I recently returned from a two-week vacation to Amelia Island in Florida. It’s such a beautiful place, and I always enjoy spending time there with my family.
There is one particular road on the island that I love to drive down. The road is lined with houses that have very unique styles of architecture. Many of them are massive homes, and while there are a few “smaller” ones, the homes along this road typically sell for $1-$4 million dollars.
What makes these homes so valuable? Their location. All of these homes are right along the beach. From their patio and pool decks you can hear and see the waves. Many of the homes have their own private boardwalk too.
While driving down this road, I imagine what it would be like to live in a million-dollar home on the beach. The initial thought sounds glamorous, but the thought of cleaning a massive house and paying the property taxes and utility bills does not sound glamorous.
Instead, maybe I could buy a tiny house on the beach…..yes, that sounds much better. I may not be able to move around much in the house, but at least I would have the beach as my backyard. Falling asleep listening to the waves crashing outside my window would be amazing. Life would be so peaceful….
At least that is how I imagine it in my mind. The reality is, I can’t even afford to buy an empty lot on this road. I would have to take out a large loan just to pay for the soil and grass.
It’s easy to imagine that we would be happier if we lived in a better house, a bigger house, or in a new location. No wonder millions of people watch shows every week on HGTV focused on home renovations and finding the “perfect” home. I watch those shows too.
Maybe some day I will live near the beach, and while I love visiting, I realized that right now, the Cincinnati area is the place I call home. It’s the place I feel at home. Why?
I can’t fall asleep listening to the sound of waves crashing, but I do fall asleep with a great sense of peace that this is exactly where God wants me to be.
I wake up with a sense that God has placed certain people around me for a reason. That this is the place where the pages of my story are meant to connect with others.
Have you considered that maybe God has placed you in a specific location because He knows exactly who needs to hear your story?
Have you considered that maybe God has placed you in a specific location because He knows someone else’s story could help and encourage you?
Think about who you frequently interact with in your neighborhood, at school, work, church, etc....Pray for them. Be intentional about investing in the lives of those God has placed around you. They are there for a reason. And so are you.
As much as I love the beach, the Cincinnati area is currently the place I feel most at home. It’s a place that I never envisioned living, but right now, I know it’s exactly where God wants me to be.
Barbara J Barnhill
7/16/2017 10:09:11 pm
Another beautiful and meaningful insight Julie. You touch so many people (as God has you do) through your caring ways, heartfelt thoughts and sharing of life's experiences. 💜💛💚
7/17/2017 10:45:40 am
Thanks for your kind words, Barb!
7/17/2017 07:35:17 am
This is a great reminder after spending time in Spain this summer. There are many things I miss about living there, but there are also many wonderful people here that I have met, and have yet to meet.
7/17/2017 10:42:23 am
Andrea, I'm so glad you were able to spend time this summer in Spain. It looks like a beautiful place (and a great opportunity to use those Spanish skills). :)
7/17/2017 08:02:46 am
I needed to hear this today. After spending last week relaxing and being responsible for less than I normally am, I've been caught up in the desire to escape. Thank you for your wise words!
7/17/2017 10:53:31 am
Chris, that's wonderful that you were able to experience some rest and relaxation."Escaping" for a little bit can refresh us and re-energize us for when we return to reality.
7/18/2017 09:54:25 pm
Great word of encouragement Julie! Such a wonderful reminder to keep our eyes and ears open to the Lord and available for those around us. Our lives are purpose-filled! Also, a friend once told me when we were discussing how we would change our houses . . . "the only perfect home we will ever have, is the one waiting for us in heaven."
7/18/2017 11:38:12 pm
Julie, I LOVE what your friend shared about the "perfect" home - I completely agree!
9/20/2017 12:19:11 pm
I often feel stuck in the city I live in, one labeled "the most dangerous city per capita" for many years. I am a country girl and would like to be anywhere else. I think about why I'm here a lot and hope I am being open enough to God's will for me here.
9/20/2017 08:02:03 pm
Living in the city would be a BIG adjustment for a country girl. I never envisioned living where I currently live, but looking back, I can now see why God led me here. I'll be praying that God reveals His purpose for you in your current city.
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I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.