When Home Isn't a House You Come Back To

I wish I could take you all to that lake, the one by my old place in Madison. A little ocean in the middle of the rolling Wisconsin green. You smell it before you see it, the smell of watery reeds, living fish and life. 

I visited it every day, a walk down from my door, out past the lawn onto the docks where the ground turned into dancing water. It's special for so many reasons. It was my first home after college, the place I learned how to make real life, adult-sized decisions, paid my first bills, It's where I learned how to battle loneliness, work hard for my living and where I decided that yes, I really did love and want to marry my husband. 

There, at home, I would breathe, rest, know with confidence that I belonged. It's the place a ran to when I needed a haven, a break, a place to belong. 

These days home isn't so simple. There's no structure that makes me feel like that. No lake that welcomes my nostrils, no boat houses or running trails. I have a house but we don't do enough life there to make it feel like home. 

No, these days home is with my husband. Just like my lake home, he's where I run when I need to feel safe and warm. He's helped me understand how it's possible for this world not to be home. This world is a house. It stores all the things that we need to live, but our experiences, our challenges, our rest and joy happens in the arms of Home. 

Living on the road I'm learning so clearly what it looks like to claim a different home, an eternal home, a claim that can't be touched. And in the meantime, while I live in the house, I'm always at home in the arms of the Father who loves me. 

Maybe this is a bit sappy, maybe it's a bit prosaic, but it's the bit of my heart that is speaking this morning so I'll let it have it's say. Home isn't the house we come back to.