Heart is Where the Home Is

August 15, 2011 | 14 comments

We steer up our long country driveway, and these ash trees that line the lane wave a gentle, green greeting — a welcome-back to weary travelers.

The gravel underneath is percussion, a dusty drumming for our entrance from faraway-to-here. The girls see the sunflowers first, bursting yellow by the cornfields — these prolific weeds that the girls refuse to call weeds because they are just too pretty.

The blooms always mark summer’s end. I catch my breath: It’s August already? How does summer always do that, disappear like a vapor?

Then, from the back seat, the girls shout this one word. They scream it, and I whisper it:

Home! Home! (Home. Home.)

Where has summer gone, with so many of these days and nights spent elsewhere?

I’ve counted the nights, so I know this statistic: I’ve been gone more from this farm than I’ve been here this summer.

I yearn to be here, to just lay my cheek on my pillow — my own pillow — and to press into the space I know best. I like to hear the daily sound of two sisters’ padding feet on maple planks and their noisy play of make-believe. I miss the sound of a washing machine, the gentle hum of the dishwasher, the doorbell and the way the wind whistles through the aspen just outside the back door. That is the soundtrack of my life.

But now, we leave again — less than 24 hours after we’ve returned. This time, we didn’t even unpack the suitcases.

And I sit here at these keys for a solitary, stolen moment in the in-between hours to think about what it means to really be home.

I ‘ve said it before and I repeat it now so I remember: “Home isn’t a place. It’s people.”

And more specifically, it’s a Person.

We leave again, but Home goes with us. Yes, home is where the heart is. But this is just as true: Your heart is where your real Home is. When I remember this truth, I don’t ever really leave home, and I don’t have to wait to come back. The indwelt heart is the cure for the homesick soul, because home is wherever we are.  

The heart is the very dwelling place of God, a tabernacle for the most High. We carry God within us. We, the body of Christ, are the habitation of holy God.

And let them make me a sanctuary,
that I may dwell in their midst.
— Exodus 25:8

Lord, prepare me to be  a sanctuary today. I am never far from from Home, when you are near. Go with us today, Lord. Amen.

A song to prepare your heart as a sanctuary for the week ahead, no matter where you are (click here)…

(Writing in community with Michelle today:)

by | August 15, 2011 | 14 comments


  1. Nancy

    I do not want this summer to end. I do not. Ever. That love of home? I know it well, and that longing to be with my True Home.

  2. David Rupert

    I love travel and adventure, but I love home most of all. The sights. the smells. The mystery of other places are all amazing.

    But I do love my chair, my coffee cup and my bed.

  3. floyd

    I woke up a few times in the last few months not knowing where I was. Vacation bed or home bed? Even though it’s hot, my house seems to invite us back like it has a life of its own.

    My youngest started school today, so it’s all over for this summer, but we made some memories and will cherish them in our hearts where our Father resides.

    This is a great heart pulling post, glad you shared it. Thanks.

  4. jasonS

    Amen. And I love that song too. I break into it every once in a while. It speaks so beautifully what I want to tell Him. Thanks Jennifer.

  5. Linda

    This ministers to my heart Jennifer as we prepare to leave this place that has been home for 28 years to take up temporary residence in a little apartment while our new home is being built. I have been so anxious to see and yet there is a sadness at the thought of closing the blue front door one last time.
    But you are right…we are taking home with us. Thank you for this. Praying for safe travels for you.

  6. Debra Weiss

    I love coming home! Just the relief and the feeling of relaxation that always creeps into my weary body. But you’re right. Home goes with us. Thank you for sharing that today. 🙂

  7. starla

    I just recently returned from a week away. I love home. And you are so right….summer has flew the coop. I can feel the fall of cool weather creeping in.

  8. Michelle DeRusha

    I love my bed the most — I long for it when I am on vacation (I have sleep issues!).

    And your point about Home, THE Home? Oh yes!

    Traveling mercies, Jennifer, wherever the roads lead you this week.

  9. kendal

    beautiful piece. love this line:

    The gravel underneath is percussion

  10. Deidra

    Really loved this – Your heart is where your real home is – so true. Thank you for this lovely write.

  11. Shaunie Friday

    Jennifer, as a girl who has known homesickness of one kind or another for a very long time, this is such great perspective to help me when it really gets hard. Bless you for sharing this delicious little bite of nourishing truth!

  12. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    Summer here ended last Monday with kids all back in school. Staying home all summer, I’ve been having opposite feelings–wanting to escape! But I think this feeling is even a roaming caused by us knowing this is not our home.

  13. Laura

    I love to travel, but I do share your feelings about coming home!

  14. Anne Lang Bundy

    I sense, Jennifer, that there is a profound truth here. If I might simply lay hold with my heart the sure knowledge in my head, that I need not be homesick for Heaven since the Kingdom is already within …

    And yet, shall we not look forward to that time and place when every dynamic of “Home” finds its perfection?



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