Heaven is my home…

I started to write this blog post the other day–and then I completely erased it…feeling like anyone who read it might think Momma Young is…well–different. Or worse…not understand it and be offended by it. SO–if you get offended easily–please don’t read this and just get the supplies to make the cute candy corn tree I posted about yesterday instead. It’s super cute:) If you are game for processing with me though…you can read on.

The more and more I think about my Father in heaven…the more things come to my mind that I’m convinced that He puts there. Things I think He is asking me to do. And the more I listen–I hear His voice and know it’s Him–and such blessing follows each little yes. And in the yes’s to Him, the more and more I feel…THIS is not my home. Because the yes’s–they often mean…not fitting completely here.

“Andrea! How was Rich’s trip to Africa???” I start to answer the questions–and I realize there are blank stares in return as without thinking–I answer them honestly, whole-heartedly, passionately and truthfully. I have to pull myself out of real, and I realize I should have answered it more appropriately to the world’s pattern: “It was awesome! Thanks for asking! How are you? It’s so great to see you! Y’all have a good day…” I get in the car and feeling awkward and stupid–I remind myself, “Haven’t you learned??? Just say the happy, quick answer they really want to hear–and then you won’t have to walk away feeling like an alien from outer space. NOTED. Again. Again. And AGAIN. Haven’t you learned that yet?

I remembered. I tried that the NEXT time…and it was a charm. And it stunk. It didn’t feel right. It so wasn’t me.

Weren’t we made for SO much more?

Weren’t we made to go into deep community with one another? To be willing to be uncomfortable even if no one understands or cares…because you just never know how God might use what He is in the middle of to touch someone? To go there? To love one another? To engage one another? And in return–there WILL be fruit. Some where. The body of Christ will come into action. Some will go…some will send…others will pray for…and together–we beautifully live out the gospel together…with all believers…living as if heaven were really our home–BECAUSE…for believers…IT IS.

I think about the by Mercy Me…(turn music off up top to listen)…

Later, I get home and play with my sweet littles. All is quiet…I check my email. Not much there–I lurk on over to my google reader…and flip through sites on my reader. Not a good idea as compared to the hurricanes in my heart as of late. This just mixes in with it and it feels like it might burst. Where does this fit? Or does it? Maybe I just don’t fit.

The newest bedroom make-over, before and after pictures of a Veranda Home bathroom or the most recent vacation to Disney. It feels like SUCH a contrast. Where is the balance? Is there a balance? Am I weird? Because the crazy thing is…when I see the pictures and read the stories…it just looks really cool and I’m sure my daughter would flip to have breakfast with Cinderella…wouldn’t she?! I shake my head and the real of the world comes back to my mind…

A friend dying because across the world because medical care stunk…stunk being a ridiculous understatement. Talking to his precious widow on the phone today…when she laughed at my kidding around with her…I felt as if I’d won a prize…a moment of joy–the phone call so worth it. Hearing the giggles of the children over the line…there was hope. I close out my blog reader–tell myself I need to clear out my blog reader…I don’t think it’s good for the hurricane in my heart. I sit there. Where am I?? Who am I?? Why do I feel this way?? Is it just me? Or is it you too? Something must be wrong with me…because my heart is being pulled…and it’s so far from so many of the things I see around me in our world. And I remember.

WE WERE MADE FOR SO MUCH MORE OF ALL OF THIS.

Before anyone gets the wrong message—please know that I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t remodel your bedroom OR take the kids to Disney. In fact, feel free to send us tickets if your vacation ever gets rained out because we’d love to go. Please, please do not stop your planning OR think I’m writing this TO you or FOR you. Because I’m not. THIS IS JUST ME processing. There’s a pull in our hearts–and the desires are so, so different on each end. SO different. The result: it leads us to feel that we just don’t fit. And then I hear a faint whisper…this is not your home my child…I am…wait on Me…

YES! HEAVEN IS MY HOME.

And if heaven really is my home–then what does it look like to live…to REALLY live…for it? To live for heaven and for the kingdom…for what is eternal? To take risks even when it doesn’t make sense. To say yes…because you know the One who is asking you to trust and follow.

