“Home is the place we cultivate with our love.”
We all dream of the rest and peace we imagine waits for us at the end of a long journey.” (Christie Purifoy, “Roots & Sky”)
Home Is Where You Are Rooted
I can remember when we were looking to purchase a home. It was a long spring and summer of house shopping not because we were terribly picky, but because we knew exactly what we needed. Everything in our “hoped for” price range was completely ill-equipped to handle a family of seven. The houses below our price range were a mess: there was a foot of water in the basement, ceilings caving in, copper pipes completely removed, doors leading to nowhere, creepy rooms in the basement, or mold on the walls. There was an abundance of “Nos” and very few places that would meet us in our “Yes.”
Then every single time we would find a place we thought would work – the day before we went to tour it the owners would have a change of heart and pull the property from the market… every. Single. Time.
I watched houses below and above our asking price for changes in the market. Then one Monday a house we had been watching that was completely out of our price range dropped $60,000. Bam. We saw it that week. As we stepped into the cramped foyer with ugly, pale green carpet on the stairs and began our tour of the “this needs some love” parts of the older portions of the house, my heart lurched. It wasn’t exactly what we had in mind, BUT then we stepped into the big great room addition off the back. The carpet was stained and the kitchen cabinets were a left over from the late 1980s. The appliances would not last long. And the curtains were the most godawful puff and reindeer print. BUT We knew it. Stepping out on the deck of the addition and looking out on the overgrown backyard… this was it. This was home. This is where we would settle.
We toured the rest of the house. Wallpaper needs stripped and floors replaced and bathrooms updated, but it was livable. For all its quirks, uneven floors, and decorating catastrophes left over from the 80s and 90s it felt like home. Our realtor sat down at one of the barstools in the kitchen and with perhaps a bit of a sigh of relief, we knew. With one glimpse all our wondering and searching and touring had come to an end.
In all the chaos of touring houses – it only took one. That not so little blue house in the city was home.
When You are NOT Rooted
The thing is we spent a long time in the wilderness (Christian references happening here). We circled that mountain for so long it felt like we were never going to have the opportunity to move forward, over, and beyond. But it did come:
- The tunnel came to an end.
- The ocean was passable.
- The road diverged and eventually opened up into wide-opened spaces.
It was like a voice spoke clearly over the monotonous circling, “It’s time to move forward. You can go now.” Or maybe even more so then a grand voice speaking from heaven – we decided for ourselves that is was good for us to go. We pushed into finding something different. We made a decision and stepped forward in that choice. Sometimes the universe is simply waiting for you to be brave enough to show up.
We with that great hope that had been deferred moved forward into new adventures and places.
It is from there that I sit and write to you – this place that finally feels like home after all those years of waiting it out in a rental.
We all dream of the rest and peace we imagine waits for us at the end of a long journey.” (Christie Purifoy)
It wasn’t that we needed to “own” for me to feel settled. It was that we needed a place where we felt like we had permission to dig roots down deep.
The Flower Bulbs
A friend from old places had given me a gift when we lived in that townhouse rental with the postage-stamp sized backyard. When reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness had become a reality between us – after so much church hurt and small circles – she placed the gift of forgiveness, hope, and flower bulbs into my hands. It is a set of bulbs I have never planted. I never set them in the ground. Not because I was afraid to grow there, but because I knew the growing would only be able to go so far. This was not the place for planting. This was not the place for rooting such sacred things. I knew we would be uprooting to start over again. There would come a day when I would have to dig up the roots I had barely planted there and move along. There was a home we would move into one day. This was no place for planting bulbs. So they sat in the kitchen cabinet waiting for me to be ready someday.
I was waiting for my life to be ready for planting seasons…. Not fallow seasons. Not healing seasons. Not wilderness wandering seasons.
I was waiting for planting, hope-filled, growing seasons.
Now I have to dig those bulbs out of the box… and get them in the ground this spring. I can feel it. I know.
It is time.
You’ll know when it’s time too.
- Have you known deep seasons of healing and waiting?
- What did that look like for you?
- How long did you circle and wait?
- What was the first thing you did when it was time to “plant bulbs” again?
Let’s plant something beautiful together this spring.
- Here’s an article out there on the web I wrote for Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Preapproved Series about circling mountains and removing idols, “For When You Are Circling Mountains.”
- Also Christie Purifoy has a beautiful little book out, “Roots & Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons” that sounds so much like our own house and life adventures.