In Others’ Words: Home is where . . .

Amyweddingfam homequote

I had a certain definition of home for many years–and it was most definitely tied to a specific address. A certain place.

Then I married my husband, who was in the military.

My idea of home had to change.

Uncle Sam determined where home was – and how long a certain place would be home. The year I decorated a Christmas tree on an air base in Turkey, I realized location wasn’t the determining factor for home.

The people who were with me — even if our address was a military P.O. Box — represented home.

The stuff we lugged with us, as well as the stuff we left behind in storage?

It wasn’t home, either.

Back then, my husband, my son, my three daughters equaled home.

I’ve also discovered when home becomes people, it expands. Years later home expanded to include the unexpected blessing of a fourth child. And through the years, we learned to say, “There’s always room for one more,” whether it was a holiday or just a regular Sunday afternoon of watching football.

Seeing my adult children establish their own homes … ah, bittersweet. I’m cheering them on with tear-filled eyes, opening my arms all the wider to embrace a daughter-in-love, two sons-in-love — and now a granddaughter.

In so many ways, because of so many people God has brought into my life,  my definition of home changed through the years. Defined less and less by location … and more and more by the people God’s woven into my life.

 

In Your Words: How do you define home?

“My home is not a place; it is people.” Click to Tweet

How do you define home? Click to Tweet

When “home” becomes people, it expands. Click to Tweet

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14 Comments

  1. October 28, 2013, 7:35 am   /  Reply

    Definitely people. Especially family.

    I remember when my parents moved out of the house I’d grown up in–they only moved a few miles out of town and I was out of college by then, but I remember thinking, “Oh man, how weird is it going to be to go home now?” Funny thing was, it wasn’t weird at all. The house they live in now is as much “home” to me as the house I grew up in.

    • October 28, 2013, 9:45 am   /  Reply

      Home is all about the people — and I’ve found that the “walls” are both invisible and expandable.

  2. October 28, 2013, 7:56 am   /  Reply

    My parents moved out of their house and bought a SWANKY townhouse on a golf course. I live 3000 miles away from them, so it was weird for me to let go of one home and ‘let’ them move to another. But as soon as I saw photos of the birdhouses hanging on the back patio, I knew they were home.

    • October 28, 2013, 9:43 am   /  Reply

      Jennifer:
      Redefining home does involved letting go, doesn’t it? Letting go of preconceived ideas — and even letting go of the past and all the good times experienced one place so that we can embrace what’s waiting up ahead.

  3. October 28, 2013, 8:33 am   /  Reply

    Beth, what a beautiful group picture and a beautiful post. I grew up in a military family, which I loved for this very reason. I’m better off for learning early on that it is people, not places, that make a home.

    • October 28, 2013, 9:42 am   /  Reply

      Kim: I had no experience with military life until I said “I do” to my husband. Before that I thought family meant putting down roots — not moving and making memories that spanned the globe.

  4. October 28, 2013, 9:34 am   /  Reply

    Yep. Home = people.

    I’ve always been attached to places, and memories. I lived in the same house most of my life growing up (from age 6 to age 21). It holds so many memories…even the bittersweet memory of seeing my mom off to her new home in Heaven. But when my dad got remarried, that home changed. My stepmom is wonderful, and as it was her right to do, redecorated. The home looks different. It feels different. And I realize, more and more, that it’s not the building or the rooms or the furniture or how it’s arranged…it’s the love and the time together that matter.

    • October 28, 2013, 9:41 am   /  Reply

      Lindsay,
      So many transitions to the meaning of “home” for you, my friend. And there’s a bit of home that’s heaven-focused too.

  5. October 28, 2013, 12:04 pm   /  Reply

    It’s not physical structure, though filled w/ good memories, and I’ve just proved that by selling and leaving mine to join my son and grandkids and create an extended home. Change is challenging, but the benefits are growing on me–as soon as I finish unpacking and find a place for everything . . .

    • October 28, 2013, 3:01 pm   /  Reply

      Ah the unpacking as we transition from one house to another and begin to make it home… always a challenge!

  6. October 28, 2013, 1:25 pm   /  Reply

    Home is where the heart is. My heart is with the people I love, so like you, my home is with the people who mean the world to me. But I also consider my house (where I feel comfortable to relax when the world is going crazy) my home. The word home has a triple meaning for me, as I also consider home to be with God in Heaven. Oh, how I long for that home!

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    • October 28, 2013, 3:01 pm   /  Reply

      Love your perspective, Andrea!!!

  7. October 28, 2013, 2:13 pm   /  Reply

    The first place I ever felt at home was the Wall.

    Not my war, but this isn’t my peace, either, so I guess it comes out even?

    • October 28, 2013, 3:02 pm   /  Reply

      As always, Andrew, you make me pause and think …

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