Friday, May 05, 2006

Home is Where You Are

I've always thought the old saying, "home is where you hang your hat" was a nice platitude but didn't mean much. After all, my home is all the things I've collected over the years -- the books, the furnishings, the plates and glasses, the books (we have A LOT of those). My home is all the people -- my immediate family and all my friends and fellow parishioners.

My home is all this -- isn't it?

Over the past weeks I've started to revise this notion a bit. We have spent the past couple of months in high gear -- sorting, packing, storing, trashing. We have spent the past two weeks first sleeping on mats on the floor in our home , than in sleeping bags at a farm in North Carolina and now on beds at my in-laws. In a bit over four weeks, we'll pack and move again for a two week visit to my brother's family in Colorado. Then we'll move yet again to Austria -- where, God willing, we will stay for about three years.

So where is our "home"? We have no house we call our own right now. Thanks to the intercession of St. Joseph, we closed on the sale of our house two days ago. After all the hassles of home selling, we may NEVER buy another house again. Our stuff is scattered in two states; our beloved books are partially packed for shipping to Austria and partially shelved to await our planned return in three years.

So where is our home? After all this moving and shifting and change, my 6-year-old String Bean, burst into tears and asked that we stop getting in the van for awhile and stay home. She didn't want to go anywhere for a while.

So where is our home? Our home is not my Grandma's cedar chest, or our dining room table or even our friends in the neighborhood or at Church. Our home is not even our books -- those we bring or those we store. Our home isn't any of these things, although I'm sure we'll miss them.

So, where is our home? Our home is wherever all seven of us are gathered together. Our home is each other living the lives God planned for us. It really doesn't matter if our things get mislaid over the next few years. It really doesn't matter if our books or winter clothes get lost in the shipping to Austria. It really doesn't matter if we live in a double-wide, an apartment or moving from place to place.

Our home is wherever we are living and learning and loving under God's watchful eye.


JennGM said...

Beautiful, Mary. You have me all choked up.

Rebecca said...

So true, Mary! You all are so blessed to have one another.