[Post from 19th October 2010]
“I hang my keys, purse and coat on antlers every day.”
Yes, this is a true statement. This is quite possibly THE best thing about my flat (apartment). When I first moved into this place in August, I told my landlords I’d be away for 2 weeks and it would be great if I could get a coat-rack… Well I came back in September and I had a coat rack, but not just any coat-rack. I had a real antlers coat-rack! I laughed out loud the first time I saw it. I thought, ‘Are they serious?!’ …which then evolved into, ‘Well, this could be cool. Not everyone can say that they have antlers for a coat-rack. Might as well embrace it!’ And, so I have. So now, every time I have someone visit, I show off this fantastic decorative home element. How’s that for a neat story to begin my update with?!
Home Is Where the Heart of Jesus Is
I love my home here in New Zealand. I sense so deeply that Jesus Christ has made His home here with me too. Does anyone know the peace that floods the soul when you just KNOW that God is dwelling with you? Well, if you have not experienced this, I pray that this becomes your experience. Today, I pray that God visits you in the very place that you live. Just invite Him in, and make space for Him in your life, and in your actual physical living space. He doesn’t just want to be a visitor – He wants to move in. If you don’t believe me, here’s the proof from His very lips:
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
I have come to such a deep contentment with living on my own. I can’t really put into words how much I enjoy it. It isn’t to try and hide from life, or hide in shame from others, or to “run away from this world”. It has nothing to do with any of these things. It has everything to do with the fact that I really enjoy Jesus’ presence, and I enjoy my own presence. We’re both good company! I am at peace with Him and with myself. I just like BEING . HERE . NOW. Living in the present moment. Enjoying what God has put on my plate for today, for this season. And in this season, it seems to be FULL of His experiential Presence.
I feel that in my emptiness, His fullness is sweeping me away. When I am alone, I feel the fellowship of Christ and the fellowship of all the saints. I just feel ‘accompanied’ by the victories and the love of this beautiful family of God (the Body of Christ), and the Trinity in all His intricate beauty.
I call my little home Bethlehem Stable ‘cos Jesus lives here and I live in the Bethlehem suburb. I love how simple and manageable it is. I just have to take care of 1 large room and 1 bathroom and 1 car. I cook simple, but tasty meals for myself, and try and invite friends over as often as possible to cook meals for them, and I like to clean once a week to keep my place spic n’ span. I’m starting to make space to get creative, paint, design, write poetry, music and play guitar. In my free time, I’m reading some really deep, solid books! I have a beautiful neighbourhood to take walks in. Spring is here, and the leaves and flowers are blossoming, the days are getting longer, and warmer, and the sun is coming out more than the rainclouds. I feel a springtime in my heart, coinciding with the springtime in the land.
Dwelling and Not Running
I am making New Zealand my home. Living in the land and dwelling here. Not running to and fro. Just being here. Dedicated to being 100% obedient (by the grace of God) to whatever the Lord speaks to me to do, to say, and to be. Just to stay responsive to the movements of His heart, in the mundane and everyday tasks, and also in the lofty extraordinary moments. All moments are sacred. All of life is holy ground. All of my life can connect with God. Part of my obedience is simply this: ALISON, BE IN NEW ZEALAND. Don’t race around to other places. Just enjoy this nation and get His heart for this nation. This city of Tauranga. This ministry. This prayer room. This community of believers. Be here fully, Alison. It’s all about aligning my full self to a clear and central FOCUS, having my eye set on the goal, and this goal happens to be right under my feet.
Isn’t it interesting how we cry out to God so often to give us a life vision? And then once the vision comes to us, we aren’t satisfied, and we just keep reaching toward something across the proverbial fence, looking for greener pastures… “out there” wherever “there” may be. Oh, to embrace the pasture that God has us in, trusting that He knows why we are to be here, at this exact time in life. Oh, to embrace His leadership and choice of location for us. What peace and exhilaration comes when we embrace and FEEL the joy of being right where we are.
Let us not miss out on what God has prepared for us in the very place our feet are planted right now. May we dig our feet in and plant, even if just to learn not to run. Let us not miss out on the inheritance of the present moment in this present place, in the present state we are in. We are not perfected, but God is perfecting us, right here, right now.
Well, that’s all for this update.
At home in His heart,