Creating a Place to Call Home

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The concept and the idea of home, a place to call home and the work of creating a home, is something that I’ve found myself mulling over recently after buying our first home, settling in over the past few months, and dreaming with my husband about our future we will create here.

We all grew up in homes, some well grounded and safe, while others weren’t the haven we wished for, but each had their own way of growing and shaping up, preparing us to go out a create lives and homes of our own someday.

Our own parents still live in the same houses we grew up in.  We have sweet memories of eating watermelon on the back deck in the summer time, Christmas mornings around the tree still in PJ’s and camping in tents we set up in the backyard.

How special it is to have a place we can call and remember as home.  But how sacred is the work we have been given to create a home of our own.  

The place we’ve called home has changed quite a bit over the three years we’ve been married.  We started out in an 800sq. ft. duplex where everything about the place was tiny.  The kitchen was so tiny that is was quite the dance to be in there at the same time.  The closets were tiny, especially the one out washer and dryer were crammed into.  Everything about it was small but it was cozy and the perfect place to start out, the perfect place to call ‘home’ for that season.

In was in that place we called home that we experienced the pure bliss of being newly weds, that we tasted our first conflict in marriage where you go to bed next to one another but still don’t see eye to eye and realizing that’s ok.

We found that home, while a physical and geographical location, is so much more.

We called China home for a season.  That place we called home was one where we brought with us a suitcase full of scrubs, a lot of fear, unknowns, and hearts that would be wrecked in ways we could never have imagined.  Our home in that season was a bit wild and adventuresome, yet unstable and scary as we navigated together and continued to create our home.  It was a home that we felt afraid in, aware of our inadequacies, scared of not being enough for the other, and ultimately deciding that we were going to continue creating our home together, even on the most unpromising days.

And here we are, in another season and another location, still creating this place we will call home.

We have a place with space to grow.  It’s old, some of the ceilings sag just a bit and doorknobs get stuck but this little yellow cottage, as I like to call it, has a charm of its own.

Some days when I sweeping the hardwoods I think about the little feet that I hope someday will pitter patter across and the tiny sticky finger prints that the white crown molding will be painted with and I stop for a moment and pray for this home we are creating.

This home I pray will be a safe place for our little ones where they will be known and loved, where their daddy will push them on the tire swing out back, where they will run barefooted across the grass up the back porch stairs into the kitchen, where I’ll be pulling out a pan of steaming cookies that will fall apart in the little palms of their hands and melt when it hits their little tongues.

This home I pray will be a place where they will know the embrace of their daddy’s strong arms, where their tears can be wiped and hearts comforted as their lay their heads on his chest after scraping their knee or smashing their finger in a drawer.  I pray that this place is a home where they know that they are so loved, so dearly loved not because of anything they have done or could ever possible do, just loved simply because they are ours.

A place to call home is special but creating a home is sacred work I am finding. 

As we’ve begun the work of creating our home it feels much like physically building a home would feel I imagine.

We are choosing the words and tones we want to be spoken and heard in our home much the same way we would choose the colors of wall paint.

We’re choosing the virtues we want our home to be built upon, truth, integrity, compassion and grace, much the same way we would choose the materials to ensure a sturdy foundation.

We are choosing to where and to whom we will run in times of trouble, much the same way we would designate an area of the house to seek shelter in during a storm.

I don’t know how many years we will live on this street and at this address.  I don’t know when the other rooms of this house will be filled with toys, tiny socks and crayons scattered across the floor.  But I know and feel the sacredness of the work we are doing in the season of creating a place to call home.