this home is not my world

Marian ParsonsMy House43 Comments

We spent last week split between visiting Jeff’s family in Raleigh and sneaking in some R&R at Myrtle Beach.

It was nice to get away from the packing and to spend some time on the beach, by the pool, and playing board games with the boys.  I always look forward to getting home, though.

There is no denying that I’m a homebody.

I walked through the door, my arms weighed down with bags, and I sighed as I set them down.  I know the walls are bare and much of our stuff is in boxes.  Despite that, I declared, “It’s so amazing to be home.”

Jeff pointed out what was glaringly obvious.  We were coming home only to prepare to move.

While I knew this in my head, the contrast of the consolation of being home against the urgency to pack hit me afresh.

It doesn’t bother me that we’re moving away from this house.  I am actually a little weird in that I like the change that comes with moving.  And, while I love this house, I’m ready for a new project.  I feel an excitement that helps me push through the mundane chore of assembling boxes and smothering breakables in bubble wrap.

What is tapping me persistently on the shoulder, though, is that we will be homeless.  It’s only temporary and I don’t feel anxious about where we’ll end up or how everything will fall into place, surprisingly.

What I realize will be a struggle, though, is that I will be a homebody without a home.

I enjoy nestling in the comfy corner of my couch.  I love my bed, my favorite sheets when they are fresh out of our dryer, and my blankets are just the right weight.  The temperature is set just how we like it.  I know where Sebastian likes to curl up, where the boys like to play, and that Jeff is usually pacing the sidewalk, chatting with a friend on the phone, if I can’t find him in the house.  There is order and everything has its place.

And for a short time, just a blink in the span of a life, we won’t have that.

As that realization settled, a famous phrase came to mind.  This world is not my home.  I’m not sure why that popped in my head, but I suppose it was a reminder to not be too attached to things.  I mulled it over, took a little license, and rearranged the words in my mind…

This home is not my world.  

It’s where we live.  It’s where we are comfortable.  It’s a place of memory and growth.  It’s where creativity has been stirred.  It’s where we have taught and learned.  It’s a lot of good things.

But it’s not everything.

While I was at the beach, I started a book that is perfect for the untethered homebody – At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider.

As soon as I saw the title, I knew that, while it is a totally different scenario, it would speak to me and where I am at the moment.

And who can resist that cover?!

this home is not my world

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43 Comments on “this home is not my world”

  1. I, too, am a homebody. I even was once called that in derision by a former neighbor! But ironically, I seem to move house every 10 years, most recently last October. I, too, find moving to be exciting and thrilling despite all the grueling tasks of packing and unpacking. The new horizons waiting to be decorated, explored, etc. make it worthwhile. I have found that when we move out, and I go back and see the old houses (since we have always lived in the same area), the houses seem like empty shells because the “soul” (so to speak) of our family moves out of that space and into the new house. The old houses are just buildings now, though while we lived in them, they felt alive and comforting and wonderful. The house is not the home!

    1. You said a mouthful. We moved 5 years ago and I never felt nostalgic about leaving even though we lived in that house for almost 30 years. It’s only recently that I drove past it and saw how unloved it was that nearly brought me to tears. My husband babied that lawn and I did everything I knew to do to make the inside as cozy and comfortable and beautiful as I could for our family. It was a much loved home and it loved us back…. and now it looks like no one cares. Oh my goodness… if I don’t hush about it I’m gonna have a full blown ugly cry…. we really do carry the soul of our families with us as we create a new place to land…. and we have the power to breathe new life into empty shells. Your post is profound, Kim…

      1. We moved in December and the same has befallen our old house. I love our new place but my boys grew up there until late teens so it’s sad to see it so unkempt.

      2. The same thing happened to my growing up house, where the owners after my parents bought it for their kids and they didn’t care about it. In fact, police were called to the house a couple of times (according to the neighbors, who, you know, always love to tell tales).

        But then, one day, the house had a new owner that was perfect — a single, female minister of the same faith as our family (my sister is, in fact, a minister in the same faith, albeit co-pastoring with her husband). As soon as people knew she was buying the house, they started telling her about the wonderful family that had lived there. My sister and mother actually visited the house and the new pastor just 10 days before my mother passed away (she was in her 90s; the timing was a surprise, but a blessing in that she didn’t suffer). I drive by the house occasionally and smile.

    2. I cannot ever go back to visit old homes — all were thousands of miles away and at least three across the Atlantic. This fact relates, to me, to the recent “stuff” series, and why I move all my “stuff” with me, like a snail moving its shell. It is my memories I hold closely around me. I too enjoy the excitement of re-creating a new space to suit my tastes — new colors, repairs, even rather extensive remodeling. But when I unpack my “old friends,” my memories from older times and older dwellings come rushing into my new space, and I feel “at home” once again. I empathize with Cindy — I cannot bear to look at Google streetside views of my last home, so far away — it was so happy looking when I was there, and now it looks unloved and forlorn. But I have moved on. Homes reflect their owners, don’t you think? Thus changes, whether for good or for ill, would seem to be inevitable.

