I must confess that my creative juices have been pretty drained recently as I’ve neared the next phase of our massive transition. I’m so ready to be settled! I long for the comfort of a routine and the community of friends we feel so far from.
In this time of waiting, I have done a lot of thinking about what it means to be home. It’s a loaded word. My home is not in Mississippi— not in the sense that it’s where I hail from or the place I intend to settle in long-term. But for now it is the home that God has for us, and after months of packing up bags and living in temporary dwelling spaces, anything that lasts longer than a few months sounds pretty permanent to me.
As I’ve dreamed about what our Mississippi home will be like I’ve poured over every detail. Building our next home has been a fun project— I’ve enjoyed pouring over colors at Sherwin Williams and considering light fixtures at Home Depot. In all likelihood, when we finally do move I will be unpacking like a deranged Martha Stewart, slapping up wall art as though my very life depends on it. I know where I want my travel photos to hang and how I want our couch positioned in the living room, I know where I’ll stash the coffee mugs and the precise order I’ll hang my clothes in.
All of this dreaming and planning has inevitably brought up the question of why this home matters so much. I grew up in relatively simple surroundings; no one in my circle had elaborate Pinterest-type projects. What is it that gets my heart so revved up about creating my dwelling space?
The word “refuge” continuously resonates within me. I happen to love color and texture and incorporating memory-laden objects into our living space. I enjoy the creative process of piecing together a comforting haven. But at the end of the day, things are not what make up a home. Nor is it in the precisely chosen shade of pale blue you painted the walls, or the refurbished table you salvaged, or the antique heirloom you inherited. “Home” resides in the sense of peace and rest that we so often search for. It’s that sigh of relief as you return to your family after a hard day and know that here, you are loved.
I’ve experienced that sense of home in the most barren of houses, with limited access to water and electricity. I also experienced that sense of home in many of the simpler, more practical spaces I grew up among. And again in the homes of friends, which are so often colored by their unique sense of beauty.
As I enjoy the process of making our house a home, it is helpful to keep in perspective what exactly I’m trying to capture— that sense that this is a place of refuge for my family and a springboard for hospitality.