Finding Home Wherever You Are {at EnCourage}

Below is the beginning of an article I re-worked from this year to share at (En)Courage. You can find the full article here.


I’ve been thinking about “home” a lot lately. Obsessing over it might be a more accurate description. My family doesn’t have a home of our own right now. And after 11+ years of dwelling in our own home, it’s different. We originally thought it would just be a few weeks, maybe two months tops, while were in transition from Virginia to South Carolina and waiting for our home to sell. But this stopgap arrangement has become nine months of living. It will be a full school year by the time this season comes to a completion.

Home In-Between

So how do we make “home” for a family of four while sharing my parents’ home? How do they expand their “home” to fit the demands, noise, delights, etc, of a family-of-four-with-two-7-year-olds? I could write a how-to article, co-authored with my parents, on all the ways to make it work or things to avoid. But that would miss the more important way God’s been teaching me about “home” while living in this unique season — like what it means in this time of home-of-our-own absence to know the Lord as my true dwelling place.

I am learning that “home” is many places and that I can choose to make whatever current living space my “home” (even if it’s not entirely or even partially mine). This current transitional season began last fall when our family moved from Norfolk, Virginia, to Greenville, South Carolina, for my husband to pursue full-time doctoral work. Greenville is my hometown — it’s where I was raised from the time I was two-years-old and it’s where I returned to live my first few years out of college. Yet returning to my hometown with my own family in tow hasn’t been as much like returning to “true home” as it once was.

My husband and I have made “home” in two places at this point in our 11+ years of marriage—Philadelphia and Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk’s the only home our 7-year-old twin daughters have ever known. So coming back to South Carolina— while certainly familiar for me and wonderful in the aspect of being close to my family again— is not yet our home as a family. That’s because the process of a place becoming home takes time. We can’t speed it up, no matter how much we try or how many people we start off knowing or how familiar a geographical location is.  …

{read the rest of the article here}

day 15: South Carolina

greenville 1Blue mountains set the background of the horizon as green hills stretch out into my hometown. Born a Georgia girl, I was raised a (South) Carolina girl. It is home. It will always welcome me as no other place can each time I drive down I-85 into that comfortable not-too-big-nor-too-small city of Greenville, SC. 

South Carolina cradles all my memories of childhood. Playing in the backyard of our Sugar Creek house with my younger brothers; exploring downtown as it gradually became less sketchy during high school years and beyond; discovering the first and best coffeeshop entitled appropriately, “Coffee Underground.” First dates. First job. First friends. First faith. All happened in South Carolina. greenville2

Family still dwells there, and they welcome me back with open arms, a glass of mint sweet-iced tea, and a good ole “y’all” thrown in with a few “Dang it!”‘s for good measure. And I know I’m home. These are my people, this is my land. It doesn’t have to explain itself to me or I to it. I’ve changed in my travels, and so has my fair city. We’ve both grown up. And I couldn’t be more proud to be a Carolina girl.

Liberty Bridge in Falls Park, Downtown Greenville

Liberty Bridge in Falls Park, Downtown Greenville


Part of my October writing challenge/movement: 31 days of five minute free writes. Read more here.