5 Ways to Make a Short-term Stay Feel like HOME

adventure, children, Christian, Christian womanhood, Christian women, family, home, lifestyle, Motherhood, serendipity, traditions, Travel, Travel Home

While a lot of the world has been in quarantine, our family has been in the process of moving. We’re dragging a little, but we’re grateful. Our house sold, and we have friends who are willing to take on our loud and needy crew in the midst of a pandemic. As Motel sings in Fiddler on the Roof, “Miracle of miracles!”

Allegedly we’re on our way to live in the gorgeous Cotswolds of England for a few years. It feels a little fake, but I know once my feet hit the airport floor, babies and backpacks abounding, I’ll get that rush of excitement and work to own the whole thing. 

But for now it’s setting boundaries for the toddler plopped into a new, not-ours environment while subsequently saying no to the majority of her favorite things: the playground, playdates, play places. Say goodbye to all the play! Just kidding–now we find fallen branches for her to climb, and we enjoy running through the sprinkler. One of the most surprising challenges of the quarantine has been the heaviness of being unable to give my daughter her favorite things. Clearly this is a very small hardship, but a mama’s heart still feels the sting. A few things in particular have helped us adjust, and I thought I’d share.

Temporary Home(y)

1.Essential oil diffuser/candles—Familiar and inviting smells can help a place feel more like home. An essential oil diffuser is safer than candles when you have tiny ones in someone else’s home, ha! We also use a battery-operated flicker candle for nice ambiance without the aforementioned danger. Right now I’m enjoying uplifting citrus scents like lemon, grapefruit, and sweet orange in a clay diffuser that doesn’t need power.

2.Routine—We do not follow a strict schedule, but we generally have a daily pattern that includes naps and quiet times for the littles (and us, when we don’t need to work!), exercise, outdoor play, listening to familiar music, reading time, etc. This helps with a sense of normalcy for all of us. When there are new rules for children to learn in a new location, it’s nice to have a routine that helps them relax, since they know what is coming throughout the day.

3. Enjoy what is different about the new location—for us: sidewalks. Our last house was on a very busy road, so it’s nice to just walk out the door to sidewalks and take the kids for a stroll, waving at our temporary neighbors and looking for puppies, ducks, and birds. Our daughter’s beloved Daniel Tiger says about trips, “Find what’s different and what’s the same.” Here I am taking advice from a toddler show, but this is my life now, and that is a-okay. 

4. Family traditions—Since the dawn of our little family, that has meant DONUTS, sometimes weekly and sometimes monthly. They might be fancy local donuts from a Charleston shop or 50 cent donuts from Walmart, but we eat these delectable carbohydrates with strong americanos and eNjOy!

5. Chill When You Can–Let me be clear, while I love writing about exciting trips and thoughtful things of life, my adventure-loving self is now a mother of two very dependent tiny people, and I’m daily jonesing for some veg time.

The Big Picture

A short-term stay reminds me, a tired woman feeling a bit displaced, that all of my homes here on this earth are indeed temporary. I’m a sojourner, holding on to the hem of the Prince of Peace, like the woman with the issue of blood. I’m holding on to Him. What a relief to know He’s already holding on to me (John 10:28).

Explain the name…

Kingdom of God, serendipity

I was tempted to name my new blog something cool, like, you know, perhaps a Greek phrase, rich with meaning and an ancient, exotic sound to it, or maybe some hip, artsy name, sure to make me look awesome. And of course there were several names I couldn’t pick, simply because Blogspot is just so very popular. But then I realized, that was just stupid, because A. I didn’t ever take a single Greek class in college, and B. why must I try to appear artsy? That is dumb. But without further jabber, here is the explanation:

noun::warrior
adjective::serendipitous

My heart is full of dreams, but mostly, I want to be a warrior for the Kingdom of God…sword in hand, taking on the enemy. This life is a battle. A real one. As a Christian, the only way to live is in recognition of this. Yes, I might get grimy, and I might fall before the enemy, but not for long, I pray. 

Alongside this great desire to be a contender in the fight of all ages, I want to notice the little beauties, the unexpected surprises and wonders. May I see the serendipitous blessings in life, take notice, and allow it to make me a better warrior.

Friends, I am not proud of me as a warrior. The wickedness in my heart is disgusting. But I will most certainly boast in my King. In my mind I envision storming the fields, on the front lines, my sword raised and blonde braid banging on my chain mail…but I’ll be the water girl, if He wants.

This blog might include movie reviews, poems about flowers, or rants about booty shorts, but either way, I hope that it’s edifying. May it be an encouragement for you to begin, continue, and finish the fight. I want to be honest and share the beauty of life, as well as address the battle at hand.  Will you join me?

Keep the faith,
Audrey Ann