When Nicholas and I first married, we agreed to call the place where we were living “home.” Not only did this help us in the biblical injunction of “leaving and cleaving,” (leaving one’s family of origin as a new family is created) but it aided us emotionally. If someone asked me, a newcomer to the UK, when I was “going home,” I’d say, “I am home! But I have a trip to the States planned in…” The words we use can help us define our emotions – we sometimes have to educate our feelings.
Home is a lovely concept – I think of my parents’ home in Minnesota, which although isn’t my home any longer does feel like home, with its lack of clutter and ultra clean space to feel comfortable in while chatting to my family, or the screened-in porch in which to sit and watch the passing deer and wild turkeys (yes in the suburbs of St. Paul!). Or I think of the top floor of a house in Philadelphia where dear friends lived while studying at Westminster Theological Seminary, where I spent many a Thanksgiving. It was only two rooms – and the dishes were washed in the bathtub – but the rafters reverberated with refrains of songs and laughter. Or I remember the historic (for America) house I worked out of for many years and the lovely family who dwelled there, complete with my favorite black lab/golden retriever. On this side of the Atlantic, I picture the homes of dear friends and the meals shared around their tables.
I could continue in my list, but these places are personal and won’t evoke the feelings of home in you that they do in me. But a common theme of these places where I’ve felt at home lies in the people who make them homey – their welcome, love, grace, and open hearts. They who follow the Master Homemaker bring his kingdom to earth in the homes they create here.
Where do you find home?