I am currently living in my thirteenth home. I find it hard to imagine what it would have been like to live in the same house all my childhood, then move to another and live in that in my adulthood, but I know that is some peoples’ experience. I can’t easily answer “Where is your home town?” or “Where do you call home?”
If a person’s home town is where they were born then mine is a little town on a tiny island in Bass Strait but I was two when I left there so I don’t remember it at all. There is something about being born on a little island that is special though and I am always interested to hear news of King Island.
I don’t think it is the length of time that you live in a place that makes it home, I haven’t lived in any house longer than seven years and lived in one only eight months but they were both home. It is what goes on in my house that makes it home. It is the conversations, celebrations, the work, the play, the busyness and the quiet. It is the people who make it home.
When I visited my parents’ current home in Australia two years ago it felt like home to me even though I have never lived there. They were there and I was surrounded by things from my childhood, memories of home. I could show my children the biscuit tin(which they would call a cookie tin) from which I was allowed to take two biscuits when I arrived home from school, only one biscuit with icing, one without. I also recognised glasses in the cupboard which I thought very beautiful and elegant as a child because they had gold and frosted patterns on them. They were home to me too, reminders of special occasions when we drank special drinks out of them. I looked at pictures on the walls and could remember them hanging on other walls in our other homes, some of them pictures of our other home towns.
We have in our home the dining table that my grandparents bought when they were married. It is a beautiful table and I love having it, not only because it is a nice piece of furniture but because my grandparents used this table, my dad and his brother grew up eating meals at this table. As a child visiting my grandparents home I sat at the table with the other grandchildren and family for Christmas dinner. It has been part of home for 75 years.
Home is where I spend the large majority of my time. I am a home maker, a home schooler, a stay at home mum. I work at home, teach at home, play at home, keep the home and cherish this home. I am reminded though, that unless the Lord builds the house those that build it labour in vain. This home is both the Lord’s gracious gift to me and His task for me.