As we unpack this time, it feels so different than our 14 other times we've done this in our married life. This feels settling. I can actually visualize a look for the house, for the rooms. We are piecing together items from our homes previously, donated furniture, things we've found used at thrift stores/classifieds, and now we just need to fill a few items in. Those we will probably buy in order to finish and actually settle to free up time to begin jumping into language and ministry more! We want to be wise and not spend a fortune (and that's not really our style anyway) but we also want to set up a house that will be a sanctuary. We want to feel at home here. We want it to be a place to entertain and hang out and have people visit. We want it to be open and not too foreign to our neighbors and families from school and language class. We want our kids to very much feel like they have their own space. We want to embrace some Belgian culture (which is sometimes difficult given that our house feels so much more modern and less Belgian than we pictured we'd live in!) We also want to retain some of the things that we enjoy about a home.
It feels quite exciting and open ended-unlike a couple weeks ago when it felt overwhelming. We are dreaming as we build our home here. We are dreaming about what God will do in this home and from this home for His Kingdom. We have already hosted some friends from our team both for dinner and overnight. We have had a few conversations with our neighbors on 2 of 4 sides. We have had some baked goods handed over the fence. We have friends from the States coming this weekend to stay. We have a friend from language class (and her son also attends our kids' school) who has invited herself to help cook for a housewarming party. In fact, we are planning 2 parties because we have so many people to invite. We want to have one for our team and that will be a good celebration together of God's provision! Then we want to have one to reach out to friends from language class, neighbors, and some of the families from school. This is exciting! This is what we have prayed for and trusted for. And God has richly provided!
On one hand, like my friend always says "home is where our hearts are" and for the kids "home is where we are all together as a family." That is so true and we have worked hard to make that true. On the other hand, I'm really really really looking forward to having home be where our house is. We have certainly had this before, but looking forward it seems quite full of exciting possibilities. I cannot wait to see how God's plan unfolds here!