Wednesday, January 05, 2011


This word has so many different connotations for me right now.

Last night we got home from our trip to Oregon.  I hesitate to call it a vacation because we were so crazy it was not relaxing.  But it was good to be with family.  Being there is another home.  Where Brian partially grew up and my home state as well.

While there we went to a wedding and a memorial service.  One couple starting a new life and home together.  One Grandma going home forever.

I have a home where my parents live.  He has another home in Saudi Arabia.

We were on our way home when my dad called to tell me that my Grandma is not doing well.  I went to see her this morning, she was sleeping.  She's 94 and it's fairly certain she'll be going home soon.  ETA: My dad just called to say she passed away at 2:30am.  Just about the time I was going to bed.  I'm glad I had the chance to see her one more time even if she didn't know I was there.

Where is home and what exactly is it?  It's where you live and where your stuff is.  But that can feel not like home if your people aren't there.  Yet being away with family isn't home because most times at least I find I have way less responsibilities there; which isn't reality. (case in point, doing all the bills tonight)

Maybe this is what it means when we talk about being caught between two worlds.  Never have I seen more clearly that this world is not our home.  We try as hard as we can to make things comfortable and familiar and we (at least I) hate it when things are up-heaved.  But maybe we have become too focused on the present and current when really it's just a passing wind in the span of eternity.

If home is where your heart is then I hope mine is in the right place.


  1. This has always been confusing to me, especially since I haven't married so don't have my own family. They say that third-culture kids don't associate home with a place but with people. Example: a 3rd-culture college-age kid is asked where home is. He answers, "Egypt." He's never been to Egypt, but his parents just moved there.

    I have no idea what to answer when people ask me where home is. Is it the Philippines where I grew up, but none of my friends live anymore, and only my brother lives? Is it Newberg where half my family lives, but I don't like Newberg and have only lived there off and on maybe 10 years? Is it anywhere else I've lived (South Africa, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Congo), or is it where I'm living right at this moment. I still don't know. Sometimes when I'm staying at a hotel, I'll say that I'm going "home" (to the hotel). How weird is that? I do think that if I had my own family, it would be wherever they are.

  2. Huh. I think that's an interesting insight - that home is associated with people. That really makes sense. Because I could be happy and content wherever my favorite people are. And when they aren't here, I feel like I belong wherever they are.

    Intriguing thoughts today! Glad you made it back safely.

  3. Wow, that's so interesting, Krista! You know, Allison and I had a very similar kind of conversation with our dear friends who live in the UAE right now, just a few months ago.

    I've lived in many different places in the US and have dealt with the same struggle in the past. But of all the places I've lived, Nebraska unquestionably feels the most like home. That's why I say I'm from there, even though I didn't move there until I was 17. I have a blog entry about this, entitled Nebraska. [Also, this is one reason why I adamantly oppose being labeled a Texan, even though I lived there for a long time and still retain some Texan culture. Hence my reaction over Christmas...]

    But deeper still, as Christians we are citizens of heaven, and I think God means for us to think more and more of Jesus as home. This is what we were talking about with our friends. Truthfully, I think Allison understands this better than I do; I still think of myself as American. But she is free from that, so she gets it much more than I do, the yearning for home in the physical presence of God. It's really cool.

    We were talking about it because I think our friends Sam and Shannon are starting to understand the same thing in a much deeper way as well. I actually feel a little jealous of all of them! But I suppose God will teach me in His time...

  4. Hi my friend, I am just now reading this and wishing I had read it earlier in the day so I could have given you a hug and told you I am so sorry about your Grandma. I am thankful for you that you were able to go see her.

    Thinking of you and your family. May grace, peace and His love cover you in this sad time. Love to you all, Lindsay

  5. Allison8:39 AM

    I resonate with a lot of what LuAnne and Joel say. Home has been a difficult concept for me and I've spent a lot of my life yearning for more roots. (I feel really lucky that my parents' house and town does feel so much life home to me; this feels incredibly grounding.) I definitely define home more in terms of people than places, but yet the people I love are mostly very far away, scattered around the world, and I don't picture ever living with the same group of friends for very long.

    I do really believe that we are supposed to detach from places and people here and attach to heaven. The Gospels are full of this idea: storing up our treasure in Heaven, leaving family and giving up earthly possessions and security for the sake of going where the Gospel takes us. Jesus, after all, also gave up family and home.

    I don't understand why we don't talk more about Heaven- our real home- in the modern church. Maybe because we are too stupefied and satisfied by things on earth, which is stupid, because we shouldn't be satisfied here at all. We are both way too addicted to our own comfort and way too easily satisfied. CS Lewis is great on this point - if you've never read The Weight of Glory, take 20 minutes to Google it and read it. (You can find the whole thing online.) Here's a quote I love (much abbreviated):

    "In speaking of this desire for our own faroff country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am
    trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the
    mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot
    tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our
    experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name... These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers.
    For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited... You and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which
    has been laid upon us..."

    Rich Mullins also has so many great thoughts on Heaven woven into his songs, the one I often think of is "if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home".

    In a nutshell I think we are made to long for home, but that home isn't here.


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