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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Exploring: Basking in Home

The view from this summer's "spot".
I like to drink tea when I feel distressed, and this week, the kettle’s been boiling.  After two months of being in Egypt and a couple of other places, its time for me to head back to good ol' America.

I usually have to battle two feelings when it comes to times like this: 1. Irritability and 2. Homelessness. The first stems from nervousness, causing me to feel uptight and anxious from all the details that so often evade me. To combat that, I thank God for people close to me who extend gracious understanding, I triple check my flight itinerary, and I also make hot tea in an effort to just cool it. That homelessness, though…that takes a little more than tea to soothe. 
I really don’t want to talk too much about how I’ve moved around, but with the travels ahead of me, its what is on my mind (and therefore, what is on my blog). I sometimes have a  feeling of homelessness, in the truest sense of the word “home”. As you, dear reader, probably know, “home” is more than just a place to rest one’s head. Its more than shelter. It’s a place of belonging, familiarity, love, and stability—to me, anyways.  It is something that I have caught glimpses of in places from an apartment in Cairo, to a boarding school dorm room, to a house in Missouri.  With two probable years left in a college dorm and a mysterious future following that, I have begun traditions in an effort to create home no matter where I find myself. These include: 

1. Sipping coffee and watching the sunrise. Whether I am on vacation, a study trip, or just livin’ my life, I try to start my day by soaking in the brisk morning calm while enjoying a black Americano. Wherever I’ve gone in the world, most places have had coffee, and all places have had sunrises. 

2. Yoga. I have chosen to invest time in learning yoga for many reasons, but one reason is because I can practice it anywhere. No bulky equipment, large amounts of space, or gym memberships are needed to get a good workout, which is important after having lived in a few places where none of those things were available. I like all kinds of exercise, but yoga is one that can go with me anywhere.  

3. Writing. Recording happenings and thoughts helps me to feel at home, whether I am in the midst of living out a routine or am on a faraway adventure. Documenting memories or others’ stories helps me process events and their impact on my life and the world, reminding me that all of life’s happenings shape my unique voice. 

4. Finding “my spot”. Like Sheldon’s love of his spot in Big Bang Theory, from one week vacations, to dorm life at university, finding “my spot” is critical.  These spots are preferably hidden places with beautiful views, but can also be a simple and quiet couch tucked away somewhere. Wherever it may be, “my spot” is the place where I am safe and able to just be and think, write, pray, and dream. 

There are probably more traditions I live out, but these are my favorites and the closest to my heart. Above, I talked about how in all of the places I have been, I have only caught glimpses of home. I say this because the ever-present longing in my heart causes me to believe that there is more to home than a cozy chair, a regular coffee shop, or having a friend stop by to say hello. My heart is hopeful in a promise Jesus made in John 14:1-3, NLT: 

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” 

I will always hold this promise close to my heart, especially when the lack of a building to call home stirs up those feelings of homelessness in me. So as I pour yet another cup of steaming hot tea, I bask in the thought that I do have a home—I just haven’t been there yet. 

What is home to you? Do you have any traditions that help to create a sense of home? I'd love to hear from you! Comment below or email me at aria(at)truerootblog(dot)com:)

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