  2. Before I bought my house, I did a lot of artwork about houses and homes. Once I bought it, my fascination with that theme faded away. We nesters love our homes! So curious where you will be next.

  3. My daughter says ‘home is where your stuff is’. What you do to a house and sharing it with people you love makes it home. I am excited for your new adventure. The best to all of you!

  4. We are about to move from the NW to the SE (a/c will be my good friend). Home is were my hubby is and my “stuff”. Excited about all the new adventures. Hope your move go well.

  5. My husband is retired Air Force and during his time in the service, we moved several times. Each time I was anxious about leaving the familiar but excited to experience the unknown. We have been in this house for 30 years and I feel the urge to leave the familiar and start a new adventure while I am still young enough to cope with it but alas, my hubby doesn’t feel the same. So I will have an adventure vicariously through you. Best wishes for a wonderful new adventure!

  6. You are so good at writing and conveying your thoughts and feelings. After my first husband passed away. I was so untethered and felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. My grief counselor told me that my home was inside here (and she pointed to her heart). I have never forgotten that. Home is where we make it, not a collection of things. But I, like you, love some of my things and they help round out my concept of home.
    Best of luck in your move. You are an inspiration.

  7. I love this post! Thank you for the reminder that this home is not our world, and our homes (and things) are not our world. Love how yout hink!

  8. So since you will be “homeless” for awhile, why don’t you come to Orlando and help me on our house? We know your parents and think they are awesome. How do you think you ended up with so many special talents?!! You are more than welcome!!!

    1. Ha! Yeah, I should just take “the show on the road” so to speak! We’re hoping things fall into place quickly, but we’ll see…

  9. Wow! I needed to read that today. I am also leaving our beautiful PA home for somewhere in Ohio. We are blessed to have a buyer but no where to go yet….. The Lord has a plan for us and I am learning to rest in that truth. The stuff series is a reminder that I do not need to be responsible for past “stuff” and I am going to have a lighter load phycially and emotionally. I am praying for you and your family when I pray for mine. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

    1. Well, we are in the same boat! I’ll be praying for you as well. I know it’s exciting, but it’s hard, too. 🙂

  10. We sang a song at church camp when I was a kid
    “This world is not my home I’m justa passing through.
    My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
    The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
    and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

  11. What’s funny….I’m a homebody, too….yet I LOVE to travel. Dh, too. We travel and it is amazing, yet anything over 3.5 days…we are both DONE, and ready to go home. So almost 3 yrs ago we bought a very used rv. And we love to wander in it for long weekends and spring and fall vacations. And no, longer trips don’t bother me, cause we have a little home we take with us! Last spring we traveled for just over 2 weeks, and I could’ve been gone longer. We didn’t feel that panicky feeling when day 4 of our travels hit. We have bits and pieces of things which make our small space feel homey, and it comforts the homebodies in us, while also feeding the travel bugs in us. Win-win!

  12. Also, we are former military….the moving happened often. The excitement of a new place was great….a new home to decorate and make our own! That was also balanced out by a hunger to settle down somewhere…..somewhere final. When dh got out and we bought our first home….once 3 years arrived….we were jonesing for somewhere else, anywhere else! Ha! We stayed there for 6 yrs, and it was exciting to move again. That was 5 yrs ago, though it seems like less! This house has a forever feel to it, and we’d be ok with that (we aren’t wanting to leave), but we think at some point we will leave to move closer to family, as our parents age. I just pray that God will prepare me when it is time to move on, cause I love our little house so much!

  13. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”

  14. Thank you for this post…I needed it today. My husband and I are currently “homeless homebodies” as we recently sold our house in Texas and are renting a house in Litchfield County Connecticut as we prepare to purchase a new home here. Everything you said in your post resonates with me and it is a daily challenge reconciling my desire to “feel settled” vs. enjoying the process albeit a stressful one. I keep reminding myself that we need to live in the present and that everything will fall into place. So I write this to you as I sit on the porch of our rental place enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof! Good luck in your search for your next home. As a big fan I will be watching to see where you land. Warmest regards, Crystal

  15. Military “brats” do love the idea of a new space to decorate and explore! I am so glad that you have been granted a peace that comes from meditating on truth. So often we tend take the good gifts given to us and turn them into idols. How exciting for your family to let go of those gifts to have empty hands ready to receive whatever God has for you next! We will be following along….

  16. Marie, the Southeast welcomes you and your family with open arms! I hope you find our reputation for Southern Hospitality holds true wherever you may land. Yes, we use our A/C, but winters are sunny and mild. It makes for happy people! 🌞

  17. My life verse, given to me so many years ago when we were in transition in life, is Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal Good is your dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

    1. I never really red blogs or comments. I usually just browse pictures. Today I wandered from my “tasks” ( chickens, watering the garden etc.) and read through each.
      My heart is full! My loneliness is gone. I have found kindred spirits. You all have put to words what I could not……you wrote about home and hearth nesting, sentimental feelings about “stuff” . We can freely enjoy things that symbolize our history or values or love of beauty. The ” stuff” comforts us without owning our souls. And that we can embrace change positively and grow with each move.
      I’ve taught kindergartenan 4 years now. I’m often complemented on the art I do in my classroom. Me? Really? I’ve even been asked to teach art camps. How can this be? Because I am not afraid to encourage the children to explore and create. But for some reason I cannot translate this to decorate my own home.
      Thank you all for indirectly encouraging me to start and for realizing I’m not weird for yearning to Create a place of beauty in a 1970’s rancher.

