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Home Stays With You Always

Day breaks, the sun rises, the world awakes. I sit in the quiet with a hot cup of coffee and listen to the sounds of waves lapping the lakeshore and leaves waving in the gentle breeze.

My kids wake, and pull their blankets aside, asking for me to come in for a morning snuggle. My son puts his arms around my neck tight, squeezes his soft cheek to mine and holds me there longer than is comfortable but I don’t move.

My daughter asks for me next and we lay together as she tells me about her dreams the night before and what she wants to do today.

Our summer days are spent in an odd way, with little rhyme or reason, hardly a routine in sight. I work, they play, then we all play together when my work is done.

When daddy comes in at the end of the day after work, they run and jump on him with huge hugs and chatter about all the things they want to do with him before the sun sets.

Day in and day out, we have the same non-routine that makes up summer days.

The difference is that this summer, we’ve moved and left behind the only home my two kids have known and taken a giant step into the constant feeling of transition and question marks 1500 miles away.

We packed up our home, shut the door, and headed off onto a new life adventure that has taken us from the white sandy beaches of Florida to cool lake air and green farm pastures in New York.

I thought leaving home would be much harder on all of us than it has been since we said goodbye to our house of seven years.

I realize now that it’s because home came with us. Home is us.

It was a week after we’d arrived at our new destination, and I was spending my evenings scouring the internet for houses for sale or rent, trying to find us a home.

I found a piece of paper on the coffee table with my daughter’s handwriting and hearts on it. One heart said “Water + hole = lake”, the next said “Lake + cottage = Fun” and the third said “Family + Fun = Home”

I knew that in her eight-year old way, she was processing the change that our family was going through. And in those few words, she reminded me that we aren’t looking for a home now. We have our home and never left it. Home stays with you always.


I think of this as I wander through houses that are for sale or rent, searching for our next place to live. Walls and woodwork and yards and floors are not home.

It makes looking for a house easier. I find myself not-so-picky, and know that so much of what I am looking at are just comforts, not necessities.

I don’t care what the countertops look like. I don’t care if there is wallpaper. Those things don’t make or break a home.

I know that home is right here with me at the beginning and end of each day, in the people that I love and share my life with. The people who join me in whatever place we choose to live are my home. It’s not the place, it’s the people that make home what it is.

The sun sets, little feet run around trying to avoid bedtime. The kids rub their eyes; I curl up with one kid asking for me to sing songs while the other reads until her eyes can’t stay open any longer.

We listen to the waves lap against shore and the leaves rustle in the breeze. Sometimes the rain falls, lulling us all to sleep.

This place we are now is not the house we will live in, but it is home today because it’s where we all are – together, beginning and ending our days with the same love as we had yesterday and the same love as we’ll have tomorrow.

I will carry this with me always now, knowing that home could be a tent on a camping trip or a transitional cottage on a lake, or a little ranch house in Florida or an old farmhouse in New York. Home is where I am with my family and will go where we go.

What does home mean to you?

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  1. The Accidental Housewife

    Home is where the heart is.

    We’re move almost yearly at the moment, and it’s taxing on the kids and the pets, and doubly taxing on the adults! But our home can be the transit hotel we’re in, or the caming tent, or the grandparent’s house, or our actual home.

    But a word of unsolicited advice from a seasoned house-chooser? Pick a house with workable kitchen counters 😉

  2. Jessica @ The Open Home

    My husband and I sold our house 2 years ago and since then have lived in rentals, student dorms, friend’s spare rooms and my parent’s sofa! It’s been a challenge and really made us appreciate the blessing of having a physical, consistent place to call home. We now have a rental to for a couple of years and I’m relishing having a home to nest in for a while. We keep reminding ourselves though not to get to attached to it though. We hope to move overseas in the future and I
    we believe all homes should be mobile ones! This is the reason I called my blog, The Open Home, it is a reminder to our home, our family, to remain open to wherever life takes us.

  3. Tiare

    “It takes hands to build a house, but it takes hearts to build a home.”

    Whether we lived in a mansion or a shoebox, if our family can fill up the space with love, it is instantly home.

