Journal entry 031011: Are you at home?

This week’s journal is more about exploration than about discovery, more dialogue than conclusions. Feel free to dive in with your own insights. I want your help. Post a comment, or write to me at

I’ve been working on my next book, which started out being about family life and raising kids and living together and all that, but lately it has taken a turn toward one of my favorite Bible passages, one that Cyndi introduced me to about ten years ago, Ephesians 3:17-19. It’s the closest I have to a life verse. This passage always stirs up questions that I love to consider, over and over.

It begins, “And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your heart, living within you as you trust in him.” Here are some of the questions stirring in my head:

What does it mean for Christ to be at home in my heart?

What does it mean for me to be at home in someone else’s heart Is that even possible?

Is home a place, an attitude, a relationship?

How are these words related: home, relationship, and trust?

Can you be at home if your heart isn’t at peace? Maybe that’s a good definition of home - the place where your heart is at peace?

Can you feel at home with someone you don’t trust?

I posed some of these questions on Facebook; here are some of the responses, long with my comments:

“Remember that home is where the heart is.” It’s an old cliché, for sure, but things become clichés for a reason, usually because they are true. Personally, I like the idea that home is where (or when) my heart is at rest; or, my heart finally finds rest and peace when I am at home.

“Your relationship can’t feel like home if there is no trust.” Maybe that’s because we can never relax unless we trust.

“Home is a state of mind, not a place.” Certainly true, yet there are some specific places that feel very much like home to me. (My closet, my pickup, Hunter Peak)

“Commitment is important for trust, and being at home is part of this.”

“Those words - at home - change as one grows. It all depends on where you are in life.” I wonder if home was more place-oriented when I was younger and our life revolved around being in the house with young children?

I remember when I lost my job in 1994 and had to move all my stuff into the garage. Engineers tend to accumulate a lot of books and notebooks and, in those day, graph paper and drafting tools. The thing I missed first was my desk. It was just a lousy ancient gray metal desk with no personality, but I spent a lot of time there for 12 years. I knew where my stuff belonged; I knew what to do next. Without a job, without a desk, without a place to sit and call my own, I was adrift and homeless. Nowadays, however, I am comfortable without an office or a desk. My place is wherever I am.

I don’t mean in the sense of, “Papa was a rolling stone, wherever he laid his hat was his home,” but that my office-home has become more attached to an activity than to a physical location. My office is my laptop, or my journal. I’m pretty sure it will move again someday to something else.

“History and hope come to mind when thinking about home.” History demands relationships, and it is manifested in stories, and stories feel like home.

“All three (home, relationship, and trust) are blessings; if you possess them you have been graced.” That is certainly true. The only reason I can have this conversation is because I have been blessed with love, home, relationships, and trust. I once told Cyndi, “All the people who ever loved me, still do.” That is a gift from God. And I have never been homeless, in any sense of the word. That, too, is a blessing from God.

We have lived in our new house for two years now (so maybe it isn’t new any longer, but since we lived in our previous house 26 years, this still seems new), and I must say, it feels like home. But some rooms feel more like home that others. There are some rooms where I still feel like a visitor.

To feel at home there has to be trust, commitment, history, stories, and peace. For me, even the journey itself, the path, feels like home. My heart is at peace when I am on the move.

What about you? When are you at home?


“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32

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