Some of you may not know this, but my family lives in two places. Since January, due to my husband’s job, we’ve had two homes: one, an apartment in a city, and the other, a house in a tiny rural town, where we’ve lived ever since we got married. And we bounce back and forth between the two of them frequently – sometimes weekly, especially between the months of January and June.
I call it my dual life. This is the choice we’ve made, to keep our family physically together in tandem with Bjorn’s job. We could choose to have the kids + myself live apart from Bjorn for 6 months every year, but we’re determined to live out that catchy song lyric: “Home is wherever I’m with you.” It’s what our children need – what our marriage needs. It’s been hard and good and tiring and wonderful all at once.
I feel like my life these days is a constant exercise in contrast. The apartment: Part of me does love having everything within a 5 minute drive – a Starbucks so close, I could leak money constantly in exchange for daily chai lattes. Target is 3 minutes away, stocked from floor to ceiling with things I need…and things I don’t. The easy on-ramp, off-ramp lifestyle of everything at my fingertips. Malls, unlimited choices of restaurants, food, outings, parks. Countless new people shuffling by. Anonymity, for better or for worse. There’s a lot of ease in a more urban life. But —
There’s another, bigger part of me that counts down the miles as I make the 2-hour drive on our familiar beaten-path on the interstate… till the horizon unfurls, till cornfields outnumber the buildings once again…There comes a point of the drive every single time where I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding, and my lungs breathe deep when I hit that open farmland. Our true home will always be in rural southern Minnesota. Our hearts are tethered to the land and the people there. It’s where Bjorn’s from, it’s where I’ve made a home for 8 years, and it’s where we belong. Our dual life tilts us in both directions – urban and rural – and with it comes the balancing act of managing two households, and a lot of packing and unpacking and miles on the van. Our children have learned to be excellent travelers and I’m so proud of them. And we all adore our time together as a family of four.
I want to remember: God has given me this precious, unique gift of a life in two locations, and I’m constantly learning and growing – in flexibility, in gratitude, in trying to handle it with grace. But most of all, when the concept of a physical “home” or where we’re going to rest our head at night is something that shifts back and forth, I’m reminded that our Savior comes with us every step of the way. He is not bound by location or time or urban or rural. Thank you, Lord, for Your omnipresence and how You gently lead us and go with us!
Can you relate to having more than one place to call “home?” Have you had seasons of shifting in different directions? If so, I’m sending you love! It can be a lot. But I’m praying you can remember that God goes with you every step of the way.