  4. Steph

    We’ve moved several times in our 10 years of marriage (though only once with kids) and while there are geographical locations we’ve liked more than others, when we are together it’s always home.

  5. Jenn @ A Simple Haven

    Emily, this is just perfectly true. I’ve moved 11 times in 8 years and the fact that my home is simply wherever my little family is has gotten me through them all–that and a sense of God leading us in each move.

    This post spoke to my heart and helped free me up to embrace whatever’s in store for my family in the future. Thank you!

  6. liz

    Loved your post!

  7. Ángel

    Nice post, I have enjoyed it very much. I think pretty much the same: home is more about the relationships between the members of a family than about the place where they are.

    Regards from Spain!

  8. Faigie

    Home is definitely where the heart is but, its also where a loving set of parents are for kids. As long as the kids have that they are ok wherever we go. Its us that may have a harder time with change. (it also depends how old the kids are)

  9. jenlarson79

    Great post- it’s so true! Reminds me of a song by one of my favorite artists, Jack Johnson…

    “home is wherever we are, if there’s love there, too”

  10. Susannah

    Just quoted you – hope you don’t mind! This article is very pertinent to me, as we will be moving to pastures new when my husband becomes a minister. It’s daunting to think of a future of living in vicarages and even more terrifying to consider ripping our young daughter away from everything she’s ever known. But this post has reminded me that nice wallpaper or not, it’s being together that makes home. Thank you so much, Emily. x

  11. renee @ FIMBY

    We are adventurers and wanderers (I’m a homebody, making home wherever we land) and home means exactly what it means to you.

    We often say to each other, “home is wherever I’m with you”.

    And I also want to say the even with older kids late elementary, early teen (haven’t raised late teens yet) you can live this philosophy if your family really lives it. If you have fun wherever you are. If you are invested in each other and helping each other reach your potential, not matter your address. If you get out into your community and meet new people and keep open avenues to maintain friendships.

    Funny, but true story. Our nearly 11 year old daughter considers 2011-2012 to be her favorite life years so far and the reason why – “because we moved so much!” Each new place was an adventure for her, something to be discovered and unwrapped. That’s how we look at moving.

    Good luck finding a house!

  12. Crista

    I guess this is the 8 year olds way of saying “Home is where the heart it.” Feeling stable where I am has always made me feel at home.

  13. Rebecca

    Love this! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Liisa R

    Loved this! On a slightly different note, my husband and I (no kids yet) moved to a new city a year ago… we are definitely at home in our house and with each other, but are feeling a little empty/lonely inside. On further reflection and discussion, we realized that it isn’t a problem with our new city or with us. We just haven’t lived here long enough yet to feel truly connected to people or the city, and the funny thing is that anywhere else we moved, no matter how glorious, this little ache would still be there!

    Thank goodness we have each other, and my true home is always in God regardless, but it’s interesting how this first year has played out. We joke when we return from short trips that our house feels like home, but the city feels a little foreign still. 🙂 Looking forward to the gradual changes and people that will make us feel truly at home in a deeper way here in Albuquerque!

  15. Faith

    This post hit home with me today! Our family is leaving in 5 days, to move from Columbus, Ohio to Aguascalientes, Mexico to work at an orphanage there, for the foreseeable future. Our house is becoming more and more bare as we sell everything, but we are realizing through this process that our family is the most important thing and we get to take them along.
    My 8 year old daughter, said to me the other night, “I don’t have a lot of toys, but that’s ok, because I have a mom and a dad that love me and are kind, and some little kids don’t have that.”
    So thankful for her perspective! Thank you for sharing yours! It helped to encourage me in these last few emotional days!

  16. RentwithJD

    “Home is where I am with my family and will go where we go.”

    Great after read this article i remember my family that have to long distance with me. thanks

  17. Jasa Banner Flash

    Nice post, I have enjoyed it very much. I think pretty much the same: home is more about the relationships between the members of a family than about the place where they are.

  18. Situs Jual Beli Online

    Great post- it’s so true! Reminds me of a song by one of my favorite artists, Jack Johnson…

  19. Selena

    No any other place is like Home in this world. It’s where we feel calmness and comfort in this hectic life with our near and dear ones.

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