Your favorite treats in the pantry, your dog curled up at your feet, your almost organized closet, people who laugh at you and then with you, the sound of your family member’s car pulling into the driveway, the happy greeting as they enter the house, piles of shoes by the door, races to get the favorite blanket for family movie night, remembering who has which colored toothbrush, wet towels on the floor (and a fussing mom picking them up yet again), hugs when you hurt, cheers when you win, encouragement when you don’t, warm beds, familiar scents, too many memories to count and a big comfy sofa that reminds you that you belong here that this is home!
A couple years ago my husband and I sold the home we had lived in for 18 years. The home we raised our children in. The home where we’d had countless gatherings with family and friends, holidays, birthdays, dings in the walls, and scrapes on the family room ceiling from years of Christmas trees that were always just inches too tall. The home of backyard games of volleyball, paintball and hide-n-seek, high-school homecoming float building, scraped knees from bike crashes in the driveway and then suddenly we were watching our daughter and then our son each venture out on their own as they drove solo down that same driveway. Every room, wall, doorway, floor, patch of grass and tree held a memory. It was our home…our place of belonging.
I was prepared for the emotion of saying goodbye to the house we had called home all those years. Prepared to shed a tear or two as we purged and packed nearly two decades of home. What I wasn’t as prepared for was the emotion of saying hello to our new home. Though we were surrounded by all our stuff it somehow felt empty, void of all the intangibles that had made our house home. So we’ve set out on a new adventure in our new space to fill it with home.
The move reminded me once again that home is so much more than a physical house or geographical location. It moves beyond our five senses and reaches into the heart of who we are. As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” Home is the place where the known and the soon to be known let us know we belong and that we are safe, secure, loved. Home is found in the memories we share and in the daily adventures of our lives. It is found in the way we are loved and the way we love. Most importantly it is found in knowing that no matter where or what or who or how life twists and turns, we have a heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and uniquely without restraint.
Over the years inspired. conference has become home to hundreds and hundreds of women. We come from near and far carrying our unique stories with us. We are a big gathering of women who have found a place of belonging that makes us at home no matter where or what our current everyday surroundings are. A place of safety, a place of dreams, of hope, of peace…our hearts rest softly and confidently in the love our heavenly Father has for us. We are known by Him and our desire is to know Him more and more. His loves chases after us reminding us that home truly is where our hearts are.
Come be at home with us. Come be at home in His love.