Matthew 6 says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

How different would our lives be if we made decisions through a “heaven is my home” filter? How would some of the decisions we make change?

What eternal value does doing this, buying this, spending my time with, going here have? Am I storing up my treasures here or on earth?

When I do this…which I confess I, too often, do not–but when I do, something changes in me. I begin to forget how this puzzle of a mom doesn’t seem to fit in most boxes find myself in–and that’s okay. It makes me realize I’m being shaped differently–and that’s okay. It makes me willing to do things others have a different opinion about, think are crazy and don’t make a lot of sense to the world–and that’s okay. Because I wasn’t put here and called to please the world. In fact, I was called to not conform to it.

And the more you have–the harder it is to take risks. It is so hard for us to say yes, pray about things that are uncomfortable and to be willing to do anything. The eye of the needle I guess can be more than just money–but other riches too I guess. We struggle with this so often. Just yesterday, I overheard Rico Suave saying, “If I was single or if it was just me and Andrea–dude, I’d be on a plane to Zambia right now. We’d just go there and stay–and do ministry.”

You know what momma was thinking:)

It made me raise my eyebrows–and I knew it was going to be a conversation for later. And it was: “So–you’d go if you were single. You’d go if we just got married. If you would say yes in those times, then why not now?”

He laughed–but had an answer that was clear and quick and right and good–and I could tell my sweet man had prayed about this. “Because the Lord hasn’t said GO yet.”

In his tone, I could hear that he would–and he will lead us to the nations the minute the Lord tells us to go. I heard a sense of joy and excitement that makes me smile…feeling like one day…just maybe I’ll get to walk my babies down an old dirt road on the mission field…a dream of mine. But I must confess–my other dream…on the other end of my rope–is just being normal right here, right where we are now…because part of me is scared to be any more different than we already are. (I can already hear a few say “But Andrea–don’t discredit what God can do with you here.” That’s not the point. The point is this: am I consistently surrendering my will to the Lord’s will and opening up my hands in willingness to do anything…ANYTHING…for His glory?? For kingdom living?)

In my heart–I catch myself telling the Lord again and again that I will go whenever to where ever. Weekly we challenge each other to pray about what God is asking us to do…and weekly the Lord puts some pretty amazing things in our paths–writing a story that only He could write. To Him be the glory! I love to pray about going, about different opportunities–whether we should stop this or continue with that…or open up a whole new can of worms…not so much because I feel the Lord speaking to me about specifics and I want us to pray and be on the same page–but RATHER, I have seen that being willing and ready to go and do anything brings perspective to live in this world but not be shaped by everything that comes with the world.

Romans 12…”Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I love the 3 parts to this scripture. 1-WHAT TO DO: Offer your bodies as living sacrifices…as VESSELS to the Lord…this will be your worship to Him. 2–THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT: Be different. Don’t go along with that you see the world doing–and be careful what you let influence you. Instead–be changed by renewing your mind every day through the filter “heaven is my home”…ask: does this have kingdom value?? 3–THE FRUIT: LIVING HIS GOOD, PLEASING AND PERFECT PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.

In this…there is peace. There is joy in not fitting. I rest in the future–knowing we could go across the world–and God would take care of us…ALL of us. Because–as I renew my mind–I realize more than Disney or a trip to the beach (both things I really do want to do) that I really want to live for Him…to follow Him to the ends of the earth or just next door…to love deeply those He puts in my path…and to ultimately live smack dab in the middle of His will for my life. Really–there is NO such thing or Biblical principle on living a balanced life of the things of the world and radically following Jesus–so I’ve gotta take my eyes off the world and just look to Him…following Him on whatever path He takes me on. And when I feel like I don’t fit…I need, to instead rejoice–that THIS place is not my home.

Heaven is.

And I have a good feeling…that if you are still reading…I might not be alone in how I feel.

P.S. I hope you have a blessed day. On a really fun note sort of related to this post–my sister is taking me and the kiddos to their family’s beach house this weekend! We are going to be with my sweet grandparents for my granddaddy’s birthday! Thankful for this treat/retreat. Now…who wants to take us to Disney;)??? I’m JUST kidding!!!

