Creating Home

 

 

Nomad: A member of a people who have no permanent home but move about according to the seasons.

 

That is how I feel right now. Like a nomad. Which is actually ridiculous because I have not one but two homes I’m “living in” currently {and three if you count the amount of junk I’ve managed to leave behind and “store” at my parents house. One of these days they will probably dump it all in my front yard… or have a big garage sale. Who can say}.

 

 

I’ve realized throughout this moving process, and several moving processes before, that I find a lot of security both in the place and in the concept of home.

 

 

I find attachment, safety and comfort in a place surrounded by familiar things that I can call my own. And I don’t necessarily mean home-ownership, because that’s brand new to me. Just some place that feels like mine.

 

 

One summer when I was in college I had to “live out of my car” for two weeks. I had stayed on campus visiting friends, but had to be moved out of my apartment. You would’ve thought I was actually homeless with how I handled it. I cried. A lot. I felt lost. It was over the top.

 

 

And don’t get me wrong. I am ALL for traveling and adventure. Back in college I also spent about a month in Italy studying art, traveling the entire country, seeing every piece of art I could find and eating all the Italian food I could afford. It was one of the most exciting months of my life and I would do it over again in a heartbeat. I love going new places, seeing new things, meeting new people, trying new foods….and then coming back home. Coming back to what I know and where I feel a sense of belonging.

 

 

 

 

 

And that sense of belonging is more than just four walls and furnishings. It’s about the environment and the atmosphere of what’s inside. The stress levels in my own life are high when home is chaotic, which is why the transition of moving and transient living are challenging for me.

 

 

 

Overall, I think you learn to be comfortable in the level of chaos {or lack thereof} that you’ve grown up in. If you were surrounded by arguing or unrest, constantly moving or in transition, then that sort of thing feels “normal.” I would call the house I grew up in peaceful. Not easy, or perfect. Not free from conflict or discipline. Just…peaceful. Pancakes on Saturday mornings and yard work when the weather was nice. Cozy winter nights inside and long, late summer nights outside.

 

 

Guests were welcome for an evening or for a season. We always had someone else living in our house. It was normal to share the breakfast table with a family of 3 waiting for their house to be finished, or a college student who needed housing for a semester. We took in the troubled and waiting, the weary and the nomads.

 

 

We gave those who didn’t have a home or a peaceful place just that, even if only for a few a short time.

 

 

 

Because home is more than a mailbox and hanging baskets on the front porch. It’s more than decorations and furniture. It’s not just about square footage and resale value.

Home is the place where your soul can be at rest. Home is where you feel safe and free to simply exist without pressure or smothering expectations.

 

 

Home should be a place that you want to be and others don’t want to leave.

 

 

 

I want our home to be that kind of place not only for us but for our friends, family, neighbors and anyone who enters. I want them to walk in a feel the freedom to just be. I want them to come hungry and leave satisfied. I want to continue to operate under my parent’s motto that all of our stuff is really God’s stuff anyways, and that we can serve those around us with whatever blessings we have.

 

 

 
During the moving and decorating process of our new house we have had countless arguments over the smallest things. Where to put the lamps. How to unpack the kitchen. Adam wants to do one room at a time; I want to do a little bit in every room every day. I keep arranging and re-arranging things because I want it to look just so {“if we move this bed ONE MORE TIME I’m just going to move it right out to the curb!”}. I cut my ankle on our quick-shutting screen door yesterday, collapsed on the floor sobbing, and demanded Adam “rip it off” {he did take the spring off, but God bless him for putting up with my insanity}.

 

Harmony does not come naturally when the stress is high and the project list is long, but I realized that if we want a restful, joy-filled home, we have to work at it. Daily. Continuously. When we’re tired and burnt out and having nothing nice to say is when how we respond matters most. “Sanctification under a roof”, my sweet friend says about home ownership.

 

 

 

 

Home is not just where you live, but the space and environment you create for yourself. Inviting peace is a feeling that’s cultivated, not purchased on a trip to Hobby Lobby or Home Depot, {although I do believe happiness can be purchased on Etsy}.

 

 

I want to steward this house well, as the precious and undeserved gift that it is.

 

 

May we continue to work hard to maintain what doesn’t come easily–not just in the aesthetics and functions, but in the feeling that comes when you walk into the house we are continually striving to make a home.

 

 

 

 

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