Photo for Thought: Home

I love all of the warm fuzzies that this photo gives me. All of the feels.

This photo is home to me.

That little floral box filled with all of my most precious mementos--the ones I felt were essential enough to carry in suitcase pockets across borders time and time again. A sprinkle of green and my dad’s favorite geode. Jane Austen next to children’s story books and collections of Abe Lincoln’s speeches.

And that furry, fluffy little pup. My adventure buddy and constant companion. The one who sees every high and low, who often bears the brunt of long days and exhaustion and frustration, and who is endlessly happy to see me and be near me in spite of me. The one who has taught me a whole lot about being selfless and a whole lot more about unconditional love.

I think the word home has taken on a lot of shapes and forms for me through the years. It’s meant something a little bit different in each season. I’ve found home and created home in a lot of very different places--so what I do know for sure is that home is not necessarily a location. Home is not always a little pin on the map. And if it is, then it can certainly be more than one little pin on the map.

Sure, home is where you come from. Where life began and where you put down roots and began to grow. Sometimes it’s where you stay for always. Where all of the people you love coexist and share Sunday meals for forever. Sometimes. Home is of course the place that you can always go back to. Maybe when you’ve lost a little bit of yourself and need to remember.

It seems in this day and age that the world has gotten a lot smaller and movement a lot more common. And that perhaps the definition of home that was once so simple has grown and expanded and evolved.

I’m not sure what home means for you, but I can tell you what home is for me.

Home is wherever Jesus leads because he always meets me there.
Home is wherever my sweet little puppy is.
Home is where I can set out my collection of tiny elephants.
Home is a table to put fresh flowers on.
Home is safety and security and a space where I can be me without reservation.
Home is a space that I can invite people into--a place that I can share.
Home is being surrounded by people that I love and who love me in return.
Home is a local coffee shop that I can’t live without and that I miss when I’m away.
Home is a feeling that I carry with me. That I can plant and watch grow wherever I land.

Home is something that I learned way back when in the place where I came from. Small town Ohio. From the people who raised me and taught me how to love. And so wherever I create home, even if it’s far from them, they are always a part of that word for me, because I wouldn’t know home without them.

I would say without a doubt that I’ve been at home in Boardman, Ohio and in Springfield, Missouri, and in Seattle, Washington, and in Guadalajara, Mexico. In each of those places have been my puppy and my tiny elephant collection and tables filled with fresh flowers and dinner parties, and so many people that have changed me for the better. I miss many things about each of those places and long for them all in different seasons. I could go back to every one and I could find little pieces of myself in each. And here’s what I know more than anything. Each of those places is so much more than just a little speck on the map to me. They have each been home to me at one time or another.

I for one am thankful that home is so much more than just a house or a speck on the map. That it’s a feeling--the warm and fuzzy kind--and a love that defines us and people that we can’t live without.

That home can be wherever Jesus asks us to put down roots.

Would love to see some photos of what home is to you in this season!!!

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