There’s No Place Like Home

“So where are y’all from?”asked the cute teenager standing behind the counter at the Homebaked Ham in Jackon, TN. It was a simple enough question and yet K and I stood there looking at each other as if we were new members of the Witness Protection Program who were desperately afraid we were getting ready to blow our cover. 

“We’re kind of between ‘froms’ right now,” I said, almost sheepishly. I wondered how she knew we weren’t from there. Have we been homeless so long that we don’t look like we belong anywhere anymore?

A similar situation happened while we were visiting K’s mom in Kentucky. After church, I told the little Snoodles that as soon as we got home everyone needed to to change into some play clothes.

Princess Diva looked confused. “Home? Which home?”

When it came time to fill out forms to have our mail delivery stopped in Massachusetts, I realized that we didn’t have a forwarding address. The post office frowns on using your minivan’s license plate as your new address.We used my parent’s address instead. Their house will be our “home” for a few more days.

“I know you’ll be so glad to get back home!” That’s what so many people have told us for the past few weeks. In a very true sense of the word, this is a homecoming of sorts. My mom and dad and brother are here. I’ve spent more of my life here than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. So I’m from Louisiana, right? Well, South Carolina was my home for the first fifteen years of my life. I’ve made my home in other states along the way and each place made its own special home in my heart.

Next week the Snoodles will have another new address. I’ve never been able to pinpoint the exact moment that a house becomes our home. Next week all of our familiar stuff will be unpacked into an unfamiliar space. Somewhere along the way, the two will merge to become our home. Every time we move I tell myself that I’m going to watch very carefully to see just when that marriage happens.

Is it after the first night in our new bedrooms?

Is it after the first spill?

Is it once the pictures are hung on the walls? That can’t be it because I rarely get all the stuff hung before it’s take to take everything down and pack it away for the next move.

Does it happen the first time we have company to visit?

Do holidays make a place feel more like home?

We hadn’t lived in Massachusetts for a long time when we took a trip to D.C. for a couple of weeks. When our trip was finished, I realized on the drive back to Waltham that I was looking forward to being home. Maybe you have to leave a place for a time to realize where your home is.

Maybe we carry home with us in our hearts. Maybe it’s partly place and mostly people. I know that I’ve said that my home is wherever my family is, but I also know that there have been times when I’ve been surrounded by the people I love most in the world and still felt…..dare I say it?….homesick.

I think God wired us to carry a little bit of that homesick feeling tucked deep into our hearts. Sometimes it’s closer to the surface and other times we barely know it’s there, but I don’t think He ever meant for us to ever truly be completely at home here on this earth.

I’ve been thinking about the last chapter of The Last Battle, the final book in The Chronicles of Narnia series. The children realize that the wonderful Narnia that they love so much is only a foretaste of the true Narnia that Aslan has prepared for them. I, too, am realizing that this world is not my home. I am learning to be, as the lesser-known last part of the Serenity Prayer says, “reasonably happy in this life,” knowing I will be “supremely happy with Him forever in the next.”

Until we get to the final Narnia, I’ll endeavor to make each place we live as much like home as I possibly can. How about you? What makes where you are “home” for you? If you’ve ever moved, when did you new place become “home”? Do you do anything special to make your house a home?

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “There’s No Place Like Home

  1. I’ve struggled so much the last few years with the concept of home. I feel like I don’t totally have one here on earth right now, at least I don’t have the feeling of home I so strongly desire. We live in a town we will never love, but that our children consider home. Our baby knows nowhere else. It’s a strange thing to feel so out of place for so long.

    I hope you feel at home quickly in your new town and house. Hang those pictures quickly. I think it helps a little.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I’m currently in that inbetween “home” feeling as well. You are a natural story teller!

  3. I have missed you! So glad that you are back at home here on your little corner of the blogsphere.

    And of course, so grateful you will be setting up and settling in your new home.

    To me home is where my little family of four can be together. Where I can break bread, and relax, and create a soft place to land for those who want to be there!

  4. carpoolqueen

    Home is where I lay my heart. It’s physical location changes frequently. Sometimes it’s where I am. Other times it’s where you are.

  5. carpoolqueen

    And it should be “its”, not “It’s”, because I know that annoys you.

  6. Rebecca Marchbanks

    We had moved 14 times by the time I was 14 years old… My dad was military and shipped out fairly often, especially during Desert Storm, so as a child home was wherever my mom was. Moving to a new place was always an adventure.

    Isn’t it funny how now that she’s with Jesus my true home is still where she is? It makes this adventure of life so much more bearable.

  7. I thought of you while in Boston. We ate at Crabby Joes( I think). Very moving and grooving city. I’m glad that I was not driving! We caused a couple traffic jams with our small town girls in the big city driving 😉

  8. *big, deep sigh* yes, we should all be homesick for Heaven…

    I’ve only made one big move in all my life- when I was 14. It’s one of those terrifying longings I have- to move and start over some day. I can’t wait for and dread the day God says, “Go”

  9. Bari

    Here in Augusta, GA at the House home, it is wherever us four are. But I can tell you that a “house” does not become yours until you leave it. When we tell people where we live, they inevitably say “Oh the Griffis’s house.” We just give up and say yes. We have been in this house 20 years! I wonder if and when we move will people then say to the new owners, “Oh you mean the House’s house!” Hmmmm…..