P.S.S. I received another reminder today that I was NOT made for this world. I’ve got to do some blood work next week. My doctor thinks this momma may have a form of arthritis. When she told me I know I threw her off when I laughed. I don’t know why I laughed…I guess it threw me off and I was thinking something much worse–because I always think of the worst so whatever it is is not so bad:). While I know this can be bad, with what we’ve been processing from last week–this is okay. And through the filter “heaven is my home” it’s even better:). We are, however, going to wait on the results before turning in our home study. God’s timing is always perfect, and Momma needs to make sure it’s something easy to manage or miraculously nothing at all before we take the next step of faith.

P.S.S.S. Thank you for extending grace if you aren’t where I am right now. Remember momma is dealing with some reverse culture shock as daddy-io readjusts here. Reverse culture shock stinks…but it is so eye-opening and so, so good for the heart…and truthfully–reverse culture…not conforming to the world…is really where I want to be.

October 13, 2011 - 12:33 am

kristen gilliss - love this post. I can relate. I feel this tug & pull too. Praying & waiting for the “Go” along side you!! xo kristen

October 13, 2011 - 1:15 am

Karen - Your post (sort of) reminded me of this from Michael Youssef:

http://www.leadingtheway.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sto_UltCitizenship09

Our ultimate citizenship IS in heaven. I have to remember when dealing with fun immigration stuff, right? ;o)

But seriously … I think about this kind of stuff frequently. So your post very much resonated with me. :o )

October 13, 2011 - 1:28 am

Jessica - Oh, sometimes I think you read my mind. I just stayed up way to late to post some similar thoughts on my blog–thoughts that I just had to get out of my head so that maybe I can sleep a little more peacefully. You are right. There is no balance between fitting in and giving it all up for Jesus. We need to remember that we are His followers and He DIDN’T fit in and He gave it ALL up, so at least we know we are not alone in this battle.

October 13, 2011 - 1:30 am

rachel - I feel your pain. Oh do I ever feel your pain- and I live overseas!! I am a miss*onary, which should be “good enough” right??? I mean, I made the sacrifice, I left our home and our family behind- isn’t that enough??? Yet, God CONTINUES to chip away at my selfish heart and reveal new ways I can sacrifice and serve those around me. I just finished “Kisses from Katie” and I am blown away by how amazing my house overseas is (which was a major step down from what we left in the States) and how much “stuff” my kids have (which had to be scaled down in order to fit in our suitcases to travel!) I live with the constant tension you are describing- so you are not alone, I feel ya. I am thankful for these times God gives me to wrestle through these things so I can draw closer to Him and learn new sides of His heart and character. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

October 13, 2011 - 1:58 am

Elle j - Love this, all of it, and praying for you in all areas of your life happenings.

October 13, 2011 - 6:28 am

Christy - Love this. Struggling with where I fit in to how I feel God has changed my heart when now is not the “go” time for anything yet that He’s put on my heart. But I am reading Katie Davis’ book and I loved how she said every morning she just prays, “What do you want me to do today, Lord? Who do you want me to love like You would?” And in the every day, hands open and surrendering, He will lead and He is pleased. Praying for you today, Andrea, and knowing that even though you may not be able to do all for His kingdom in this moment that you wish you could, He is also using you to help others make these radical choices and decisions and encouraging so many around you as well!

October 13, 2011 - 7:27 am

Melanei - Andrea,
I had these EXACT thoughts a few weeks ago! This echos my heart as well. I think God puts this in our hearts to remind us that He is what we are ultimately longing for.

October 13, 2011 - 9:01 am

Audrey @thebrownbrigade - You are not alone. I am there in my mind, and I haven’t even been to Africa yet. Every thought that I have is filtered through the mindset that there’s got to more than this. I am so thankful that there is!!! And we were made for it.

October 13, 2011 - 9:14 am

Tara - Andrea,
I understand! I struggle with the same feelings! I thank you for writing the post.

