When I was nine, I remember watching our new house surface from a plot of land. My brothers, especially Matt, loved the trucks, diggers, front loaders and whatever else was used to create a home from scratch. From one deep hole in the ground came this beautiful two story brick house that served my family well all through our years of growing up. Besides the shelter of our home, a huge backyard graced the property. Many games of baseball, football, badminton and more filled hot summer days and crisp Autumn afternoons.
But seeing a home built and knowing it’s identified as a place of shelter, is one small piece. I began to think about home. As I went through my own home building recently, my thoughts returned often to reimagining home. God joined me in this time of reflection as I explored different ideas of home.
I revisited the question of what is home again and again. Part of me will always be searching for the answer. I know that home means different things to different people. Home is so much more than a place. We carry a piece of home in our hearts and we identify a feeling of home when we spend time with loved ones. Reimagining home requires a time of opening our minds and hearts to listen and identify how others describe home. It also takes an acceptance of the many answers and the chance that over the years our idea of home changes as we change.
Home growing up looked like family and the celebrations that resulted with a family of seven. Feelings of safety, love and feeling valued filled my days. I didn’t question whether home would be there after school each day and knew the door was always open to visit once I left.
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What if the reimagining of home took you on a journey to discovering a place where you are always welcome? How can we embrace home when in a transition? What if your memories of home look nothing like mine? Do you still call it home? Is there one generic definition that fits everyone’s idea of home?
In the Bible, the idea of home takes on many meanings too. For the Shunammite woman, it is knowing she is at home with her people. For Naomi, it is traveling back to her people after her husband died with her daughter-in-law Ruth. The Israelites searched for years for the Promised Land, the place to call home but were distracted along the way. For many of us, it looks like reuniting with Jesus when He calls us home. 2 Corinthians 5 describes home like this:
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Home is many things and wrapping our brain around one idea is not enough. Reimagining home takes us on a journey of rediscovering ourselves. Over the next few weeks, I hope to dig deeper into my ideas of home. It will culminate with a guest post at my friend, Kate Motaung’s place. I would love for you to join me.
Also, will you take a minute to comment and share your ideas of home??
Photo by Ciprian Boiciuc on Unsplash
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I’ve been searching for home ever since I got divorced 12 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I have my own apartment. Maybe it’s not so much as home I’m searching for but longing and belonging. I don’t belong to anyone anymore. My parents have passed, my girls are grown and off doing their own thing. But as I age I find that as my relationship with God grows that I’m not alone, even if I am alone. I began thinking also that home is where your people are, and my best friend in Christ and her husband have warmly welcomed me as part of their family. I celebrate holidays with them, and craft weekly with my friend. I’m moved by your insights and encouragement within this message. Blessings.
Your words are very similar to my own as part of your life journey echoes mine. Thank you for sharing so openly about your own divorce and your desire for a sense of belonging. I know it well. I thank God that this post resonated with you. God is so good.
Thank you for these thoughts, Mary. I look forward to your posts of “reimagining home” and taking us “on a journey of rediscovering ourselves.” 🙂 In the deepest sense of the word, Jesus is “home” to me. Love and hugs!
Jesus is home to me too. But as I reflect on home here on earth I get stuck sometimes. It seems to be important for all of us that we have a place we call home. I pray this journey leads us to rediscovering ourselves.
There is such a spiritual element to being ‘home’ isn’t there? Even in a physical home, there is a feeling of home we want to experience, a connection and sense of belonging. Sometimes I felt this ‘home’ feeling while watching art in forms of music concerts and theatre. Maybe home is that sense that all is right in my world at that very moment and there is no where else I’d rather be. 🙂
Yes! Because there is this spiritual element I am finding it’s difficult to express what home is. We get our connection and belonging as children of God so it seems I need to focus on that.
I like how you described how you feel when watching a music or theater performance. It sounds like the experience is a form of worship which is why everything is right in your world. Your thoughts are causing me to go deeper and look at home a little differently. Thank you!
Hi Mary! I think my thoughts of home still lead me to my childhood one. Moving away from there, and then seeing my parents sell it was a big deal to me. I guess home was safety, inclusion, acceptance and comfort.
Now that my husband and I have been in our own home now for over thirty years, with both of my parents gone, it’s time to think of this place as home! I suppose it will difficult to move on to a smaller place someday, because of course, all those feelings I have with my childhood home come to roost here. I’m sure your move was tough. I hope you are looking forward to making new home memories.
My first thoughts of home also defer to my childhood home. Our perspective changes when our parents are gone. I love your description of home. The word inclusion is so encompassing. It makes me think of how good our God is to know that home on earth should include everyone.
The physical part of the move was very difficult but I can honestly say that my new place felt like home almost immediately.
Great thoughts to ponder, Mary! What home looks like for me has changed dramatically over the years. Yet, even in the past when it’s come close to that Norman Rockwell painting, I’ve always been aware deep in my soul that this world is not my home. Far from distressing, that knowledge brings a great peace and hope for when I enter the final stage of my journey and enter into eternity with Him. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and how fun that you’ll be sharing over at Kate’s!
I’ve never thought of my home being like a Norman Rockwell home but growing up I know others would have described it that way. Home is so much more than the physical place as well the contents inside. What I am learning is that home becomes home when God is at the center. Soon we will be rejoicing because we will be in our heavenly home.
Enjoyed your reflections here. To all of us home conguers up different feelings. I think I will always have a sort of home sickess…a feeling of not fully being where I’m meant to be until I reach my heavenly home.
Looking forward to your series.
I understand your feeling of homesickness. It’s one I feel more and more especially now that my parents are gone. But I also know that where we are as we journey to that heavenly home is most right when We invite God to be part of it with us.
I wish I could put my finger on exactly what I’m feeling. Trying to express this understanding of home is difficult and challenging all at the same time.
I’ve been thinking about home too, as I left my life-long home of California and moved to Arizona. Everything is new here, except the things that matter most. Home…is wherever the people I love are. Home…is wherever I am, because Christ is always with me. Home..is eternal.
As I am now 80 years old, the world, especially the USA is totally differently that what I grew up enjoying. I long for ALL homes every where to be safe & peaceful. We never locked our homes or cars; there was no such thing as abortions, etc. I am definitely looking forward to our Heavenly home.
You opened the proverbial can of worms. Home. I may have to write a blog post and will link this in the body of it.
Thanks Mary. After living in Cincinnati my entire life, and then moving to Georgia 6 mo. ago. The meaning of Home has weighed heavy on my mind.Location does not determine your home. Family, friends and neighbors surrounding the structure we call home, make the place a peaceful Home to reside in.
Mary, you’ve got my attention! I’ve been pondering home thoughts for quite some time now after having read Jen Pollock Michel’s Keeping Place. Seeing God as a Home-maker and Scripture as a “a home story” and that the truth of the gospel is best understood in terms of our yearning to belong, our struggle with homesickness, and the ache of all our longings — this has been a slow learning for me. I come back to gratitude. God, in His mercy, gave me the home that I did not even have the sense to pray for!
Love your thoughts! Did you review the book, Keeping Place? If so, I’ll have to check it out. I know part of my reflectiveness is due to the fact I just moved but another big part is the stage of life I am in. If we truly sense we are home on earth, I can agree that it has to do with belonging and being in a place where God is at the center. Together those two bring peace. Thank you for your comment. It is helping me as I compose my next post. Also, I’m reading the name of your last post and it is called, The Problem of Belonging. How’s that for timing?
As I continue settle into my new home, this post really resonates with me. Thanks friend!