home is tricky… being home… getting home… missing home… waiting to leave home… all of it is complicated. I remember going to camp when I was in middle school… I wasn’t homesick in the least bit… I believe I even wrote a postcard home asking if I could stay an extra week! I loved sleeping in a room full of girls with all the activity and commotion. The thought of every day being filled with fun activities and counselors playing with us along the way. Who wouldn’t want to live at camp… make camp home! I sure was in!

But even at the end of the week was glad to return to my dog, bed, family and friends. I could have just as much fun on my backyard swing. the sound of cards in the spokes of my tires on my bike was a sweet melody that welcomed my return and the church library record player spinning “The Locomotion” while I played in the sprinkler near the clothes line in my backyard was the cherry on top of a homecoming return.

I loved being on the go, my mom told folks.. the truth was I made every where home.. and everyone family. That was the trick to being home while you were gone. Friends were family… family were friends… new places were familiar places… home places, new places. Tricky to do beyond 10 years old!

I forget that I love the everyday home stuff… washing clothes.. dishes… clutter… chickens… dogs.. water frogs… cooking meals … cleaning up after meals.. huddled on the couch like puppies watching movies… putting away all the blankets and pillows after the movies over… the routine of sameness as well as change…. home is both.. that which is safe and familiar… and that which adapts to what the day brings… home has to be both. What once was an infant room in boys room now has Nerf basketball goals hanging in both… the Wright brother’s poster replaces Winnie the Pooh and his friends picture… and a British and USA flags hang in the place where airplanes used to hang from their ceilings… home changes…because we change… but there is something constant… the love.

Recently Ron talked to a senior about going to college and the anticipation as well as a little worry… College kids working at Lake Junaluska as counselors this summer and I laughed that while one of them was gone to college, a mom had turned his room into an office… then he had to move back in and had to scramble to re-convert it… His mom was like.. well you said, I’m outta here! So honey, we believed you! Ugh! Home…
One time my older sister came home from college to her room being taking over by her 10 year old little sister (me) and GI Joe and Barbie dolls invasion… I loved GI Joe way better than Ken… no offense Ken… just a taste thing! And he looked really cool driving that Barbie Jeep my cousins gave me! The thing we count on for home to be doesn’t always stay true. Time does not stand still … neither does home… even if we want it to in our mind.

When I was writing the book “On the Way to Somewhere,” I talked to Tabitha Tuder’s mom, Debra, whose daughter has been missing for 10 years now… she was so gracious to share her story with me… I used to see her missing picture in our post office in downtown Franklin where I had a box and daily I would touch that picture of Tabitha and say I love you and I hope you make it home soon. While working on a story book I called Tabitha’s mom to see if I could tell her story… and one thing that stuck me was she said she prays and hopes daily her daughter will return home safe and sound… she just can’t bring herself to change Tabitha’s room… she wants Tabitha to step back into her room just as she left it. She was last seen walking to the bus, 7 am April 29, 2003… a witness said she got into the a red pick up truck and she has never been seen since.

While recently reflecting on the death of Andy Griffith, I remembered what I loved about Mayberry… it was a home that was frozen in time… but it too wasn’t real… there are countless things of Mayberry that I long for home to be.. and just the same number of what I know Mayberry wasn’t that it should have been… but the one thing we all loved about Mayberry was the way it made us feel.. like many shows built around family and friends: the Cosby show… and Archie Bunker… I Love Lucy ….Friends… even iCarly.. which I admit I love… all have in common… their homes though very different… has one common thread… people who love you there! People who when you walk through the door… are glad to see you … who are better because you are in their home.

Isn’t that what we love about Jesus… he loved being in people’s homes… Mary and Martha… Zaccheus… wedding parties with friends and family…. home is simply with him… home is the Disciples together… sitting at someone’s table… breaking bread… hearing stories.. telling stories… but the thing I loved most about Jesus the Christ…is He made himself home for all… all all cost.. he became the home we all long for … healing… whole.. love and loving.

I pray your home is filled with love… love that invites you back.. love that lets you fail and succeed.. that lets you try things.. love that is ok with raised voices as well as whispers… love that tells you~ you’re ok~ how you are now~not how you are gonna be one day~ you’re ok now~love that hugs you.. love that laughs with… love that grows and gently challenges you… love that tries new things… and embraces the old, traditions, familiar, worn, tired and true things too… love that sings new songs… smiles with it’s eyes… speaks the truth… does hard things… forgives quickly and often… gets out of the way… love that lets others be the center of attention… that goes second… lets someone else have the last biscuit… shares stuff… smiles often… includes everyone… takes up for the little guy… remembers we were all the little guys once… love that holds hands when someone needs one… howls at the moon when needed… still catches fireflies and makes a wish on a shooting star… love that still falls in love… still giggles… still dreams… still wishes… still believes… still takes risks… still takes a stand… still seeks… still weeps and grieves… still loves and embraces the good…

for you and for me… that description of home I’m longing to create as well as dwell myself…

some of my favorite home quotes… send me yours… and your video from home… you’ll see our new chicken coop video of their new home in days to come… look for it…

Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule.  ~Frederick W. Robertson

Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness.  Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.  ~Vernon Baker
Where thou art – that – is Home.  ~Emily Dickinson
Peace – that was the other name for home.  ~Kathleen Norris
“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home” ~Thornton Wilder

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” ~Matsuo Basho

Here’s the story that really got me thinking about home: https://www.facebook.com/notes/sharon-thompson/divine-appointments/3760518504466

peace… Celia

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