Home.

It’s hard to believe that 2.5 weeks have passed in what seems like a blink of an eye! Friday we traveled from Cleveland to Miami. Miami to Panama. Panama to Caracas. Home. A 2,325 mile trek, 70 degree difference in weather, to take us from one “home” to another.

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Don’t we look excited to travel! You would never guess how early this picture was taken.

Home. A concept that has so many different meanings, connotations and feelings associated with it. My thesis my senior year of college was on the importance of Home, and to tell you the truth, even then it was incredibly difficult to put into words a construct so deep, different and dynamic as it is.

Growing up, we moved a lot all throughout high school. However, during that time, it really sunk in that home is not the place, rather the people who make it. Home is the result of the intentionality, dedication, and purpose of the people who form it.

I feel like there is this idea (unspoken or not) that you can only have one “home” at a time. I think that this belief is not only completely incorrect, but, potentially harmful. This is not a simple mathematical problem where you end up subtracting one from the other to get where you are. You do not “lose” one community. Rather, you take those pieces that are life-shaping, those that formed you and stick with you, and incorporate them within the new place you are currently building your life.

Sometimes, I feel like there is a sense of guilt and comparison that comes with this process. Guilt that you shouldn’t be sad or else what you’re doing isn’t “right”. Guilt that you are leaving friends and family behind while you are chasing after your dreams. And comparison that inevitably always happens when something new is different from the way you did it before or just how things were.

It’s in these times that something small but forceful can potentially creep in. Something that seeps its way up into our minds and thoughts when we are not trying to think of it. That quiet, unwelcome question, “Did I make the right decision?”

I feel like this question, while real and true and something that we all have had many times in our lives, is part of that subtraction problem I mentioned earlier. When you begin to doubt whatever decision you made, I feel like it opens the doors for more and more uncertainty to build and take over. This is what I believe robs us of that feeling of “home”. The lack of confidence in our decisions, which, whether intentionally or unintentionally, reflects a lack of trust in God’s plan, impedes our full ability to invest in the new community and others, rather than just focusing internally on our emotions and whether or not we are doing what we should be doing. This is the loss of living fully. The stall in being fully present while you are creating your home.

I feel like this idea of home has been on my mind a lot more due to hopping around some of our other homes and visiting our dear friends and family over vacation. It was so good, rejuvenating and restful to see our family and friends, to walk streets that were familiar, run paths that our feet already knew, to drink coffee (and lots of it) at our old favorite spots.

It is so much easier to talk in person than in Skype, sometimes, and we did a lot of talking over break. A lot of catching up, congratulating, and celebrating. We planned, we laughed, we played, and we were grateful.

If I could use one word to capture our feelings over break, it would be that: grateful.

Grateful for families who takes us out to eat and watch us jump for joy while eating a Chipotle burrito. (In all reality, although I did not jump for joy, I definitely clapped my hands and cheered unintentionally during many meals)

Grateful for parents who have invested time, prayers, encouragement and so much more every step of the way.

Grateful for friends who are absolutely wonderful, life-long pillars in our lives, regardless of the distance and location.

Grateful for nieces and nephews who are full of life, joy, fun, and grow more in their incredibly unique and awesome personalities each time we see them.

Grateful for clean tap water, toilets you can flush paper down, English, familiarity, and stocked grocery stores. It was also during this time where I had to truly come to understand that being grateful, thankful, and appreciative of the homes that we have in California and Ohio should not take away from my feeling grateful to be in Caracas.

Yes, there are differences in these two homes. The obvious ones, and the small, minute things. However, this is where we are investing, planting new roots, and growing together and in community.

When we got to our apartment (at 3 a.m.) and opened our door in our sad, delirious, sleep-deprived state, there was something special, exciting and fulfilling to know that we are here. While it had to be post-poned until the next morning when we were no longer sleep-walking zombies, the feeling was still there.

While I am still trying to balance these emotions, thoughts and meanings of home being in many different places at once, I do know that we are here for a reason. One that is bigger than my thoughts, plans, or dreams. One that is not sustained or lessened by my emotions, but, something placed in our path that I fully believe in.

I don’t have a very organized or succinct way of describing our adventures over our break. So, instead, you can just look through some of the random snapshots (basically, say “hello” to my photo album) to see what we are grateful for in all of our homes over break (Guys, I’m so sorry. I always do this… I don’t post pictures often enough, so, when I finally do, there is a crazy picture overload… I don’t blame you for just briefly glancing. Or not even glancing at all. Seriously.):

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First breakfast in the States: Panera. Awesome.

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Brandon surprised me with tickets to see Wicked for the first time!

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I’m pretty sure he now regrets it. I’ve been singing my own versions of the songs for over 2 weeks now.

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This little nugget enjoying her Christmas presents.

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Getting so big!

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Love my Burroughs family!

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Reunion with such dear, dear friends. Happy heart!

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Slow mornings, french press coffee, and quality time with some of our favorite people.

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We love our friends.

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LAX —> CLE

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Hiking with the family! Cole slept the whole time.

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Enjoying a snow-less Ohio. Definitely no complaining with that.

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Family time in the warehouse.

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My lovely mother.

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The baby whisperer. No. That’s not our baby.

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I’d say my Dad is cooler than yours.

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Morning Cole time. His hand was more interesting than I was… But, I’ll take what I can get.

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Wouldn’t be Christmas without some Ticket to Ride.

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One lucky lady.

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Grateful for straight-up ice cream. Yes. In 20 degree weather.

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Back home in Caracas. Ready for what 2015 brings!

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3 thoughts on “Home.

  1. Don Hallum says:

    Hi Sallie Dear!
    Enjoyed your insight. I believe your discovery about “home” will be freeing for you. It releases you to be free in pursuing God’s best without the nagging thoughts of leaving, family, friends, or something else. Our perspective is always from the prism of eternity…therefore eventually we all will end up in our forever home. But until then, God has made it possible to experience Him to the fullest! It also gives you opportunity to expand “home” as you follow His will…actually that’s what Jesus did…He expanded “home” when He came to earth.

    I also believe the peace you felt upon walking through the door (even as a zombie) in Caracas, is confirmation that you were home, while at the same time it never threatens “here” where we are.

    We love you and Brandon VERY, VERY much!
    Dad.

    Like

  2. Virginia Burroughs says:

    Brandon and Sallie, Loved reading you blog and seeing the pictures. It caused me to think about the 12 homes we lived in during the course of our marriage, the things we learned, the friends we made, the churches we attended and served in. So many memories! I remember when Brandon was 3 in New Jersey and he said, “Home is where your stuff is”. Very perceptive Brandon!
    I appreciated your call so much. Loved talking to you, and I’m thankful you had such a wonderful holiday back “home”! May God bless you abundantly during 2015. Love you, Grandmom

    Like

  3. Marian Hallum says:

    I love to read your writings about your life. They are expressed so beautifully and elegant. Words take on a life of their own when you put them down on paper. We were so happy we were able to see you. Glad you made it back ( Home) safely.

    Like

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