Thursday, 9 April 2015

Noticed anything different around here?

No? (Susannah noticed! Yeah!)  Look up to the top of this page.
Yep, a tiny unofficial change in wording on this blog. The Bartletts (at home) abroad. "At home" has been rather awkwardly slotted in there.

I've been thinking for a while about the name of this blog. You see, as soon as we arrived, I couldn't wait to start writing about our experience while it was still fresh. I was longing for this space. I needed a name in a hurry. "The Bartletts abroad" was about the only name that came up before I clicked "create".

And yet, after nearly two years of living here, I've felt like the name of this blog just doesn't really fit anymore. I don't always feel like we're 'abroad', in a foreign country - day to day life is pretty normal, actually. I mean, sure, it's still sometimes foreign to us, but this is our home right now, and it's not altogether foreign anymore. It's not our heimat, but for now it's most certainly our home.

In Jeremiah, speaking to the Israelites in exile, God says:
"Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." 

Our situation here in Germany is probably not as drastic as that of Israel, but I find these words interesting to our position. We're in a country not our own, but, placed here by God for a certain time, we're asked to settle down and contribute to the city we're in. We're trusting that God wants us to be right here, and so we're sinking roots and forming friendships where we are. One can't do that and not consider a place to be home, at least temporarily. 

I don't know what the Lord has planned for us, He sees the desires of my and Malcolm's hearts, and softens our hearts to align with His. We don't know how long we'll still be in Germany, but I don't want to spend the rest of our time here identifying myself solely as a foreigner - our lives here are no longer defined by the fact that we didn't grow up here. We swing backwards and forwards between identifying ourselves as being foreigners abroad in a strange country, and feeling like we've integrated quite well. 

It's awkward to express, and it's an awkward feeling. I'd say that this blog shows this shifting back and forth quite clearly, and this awkward new title suits this awkward phase of life documented in this blog quite well. 


  1. I think the title is perfect! It really helps convey that you aren't on an extended trip, but you're really living out your lives where you are now. The saying is so cliche, but home really is where your heart lies. :)

  2. I love your refresh and I think your new name fits perfectly