  18. Oh, how I smiled when I read this post, you do have such a way with helping your readers feel just like we are right with you. My husband travels often for work, and loves it, but I always want to stay home. Jane Austen said “There’s nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” I couldn’t agree more. At our house, I always say, “East or West, home is best! Soon you will have a lovely, new home to decorate. We can’t wait to go on this next journey with you!

  19. I am also a homebody who just moved from a home we’ve been in for 25 yrs. We are living in a rental home we lived in when we got married. I understand a home body with no permanent home. It hit me extremely hard. Didn’t think I’d ever get over it. That’s when I realized that was exactly why God allowed it to happen. I had gotten way too attached to my stuff. The four walls. This world is not my home. And if you are a child of God, you won’t be allowed to forget that. My thought on the subject.

  20. I seriously love your sweet posts Marian💗 I can’t wait to see where your family lands and how you put your sweet home together in a new place!! ☺️

  21. I am excited for all the new adventures you and your family are about to embark on but I must say I feel a little sad as you say “goodbye” to this home. Its become like a old friend over the years if that sense.

  22. Building 429: All I know is I’m not home yet.

    Your post is very timely for me as I wonder if i will move one day. I bought out my ex in the divorce (34 year marriage and 25 years almost in my house).

    I am excited to see what you do next.

    Someone asked me the other day if I knew who you were bc we have similar taste. Talk about being flattered! I started a blog recently bc you inspired me.

    God bless you in this new adventure.

  23. I’m such a homebody. A few years ago I sold my home (the first one I bought) of 11 years and had the ugly cry on moving day. It was the right thing, time to go. But I had poured my heart into that place for 11 long years. The real killer was the summer of homelessness, camping out in my parent’s basement. But God provided the best house for me at exactly the right time. It has been high needs, affording me endless opportunities to fix it up and project my heart out and nearly four years in, I love it so much more than I ever loved my first place. And if I had to leave, I’d cry and learn to love the next place. Home isn’t everything, but I experience a longing for Heaven through my home. If I can love a shabby little place this much, imagine when we get to our real Home. Bliss. Happy moving and I’ll pray the homelessness is short term 😀

  24. It’s leaving the familiar for the unknown. Things will fall into place but in the mean time it’s a leap of faith. I’ve taken years to learn it’s the time outs we take with family and friends that are important and you did just that by your trip to the beach!

  25. No matter what season we are in, change seems to always be a challenge, especially for us homebody and routine types. I’ve been in your spot before and can say every time that God has shown Himself faithful. He will do no less in your situation. Looking back, it was the times when I walked in trust that were the times when contentment and excitement for the future were fully enjoyed.
    You’re in a great spot to experience so much. May you enjoy the road wherever it goes! He is with you every step of the way!

  26. We had a month and a half when we sold our house last year that we were essentially homeless before we could move into our new home. It was hard on the kids. We stayed at a relative’s house up the street but I remember having to comfort the kids a lot and remind them that home is not a house. The issue has cropped up on and off more for my oldest because he is shy. We just keep saying bloom where you are planted. Family will always be your home.

  27. Read your post and all the comments. So in agreement. Our house sold after 27 years here. Closing date July 24. Have made this place just like we want it. Many reasons it is time to leave and now I am content after a long struggle. God is so Gracious. No idea where new “nest” is, but He does.

  28. Annette: That has always been one of my favorite hymns. I am very much a homebody, but it
    really doesn’t make a difference where that dwelling is located as long as a decent area. I am
    77 years old and still love to move to different areas, meet new people. I lived in an RV park for
    15 years on the gulf coast. Loved every minute of it. Have had big houses, 36′ 5th wheels, small cottage and medium size. I think sometimes the 36′ 5th wheel with 3 slides is my favorite.LOL Home is where we are at any given time. Good luck Marian and God Bless your family and keep you safe.

  29. I guess this is this week’s theme! My cousin is wrapping up her 11 countries in 11 months missions trip, where she lived and slept any number of odd places and pondering what home means.
    I am currently living in a hospital with my recently diagnosed with cancer husband. I blogged about this experience, and came to the conclusion home is where we are together, and where we have ziplock bags.
    When I packed some things for our extended stay, the last thing I grabbed was a box of ziplock bags. That one little thing has made the trickiness of not having my own kitchen a little more doable.
    So drop a box of ziplock bags in your stash of items that will live with you until you settle and unpack all the treasures that make home home. And of course, keep a sense of humor.

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