on home-comings & house-warmings

We spent Saturday morning at an early T-Ball game.

Sunshine, green grass, happy breeze.

Jeff unfolds a tiny Little Mermaid chair next to the one he setup for me, right behind home plate.

Coco Mae, my six year old niece, with strands of blonde curls blowing in the wind and her constant cartwheeling, wanted to come to Oliver’s game. I hear from people who knew me as a young girl that she reminds them of me. I’ll take the compliment any day.

I’ve got on a light grey sweatshirt, my favorite jeans and tennis shoes.

Comfort is kind!

It’s my favorite type of weather; the kind for wearing shorts and a sweatshirt together. Coco has on a shirt that reads “mon amie”. My mom and I both took French in high school and college, and I imagine Coco will too one day. A few months ago she insisted on a wardrobe of only shirts with French words or “flip-sequins”. Laughs

Her nails are painted in three different shades.

“I love your nails".”

“My mom painted them for Easter.” she tells me.

We take turns passing baby Ivan back and forth and cheering for Oliver during the game.

On Instagram and in my last blog post I mentioned that I’m slowly reading through the book the Next Right Thing by Emily P Freeman. This Sunday I finish chapter 19, “Come Home to Yourself”.

Emily asks the question “What does it mean for you to come home to yourself?” and she describes what it might look like too;

I can say when you’re close, you’ll know it. It will sound soft and gentle. It will feel safe and settled. You won’t feel like you have something to prove. It will be kind and open and free.
— The Next Right Thing by Emily P Freeman

And sitting there on fold out chairs set up by Jeff for a Saturday morning t-ball game, watching my son swing and miss, swing and hit, then take off for third base instead of first base, with my niece by my side, I felt a sense of home.

After lunch and ice cream treats, we pull into our drive way. Our neighbor is at our front door holding an envelope. I can’t quite imagine what she is at our house for.

Well, turns out she was at our house for a house warming party. The envelope was a thank you note and a gift card. But she had the wrong neighbor! I guess her other neighbors are new to the neighborhood also, but she hadn’t seen their moving truck yet, so she assumed the invitation was from us. People who know me may laugh at this; because me throwing a house warming party is laughable. Maybe one day, in fact I hope one day! But anyways this whole ordeal allows us to finally introduce ourselves and meet.

Her name is Nazrin.

“Like Nazareth, where Jesus lived she tells me.”

Nazrin means wild rose. I looked it up later. Beautiful name.

She is also from Nazareth.

We eventually go back inside. Coco and Oliver gravitate toward the array of art supplies and colorful crayons in the middle of the kitchen table.

And while painting pictures, our doorbell rings. The new neighbors hosting the house warming party had talked to Nazrin about us and wanted to invite us too. Nazrin lives on the corner of the street, so we aren’t really on the same street as the other neighbors, but around the corner.

When I’m finished feeding Ivan his bottle, we decide to take Nazrin the rainbow paintings Oliver and Coco made for her, and then stop by the house warming party.

As we wait on her doorstep we hear her speaking an unfamiliar language, which I find out later is Farsi. She invites us in and we wait as she says goodbye on the phone to her son George. She also has two boys, though they are grown now.

“My two boys are everything.” she tells me.

As I take a seat on her couch I notice the sheet music to My Redeemer Lives spread across her piano.

We learn it was music that brought her oversees to Oklahoma. She majored in classical music, and though she plays the piano for her church each week, violin was her speciality. But she hasn’t picked it up “in over 20 years”.

And when I ask her if she might play us something on the piano she plays the song she is currently composing for her church Christmas production next year.

“It’s called Dancing in Nazareth.” And I am curious about the title, but I don’t ask.

The song is lovely. I wonder who she imagines dancing in Jesus’ childhood hometown of Nazareth and the cause for dancing.

Oliver finds a box of legos under her coffee table and starts pulling it out before I tell him “that’s not ours, let’s leave it under there.” The legos are for her five year old grandson, and we make future plans for Oliver and him to play together.

On Sunday we decide to stay home and watch church from the couch for the first time. Coffee in hand, Oliver playing legos, Maggie wagging her tail next to Jeff and the baby.

During the worship we turn the volume down so I can read a devotional to Oliver.

I pull out my favorite devotional (for kids or adults) Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones.

He turns to the first one, with an illustration of the solar system in motion.

It’s titled Dance with the scripture Job 38:7 quoted at the end. I just finished a study on the book of Job during lent, so it feels timely!

When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
— Job 38:7 NKJV

It’s about the beginning and God creating everything centered around him; the dance of life set in motion for Him and by Him and in Him.

And it makes me think of Nazrin’s song on the piano about dancing.