shoesI’ve lived in three different countries, seven different states, eleven houses and one apartment — and that doesn’t include the countless hotels across the world in big cities, and small. I often joke that I lived the longest in my college dorm. After all those years of packing, picking up, and moving, I’m hoping to not have to do it too many times again.

My husband and I now live in Ohio in a home that belongs to my in-laws — and was actually one of the first homes they lived in together. It’s maybe a mile away or so from my husband’s parents and a few of his sisters & their families.

When we were engaged, we talked about where “home” would be often… Closer to my family or yours? But I knew that even if we moved closer to his family, that home would still not be far away from my family… Let me explain.

Throughout my many homes, I’ve always wondered, “Where is home?” I’ve been asked time and time again where I’m from. And to that, I’ve never really had a true answer. I was born in A (England). I lived in B for C years (pick another state or country). And now I live in D (Ohio!). Someday soon, I might even live in E (probably not, but this was true when I was moving a lot). So really, where am I from? Where is my home?

I don’t usually like bringing cliches into the picture, but you see, they’re kind of like static cling. You don’t like ‘em, and you even try to get rid of them, but they don’t really go away. Not forever, anyway. And so that saying, “Home is where the heart is,” rings very true… and very loud… and all the time.

I’ve learned that home is not a place, so much as a feeling; a feeling of love, warmth and comfort that only continues to grow. It’s a feeling of security that you can always (always) return to. It’s a feeling that you will never be far enough away to be forgotten, or unloved. It’s a feeling that becomes your rock. Your solace. Your center & core. It’s a feeling of being taken care of… of being welcomed no matter what shape you’re in, and a place that reminds you that things are going to be okay. And it’s so important to me to say this: it’s not just those feelings, but the actions — and the love — that backs ’em up.

And it’s also not so much about the walls and roof around and above you as it is about the people standing within those walls.

So where am I from? I’m from a place of Love. I’m from a place of feeling with my heart, and living from my heart, and remembering from my heart… remembering those I love, and who love me, and of course, who loved me so much that He gave up His life for me.

And even though my houses have changed, the road underneath my feet has always been the same. And even though the people I’ve been walking that road with may be in different places now… when we’re all together in one place, I’m home. Or when I’m remembering the memories we’ve shared together, I’m home. Or whenever we find ourselves together – no matter where we are — with coffee or another drink in hand, sharing our hearts and our lives together once again, home is there too. 

Because I will always carry Home with me so long as I remember Love. Because that’s where I’m from: a place of Love.

p.s. That photo of shoes? I took that the day after our wedding three years ago when both of our families came over to our house to spend more time with us. I had never seen so many shoes piled by our front door before! 😉

This post is part of the “Home to Me” blog hop, hosted by Julie Walsh of These Walls. During the two weeks from Friday, November 13 through Thanksgiving Day, more than a dozen bloggers will share about what the concept of “home” means to them. “Home” can been elusive or steady. It can be found in unexpected places. It is sought and cherished and mourned. It is wrapped up in the people we love. As we turn our minds and hearts toward home at the beginning of this holiday season, please visit the following blogs to explore where/what/who is “Home to Me.”

November 13 – Julie @ These Walls
November 14 – Leslie @ Life in Every Limb
November 15 – Ashley @ Narrative Heiress
November 16 – Rita @ Open Window
November 17 – Svenja, guest posting @ These Walls
November 18 – Anna @ The Heart’s Overflow
November 19 – Debbie @ Saints 365
November 20 – Melissa @ Stories My Children Are Tired of Hearing
November 21 – Amanda @ In Earthen Vessels
November 22 – Daja and Kristina @ The Provision Room
November 23 – Emily @ Raising Barnes
November 24 – Annie @ Catholic Wife, Catholic Life
November 25 – Nell @ Whole Parenting Family
November 26 – Geena @ Love the Harringtons