in my path as I daily journey Home to Him.
When I think of foods that remind me of home, many come to mind: salads piled high with toppings, cheesy lasagna, all the Mexican and Indian food I can eat, and of course loads of desserts that don’t take an entire day to make. Although I don’t think I’ve ever made this recipe on American soil, it reminds me of home all the same. The familiar flavors and the warmth that comes from a bowl of soup are much-needed for this girl who doesn’t love Chinese food. It’s quick to put together and is packed full of flavor!
I brought this zesting/grating beauty back from the States last year. I use garlic in nearly every dinner recipe, and this tool makes it quick! Plus, I’m not a fan of chomping into a huge chunk of garlic, knowing it’ll stay on my breath for the next 2 days.
Onions and garlic: the staple for nearly every meal in my home!
Apparently I got distracted and forgot to take pics of the rest of the process! But, you know how to dump and stir. 🙂 I will note, though, that I had some frozen turkey broth I made from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass, and it was oh so tasty! If you still have some, use it in this recipe! Yum!
White Chicken Chili
Time: 45 minutes
Slightly adapted from Market to Meal
2-3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper*
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups (2 cans, drained) cooked white beans
1 1/2 cups milk**
Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onions and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper and cook a minute or two more. Add in the chicken and cook until done. Stir in chicken broth and beans. Simmer 30 minutes (or longer–just like other soups, the flavors meld together better the long it simmers!)
Add milk and heat almost to boiling.
*My littles can’t handle much heat, so I only add a pinch of cayenne, or leave it out altogether. You can add more, or even a can of diced jalapenos if you like extra kick!
**Various recipes for this soup all call for different milk products–sour cream, half and half, milk, plain yogurt, etc. I tend to use what I have on hand and all have worked fine. This recipe is very forgiving!