  10. this was such a beautiful post! thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!

  11. One of your best posts ever and one I have given thought to many times (as a coach’s wife for so many years, we moved often)!

    Still don’t know the answer, but think it has more to do with people than place….

    I know a lot of people that are glad you are HOME!

  12. First of all, welcome back to your home in blogland. We’ve missed you. Secondly, I’m SO glad we were able to meet in the midst of your move.

    About the home:
    I think it is like other major moments in life that just happen without you realizing it. You know, like the last time you rock your baby to sleep. You don’t know it is THE last time until you look back.
    It’s an unintentional moment.

    Here’s hoping that your house becomes your home very soon. Don’t forget, home is where your heart is 🙂 and if you have a hat, you can hang it there too!

  13. Lydia Stevenson

    We have the same problem!! Imagine when we finally say well we live in Poland. We do get to tell our story alot which leads into great conversation. Tonight we lay our heads in West Virginia, tomorrow we will be back to our temporary “home” for 6 months in Arkansas, but all of our worldly good except a few pieces of luggage are back in Poland. I do feel like home is where our family lays their heads at night together. Praying for a great transition for you guys. I understand!!!

  14. Cindy Moses

    It does get confusing.
    We moved several times when I was young. My mom always packed the kitchen last so that it was unloaded first. She would be busy getting the new kitchen in order so that we could at least sit down and eat. However, she said that she never felt moved in until the pictures were on the walls. 🙂 Have fun hangin’ your hat at home…where ever it is!

  15. Good to have you back on the blogosphere…but even better to have you back in the south. If it takes company to make it home, get ready…I’ll come help make it happen. I really want to come spend a Saturday with you soon! I won’t let this opportunity pass me by!

  16. In a little less than two weeks, Tim and I will have been married 19 years, we have moved 20 times and lived in 10 states. I know how it feels to be “in between”. We are still currently in that mode with “home” being in Alabama while we live in Texas but we are making the transition quickly. I don’t know when the change will happen but I am watching out for it.

  17. The first big move I made as an adult was to WA. Looking back over the 8.5 yrs we’ve been here, I’d say my heart still has a huge hunk of “home” in CO, but getting the kids registered for preschool & kindergarten, & taking my first Jazsercize class (mostly to meet folks) made me feel a bit more settled.

    Blessings on your move, friend.

  18. Oh, Whimz.

    I’m so happy for you. Because I know your heart is smiling. To be back “home.”

    I think what makes a house a home are the people that are in it. And you have got that covered.

    Welcome home.

  19. You just have a precious heart. This post was beautifully written!! And. . . I’m just going to put a big loud “Amen” on it!!

    Back to your question though. . . I think since we’ve moved into our new home. . . the day I saw red ink spilled on the freshly clean carpet . . . and no matter how many chemicals I put on it or how much I scrubbed . . . It is there . . . to stay . . . permanently. . . I said to Jon, while scrubbing the stain, “Well, we’ve officially moved in.” I agree with Amber . . . your home is made up of the people who grace its walls.

  20. I have never been to your blog…I don’t even remember how I got here.

    But, this post hit home….or should I say what home?
    I don’t know when a “place” becomes a home. I think it’s when you can just sit in the backyard not feeling like you need to go do something to keep your mind off how “lonely” you are…how you miss everyone.

    I am waiting for that~
    sandy toe

  21. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to see Journey! hehe. They were really good and I would have taken pictures but since the signs threatened removal from the venue if you had a camera I left mine in the car. Of course everyone everywhere had them and they barely checked my purse so I could have gotten in with it! I was alive in 1987, I was 2 🙂 But I still love Journey! hehe. I wish they would have played more of their classic songs though. Oh & their new singer I thought he was in his 20’s, he is 41 & runs around the stage like he is 25! It was crazy!

  22. Deb

    Maybe my name should be Dorothy.

    Because there’s no place that I would rather be than at home.

    I love to clean, decorate, and organize.

    And then enjoy.

    I hope that your new house feels like home to you real soon.

    Maybe sittin’ on the front porch sippin’ sweet tea will help.

  23. Sandy M.

    It is SO good to see you back blogging again – you have been missed! I’m praying that your new surroundings will feel like home for you quickly. Home means different things to different people, but I’m so thankful that for us, home is having family nearby & for having brothers & sisters in Christ who are family. Sharing their joys & sorrows, & intertwining our lives with those who love Christ anchors us while we are this earth. Longing for our heavenly home tempers whatever happens while we are on “temporary assignment” here on earth. I hope your new earthly home is filled with love & laughter & God’s mighty blessings!

  24. whimz – I’m catching up after being away during our big move. I’ve always said to hubby, “Home is where the stuff is.” It seems like a place feels like ours when I look around and see all our “treasures” along the walls. It’s just so good to sleep in ‘my’ bed and snack on ‘my’ snacks.

    Oh, and for some reason, your post has me singing Beulah Land in my head. Only it’s not my voice, but that rich bass voice of my former music minister. *love*
    I’m kind of homesick for a country
    To which I’ve never been before.
    No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
    for time won’t matter anymore.

    Beulah Land, I’m longing for you
    and some day on thee I’ll stand.
    There my home shall be eternal.
    Beulah Land — Sweet Beulah Land

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