October 13, 2011 - 9:33 am

amy - It seems you are not the only one!!! A few months ago when we came back from Africa I was on fire and didn’t care what others thought. Then I let that old complacency settle in. Just in the past couple of weeks has God really been stirring in me and awakening me to my lethargy. Thank you for your post. Just this week God has pressed upon me to prepare… Not sure when He will open the door for us to return full time (my hubby too is waiting on God), but I want to be ready!!! Blessings…
amy

October 13, 2011 - 9:33 am

amy - Oh yeah and I think Need to Breathe sums it up well in “Outsiders”

October 13, 2011 - 9:51 am

Allison - Oh Andrea, I love this post. I had many of these same thoughts after receiving some resistance at our announcment we were adopting, I still get them when I am fed up with my job or bills or car problems. I get them when I look at our friends who are so sweet but happy just where they are and comfortable in there “normal” family. In the midst of the frusturation and questions it is so comforting to know this life is a blink compared to eternity in heaven with our Father. You are not alone in your thinking, love and hugs from Indianapolis :)

October 13, 2011 - 10:13 am

Rory - I am so glad you are able to put words to what so many of us are feeling, going through, and processing ourselves. This is a post I would’ve wanted to write…so many of your conversations with Rico Suave sound like the ones my husband and I have here. Your heart and God’s really shine through in this post and I totally “get” you, even though we’ve never met in person. And if you get to go to D-land soon (oh I hope you do!:)) know that we’ll be cheering you on there too…and if you move to Zambia same thing…because this life is temporal and we’re living for Someone greater. I get it. I really do.

October 13, 2011 - 11:21 am

Tiffany - Oh, Andrea. Tears are just pouring down my cheeks. You put the words to my heart. I get all of this. Thank you for sharing, thank you for being brave and hitting publish. I need to know that I am not alone in these thoughts. It can get so lonely and discouraged feeling like an outsider – even among Christian friends. Just thank you. Be blessed. Praying for the wiphan ministry.

October 13, 2011 - 12:06 pm

Amy Beyer - Thank you for being real…and being bold for Jesus. You draw me to Jesus!! I love to see how God takes us to different ends of the world for His Glory…and look forward to the day you post…”Going to Zambia” xoxo

October 13, 2011 - 1:06 pm

Kristin - Thank you for your words today and PLEASE know you are not alone. The conversations you are having with your hubby are the same we are having way up here in Pittsburgh! I love coming in contact with other believers who have the exact same outlook on life….Kingdom Living….amazing, yet so hard at times. But it’s all so worth it!

October 13, 2011 - 1:16 pm

Sonya - This might be for you today, from Ann Voskamp’s website, which I was originally introduced to by YOU, thank you so very much!
http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/10/what-is-radical-faith-video/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HolyExperience+%28Holy+Experience%29

October 13, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Courtney - you aren’t alone! thanks for processing with us!

October 13, 2011 - 2:43 pm

Rachel - You are so very articulate! You put into such beautiful words exactly what I feel and know to be true. Praying for strength and boldness to live it out…and waiting with an eager heart to hear the “Go!”

October 13, 2011 - 4:59 pm

Heath - Sister I love you and I understand this. xoxo

October 13, 2011 - 5:16 pm

Amanda Vargas - I feel like you have just written what is in my heart.. like others have said you are not alone.. and it is so hard to understand why when we say lord send us we’ll go he doesn’t always send us right away.. but each of us is on a journey and patience is part of growing.. oh how I hope I get better at patience :)
Thanks for always being honest and please don’t stop!!!

October 13, 2011 - 5:27 pm

rebekah - Oh, Andrea, I SO get this!!! You wrote it beautifully. My husband and I often have this exact conversation. I am glad you shared. Blessings to y’all:)

October 13, 2011 - 6:05 pm

Kameron Shadrick - Andrea, we are right there with you. I could have replaced my name for yours and my DH’s for Rich’s. I can identify with Every. Single. Word!!!! Praise God for waking us all up. He is so good! Be blessed sister! Oh… and yes, clear out that blogroll, I did, and you are one of the few left!

October 13, 2011 - 8:57 pm

Larisa - Oh yes, Andrea, I definitely “get” where you are…we’ve been feeling so many of the same things for quite a while now. Thanks for sharing your heart, Sister!

