Sometimes you just need to go outside.

One thing I didn't know about Texas is that the wind howls around here, especially in the springtime. I suppose I'll be glad for it in the hot summertime and I'm grateful for it now, when the temperatures are already in the 80s most days. I know tonight I'm enjoying it.

I love houses in the north because there are always lots of south-facing windows and the sun pours in all day, every day. It's hard sometimes to live in a home where only one window gets sunlight throughout the day, the rest are shielded from the hot sun that's soon to come. But the nice thing about our house is that the through-breeze is spectacular. Open the french doors on one side of the house and the windows on the other side and it's a regular wind storm in our living room.

I love that.

I've been thinking today about how we build our lives, crafted for the life we choose, shaped to shield and shelter, provide and protect. I've been thinking about the many places I've made my home over the past ten or fifteen years and how each of these places has uniquely shaped the person I am today. Those places also offered me the unique tools for which the crafting needed.

It is easy sometimes, in this place where I am so happy to live, to compare to my past homes, to line up what each place offered me and how each place affected me and make Texas come out on top. I'm not blind to the fact that I have found much joy in Christ in this place and so it would be easy to assume that places where joy felt far off weren't as good. That isn't my intention. What I mean is that chiseling is painful and most times only brings about joy in the aftermath. I am aware I am abiding in the aftermath in some senses.

But I am also aware that God is the great builder and creator and He knows in what sort of house I need to live in each season of my life.

He has south facing windows for long, dark winters of my soul and open breezeways for springtime relief and fireplaces for times when I need to hunker down in and rest, front porches for when my life must be lived on the outside.

He knows the culture and the temperature and the design that will bring us nearer to Him and He is faithful to move us into places and times to accomplish His will.

This all may seen vague to you and perhaps it is to me as well. But I don't mean for it to be.

What I mean to say is that I am grateful, so deeply grateful, for the cultures and theologies and lessons and challenges that have come from every home I've had. I am grateful for them not because they are the continual, sustainable, and life-altering in every season, but because in some season, they were right what I was meant to be learning and just the tool to teach me.

A sculptor would be foolish to cease his masterpiece halfway through, and God is no different with us. He is unchangeable, but His shaping and shifting of us is changeable and His mercies are new. For this I am so grateful.