17 November 2008


This is the week.

In a few short days, the movers will be coming and toting my belongings a hundred miles south and a bit east of here and I will be starting life in a new place. My zip code is changing, my rent is going up, and I've still got to sign up at a new gym. There is sadness in leaving, but as the time inches closer, I find myself anticipating this change, feeling expectant even. Hopeful. Wondering what might be waiting for me in this new place.

As I contemplate the change, I am also wondering what things will make this new place become home for me, as opposed to being simply a place that I live. Will it be home to me when all my things are there, when the now-empty condo space fills with the objects and memorabilia I've acquired over the years? Will new friends and roommates make it home? Or will I find home beyond the red front door: new friends, new routines, new paths to traverse on a daily basis?

Perhaps it will be some combination of all these things and others that I cannot anticipate.

So I'm asking you, my friends, because I want to know: what makes it home for you?

front door photo by kirsten.michelle


  1. Finding a local sushi place?
    Knowing where the good coffee is?
    Piles of laundry around the house?
    In all seriousness, community makes a place home. It's no secret that Dallas isn't my preferred locale. But a year and a half ago--almost two years ago--Chris and I discovered the church where we're now members. Yes, it has its problems. It's not perfect. But it's home. It's where our friends are. It's where I look forward to going. It's where I feel me.

  2. We just moved. My 7 year old made a quip about home that was great.

    When you have just been at Sonic, and drank the ocean water and you are having to really go... if you know what I mean, And if you can open the door and make it to the bathroom without having to turn a light on, you are officially home.

  3. What a great question. I've thought a lot about home in the last couple years, especially as I found myself telling people I would meet, "I live in Winter Park, FL, but I'm from Southern California." Obviously I was having trouble picking one!

    I didn't actually feel like Florida was home until we decided in April to stay here, to not move to Calfornia to enroll in ISF like we thought we were going to. We were going to stay put. That was the first time when I stopped feeling the need to tell people that I'm originally from So Cal.

    So I guess for me, the location became home in a real way when we took a decisive step that eradicated the other. I guess it took saying, "This is where I live now, in a permanent way."

    As for actual home spaces, making it just so is what helps me. Creating a special space in the house that is my space. Having things on the wall that are ours. Bringing our kitties here. Settling into the familiar furniture.

    What a big move this week. I can't believe it's already here. You've worked hard, both internally and externally, to get to this place. My prayers are with you this week, lovely girl.

  4. oops that's where that s went...

    it just is.
    not the attachments.
    not the things.
    oh easier said that done.
    not to be.
    but if we aren't...
    then who knows what could become!

    I'm excited for you.
    you are centered.

    it's ok to have those treasures we carry along with us, tangibly, and even more tangibly in our hearts.

    When I left my last home, not the one I grew up in really, but the one I "grew up in" it was hard. I would do the random drive bys. Just to see.

    Here's the beautiful thing for you Kirsten...

    wherever you go, there you are.

    enjoy this new chapter of your story and all the joys and challenges (which are which or are they the same?) along the way.

  5. Wow, it's finally here...I love you in this... in how hard you've fought for the decision and how hard it's all been and now in your co-mingling hope and sadness.

    Home...home is people, I guess. And being where you want to be...choosing to be where I am makes me feel like it's home. And knowing the place helps, too...but the choice and the people make it for me.

  6. Hm, that's a good question for me. Home takes a long time for me to change, but I think a lot of that is mental--deciding that this is home and that it's okay to identify it as home. Home for me is mostly safety and security and same-ness, which largely comes from people. My stuff is important, too, but people are at the base. The same-ness, of course, can be rather difficult as people grow and change. I guess there's more questions than answers here for me. :)
    I'm praying for you in this time of transition.

  7. acceptance and love

  8. To me home is about a cozy apartment furnished with loved pieces of comfort and art, a charming area, my husband, a cat, and last but not least a good social life. Friends are actually VERY important when it comes to feeling home somewhere.

    I have moved so much over the last 15 years, to different towns as well as countries, and the gypsy part of me has always loved it. But now I am ready to settle down and stay for a while, in your old hometown :)

    The excitement in your voice is wonderful and I wish you all the best for your first few days and weeks in beautiful Seattle. Incidentally I am here tonight and in a hotel room overlooking Puget Sound, it's lovely!

  9. Home? Have lived too many places, always calling the last one "home." Landscape captures my heart. The red rocks of SW Utah feel like home. As do the mountains of Colorado. And the farmland and expansive water of Michigan. Now the barren badlands of eastern MT. But spiritually and emotionally home is where community is, at present far, far away. May you soon find community, Kristen. May God keep you company through His people. Happy moving!

  10. There I go again! Kirsten, not Kristen. Sorry. This brain's ready for vacation!

  11. Home is a place you feel safe and welcomed. Your personal belongings will help welcome you to your new space.
    I have lived in to many places I called home. Every time I walked through my red door, my things greeted me and made me feel at home.
    When you get your things in their place and you still do not feel "at home" you then need to find somewhere else to call home.
    Hope you have found your home behind the red door..

  12. I wish I could say that place is not connected to home. For that would be a word of some comfort. But place IS connected to a sense of home.

    Which is why moving is hard. And why coming to know one's new place is part of coming home.

    blessings as you shift place, shift home, search, cry, laugh...