October 13, 2011 - 10:37 pm

bobi bobbitt - Sweet Andrea! Thank you for writing this! As so many of the others have commented, You have given words to what is on so many of our hearts! It is so hard not to get caught up in the here and now and forget the amazing plan God has for our lives if only we would surrender our lives completely to Him! I am so thankful to have friends like you who understand and give a voice to what us Mommas are battling against every day, to live in this world but not of this world! (:

October 14, 2011 - 12:32 am

Krystal Strong - Thank you so much for this post! You’ve put into words what I haven’t been able to many times over. So many times I struggle with living IN this world but not OF this world. For example, I see friends with closets full of shoes and for a moment I envy those shoes…and then I remind myself I have sufficient shoes and there are others in this world with no shoes, and instead of dropping $100 on shoes…how would God want me to use that money…having uber pairs of shoes is not important…I won’t take them with me to God’s kingdom. From now on, thanks to your post, in those moments like the one described above I will remind myself “heaven is my home” and ask myself “Does this have kingdom value?” Thanks so much Andrea.

October 14, 2011 - 7:29 am

Julie Johnston - You are definately not alone! Many hearts, mine including are screaming “amen!” to every every word you have just written. Thank you for sharing!

October 14, 2011 - 8:41 am

Shelly Roberts - THANKFUL for this post! I live this way often in my small rural community as it pertains to adoption/orphans. I feel so stinkin’ alone much of the time. Yet in reality, we’re never truly alone … I know my Father, the one who opened my eyes to see, my heart to feel and my ears to listen is HERE WITH ME. He knows the battle, He knows my heart … He cares. And for this place in time this is right where He’s placed me. THANK YOU for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. I look forward to seeing what the Lord does in the coming months and years in the Young fam. ;) Praying for you as you keep looking to Him .. each day … each moment knowing this is not your home and longing to be with your Father face-to-face one day.

October 14, 2011 - 9:27 am

Katy - You are not alone! Thank you for the wonderful and much needed encouragment that I am not alone either.

October 14, 2011 - 11:38 am

Kathy Geurink - I am completely Blown away at what you just wrote, I actually sat closer to the screen to reread one of the verses you quoted, It was Exactly what I needed today. Thank you for posting, I feel God led me to your blog today. I have been struggling with knowing that God has something more for my family, wanting to do more for the Kingdom. To be smack dab in the middle of his will. But living for ourselves seems to have been our history and God is so sweetly showing me thats its not about me. That his blessings are what I long for, So I will continue to pray that he will show me where he wants me to be:)

October 14, 2011 - 5:08 pm

Kaleena - Beautiful post! My husband and I are young, no kids yet. But we are learning to live like this and want to teach our kids someday. You are such an encouragement! Thank you!

October 14, 2011 - 6:30 pm

Kelly Brown - Love this Andrea! It makes me not feel like a crazy person. :) I also loved reading the other 29 comments. God is awakening His people. Love you my friend!

October 16, 2011 - 11:02 pm

Marlisa - WOW! Your words hit my heart spot on. I have been saying this same thing (not so eloquently) to my husband and to my closest friend. I have felt such a heaviness and restlessness, not discontent exactly with where God has me, but instead, just restless with our culture (both in the church and in the world) that on the one hand, tempts me….and repulses me. I also get you on the need to “tone it way down” when I talk to people who ask about our adoption, etc. Or on facebook when I can barely keep myself from “sharing” everything adoption related or orphan related….
I don’t feel depressed…if anything I feel “AWAKE!!” full of joy, and crazy excited, but its hard to rein it in when I’m talking to people who aren’t on the same page. I do feel lonely sometimes. But I’m so thankful for your words, especially from God’s word. This isn’t our home, so I guess we should feel a bit weird sometimes. For so long, I just blended right in, so it takes some getting used to. Thanks again for your honesty!!! God bless you and sustain you in Jesus!

October 21, 2011 - 8:09 pm

Kristy - Hi, Andrea! I am a friend of Kimberly C and even met you one night a while back at a local Pizza place. Anyway, thanks for sharing such a moving post. I can understand your thoughts and questions…some days all I have are questions written in my journal. I love reading your process of thinking about such a huge, deep, conflicting topic. It’s so clear that we are to be different….and if we aren’t, we should be wondering why not. Thanks for sharing so openly! God bless you and your family.

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