The fruit of belonging

We're nearing the two year mark since we moved to Austin in July 2014. This post has been floating around in my brain (well, technically, my heart, because I'll be forever be a feeler, rather than a thinker) for awhile. Everywhere we've lived, I've had moments where I've thought, Uh oh. This is it. Here is the proof that I don't belong here.  More often that not, this is rooted in the soil of insecurity. Specifically, on a run the other day, I kept thinking the words, you don't belong here, you don't belong here, you don't belong anywhere.

Nicholas' response: "We belong in Austin for now." He's got us here. This is key: He's got us. And He's got this [life] under control. Only God knows the detailed trajectory for the DeVries family. (Please note, I'm advocating for a existence of trust and assertiveness, not passiveness).

But this lack of belonging can come from being in a place where I don't feel particularly fruitful. And if I'm not bearing fruit, what's the use? Why not just relocate and replant, right?

Not every single season produces fruit. But there can be purpose and growth, without visible fruit.

I'm endeared to Austin, and we're not moving away right now. We're here for the time being, and sometimes that's hard. Because plants without deep roots are not likely to produce fruit, or at least not a bountiful harvest.

But I need to look closely for other evidence of growth—new leaves, buds, a slightly stronger trunk, one that's not so easily weathered by circumstances. And roots? Well, I think mine are deeper than I give them credit for.

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10 (ESV)

Digging deep into the place we call "home" allows us to be more generous and that leads others to give God thanksgiving.

While I can't anticipate the bounty of next year's harvest, or even what type of fruit it will be, I can be mindful of the best way to care for the new bits of growth that are happening right now.

Our culture praises wanderlust and touts the idea: You've outgrown ______, or if you don't move around a lot, you aren't really living. I'm arguing the contrary. It's worthwhile to stay in a place long enough to really live there. Already, if I turn my focus away from fruit in Austin, I can clearly see growth because of Austin.

In the grand scheme of things, regardless of whether we move 5 or 15 times, I think of this:

But will we have lived in the fullness of our salvation during our time on earth? Or will we have merely passed through, missing the joy of keeping company with God? [...] You are a person, a citizen of the kingdom of God. Live there, Kingdom child—live where there is always enough, where there is unending grace for you." Jennifer Dukes Lee

So, for right now, what can we do in our belonging in a place for now? Notice the little growth (and expect the bigger harvests too)! If you know and trust Jesus, you can trust in your citizenship of heaven. Know that He's got this life under control. And know that even if uprooting may be in the future at some point, putting down roots and flourishing is what He intends for us. With lots and lots of help from Jesus. for our good and growth, and for His glory.

Related posts

The worth of each day: Life lately, November 2021

Fall feels like a number of transitions, one right after the other. We are now bridging into late fall, with lots of frost in the mornings, first sightings of bare trees, and darker, cozier evenings at home. Of course, there is talk of Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon too, along with early preparations for those. I do tend to be swept by the momentum of this season, if I'm not careful. I'll admit that Christmas music accompanies us throughout the day sometimes, and I've already done most of our shopping, but I do want to be intentional to savor the almost-but-not-yet. To not wish away November and it's baring of trees in favor of the glow of Thanksgiving and Christmastime. There is great beauty and contentment in this month, as well. I don't want to miss it.

5 min read

Turning over autumn & Turning thirty-one

We've taken to a regular "cozy hike," as we've termed it. A nearly wooded path, my favorite spot for fall color, a wagon, an eager toddler, a cozy blanket, and snacks. I look for the bright red leaves, since those are a favorite for both of us. And we also look for acorns and pinecones, treasures on the ground.

5 min read

At the lake & on the deck : Summer edition

I'm typically in a rush to wish away the hot days of summer, to exchange them for cozy days, sweater season, cool mornings. I'm an optimist, and that optimism frequently couples itself with being future minded. Constantly looking forward with hope, but also sometimes looking forward with misplaced longing that can inhibit me from being present. But this past weekend, the events of both days were lovely, and being present felt easy and good.

5 min read