Home is where…?

The question of where home is has been heavy on my heart lately. As you know, Chris and I have been living for two years in Germany and will Tuesday morning return to the States. Many people have asked us if we are happy to be going “home”.

Are we happy to see our family and friends?
Yes!

Are we happy to speak English for a little while?
Absolutely.

Are we happy to be going home?

That question is a little trickier. Where is our home? If we mean the building or set of rooms that we own/rent, then we have no home. If we mean the place that we grew up and our parents still live, then that is Texas. If we mean the place that we first lived as a married couple, that is Oklahoma. If we mean the place that we have lived for the past two years, where my husband was born and half his family lives, that is Germany.

Anyone who has moved can attest to the fact that building a new home is something very complicated. You leave something comfortable for something that is unknown, that is foreign. When what is foreign also speaks a different language and boasts a completely different culture, you have reached a whole new level of complicated.

An American friend of ours living in Germany says that she was raised in America but grew up in Germany. After the last two years, we can understand exactly what she means. When you start with nothing, not even words, you grow up really fast. You learn the strength of your own character, you learn your limits, and most importantly, you learn what home truly means.

Home, to me, isn’t a place or a building, but a feeling. It’s the feeling of comfort and safeness. It’s a feeling of being known, loved, and valued. It’s a feeling of friends and family who support you. It’s the feeling I got every time I walked into the church in Germany. It is the same feeling I will get when I see our families waiting for us at the airport tomorrow. It is not limited, thankfully, by time or space. Family is family. And home is home.

So, to answer your questions: We are happy to be going home, but we are sad, in the same breath, to be leaving home.

What is your definition of home? #homeis


Comments

  1. says

    Oh I adore your thoughts on home! We live 3.5 hours from my “home” growing up and I miss it so, but where we live now is also home. (We live in TX by the way!)
    I hope that your move goes smoothly and that you find a peaceful new home.

  2. says

    Good luck with your transition back to the States…it can be hard. I lived in Thailand for almost a year and coming back to the States was an adjustment. I love your definition of home–I would say mine is the same!

    • Krista says

      Thanks Krissa! We are planning on some reverse cultural shock, as well. It will be an interesting experience, I’m sure.

    • Krista says

      Thanks, Jae! We are home for awhile. We haven’t made a firm decision on what comes next. Thankfully, we have a little time to think and pray about it before moving on to the next thing. We are just taking it day by day for now.

  3. says

    For me, home is where my family is. I’ve never moved from one country to another, but I remember being so nervous several years ago when we moved from DC (where we’d lived for almost 9 years) to Pennsylvania, where we didn’t know a soul. It’s scary, but it always ends up working out — now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else! Good luck!

    • Krista says

      I love the saying “Home is where my husband is”, Jenn. It is so nice to know that family is there to see us through such a tough transition.

    • Krista says

      I know exactly what you mean, Megan. I feel like I left a part of my heart in Germany. But that’s okay. I love feeling connected to both places.

  4. says

    My husband and I have moved a lot. We don’t really care about a physical place. We just need each other. We kind of like the adventure of living in different areas and never really having roots to tie us down. It allows us to go when God calls. It is hard leaving the friends behind and a new church, but if you make strong connections, they will stay with you through the years. Distance doesn’t matter.

    • Krista says

      Thanks, Kim. That is really encouraging to know that you have kept in contact despite the distance. I know it will be hard, but I hope we can manage it!

  5. says

    Having just moved across the country, I have a new home. It didn’t take long for it to feel like home since I was so happy about the move. But I miss my family and friends and I can’t wait to visit them. But this is home now, where my husband and kids are and we are living our life.

    • Krista says

      I am so thankful to have my husband to make transitions like this with. It makes things so much easier to have him as my constant. I am glad to know you are already feeling at home and I hope it won’t take that long for us either!

  6. says

    As a family that moves a LOT, my husband has always said that home is where our family is. It’s just that simple to him. To me it’s a bit more complicated… maybe it’s the women’s nesting syndrome πŸ™‚ but I’ll agree that where our family is is where I feel most connected and comfortable. Best of luck with your move “home”!

  7. says

    We recently made a big move, from the east coast here to California. The fact that it was a move back to California was, in essence, a move ‘home.’ While we weren’t happy with CA when we left, there was a lot we loved and missed and just couldn’t find enough of a replacement for. And while our house in SC was beautiful, it never felt like home. Even after three years, it was ‘someone else’s home.’ (Us having bought some furniture from the seller only made that worse.) Lesson learned that ‘home’ has a whole new meaning, so I totally get where you’re coming from. Travel safe!

    • Krista says

      Thanks Laney. We do feel very blessed to have had this adventure. We are definitely not the same people as when we left 2 years ago.

  8. says

    This is a great post. I learned three years ago that home isn’t necessarily the place you live but what is in your heart and who you live with. It sounds like you are well on your way to finding your new home.

  9. says

    Home to me is any place that my family is together at the same time everyday. I also agree that it is a place you should feel safe all the time.

    • Krista says

      That is a really interesting definition Deedra. I guess that means you go be at home anywhere! I think home is all about togetherness, too.

  10. says

    Best of luck on your return home. Germany is a lovely place! My husband is from Switzerland and we live in London at the moment, so we might make a move to Switzerland soon. But, I agree that home is where the heart is, not a bricks and mortar place. My home will be where me and my family feel the safest and most comfortable.

    Best of luck with the move!

    Leyla
    http://www.motherhooddiaries.com

  11. says

    Home is where I am with my husband and my son, and my dog. πŸ˜‰ We’ll probably be moving in 2014 from a place we’ve been for the last 10 years. I’ve been sad at times because I’ve put down roots but this move would be good for my our careers and for all of us in general. I’ve finally come to peace with it and that home is really wherever I am with my little family. Good post!! πŸ™‚

  12. says

    Have a safe trip (and transition) back to the United States! I’d say “Home is where the heart is”, but I think home is really where you make it. For the longest time, I thought Pittsburgh was home, but then I moved to Myrtle Beach and that was home…until I missed Pittsburgh. Now that I’ve moved back, Myrtle feels more like home (where I relax). Goodness, home is where you feel *just right*, maybe?

  13. says

    Home definitely is where the heart is – and I agree with your comment about home being where you feel safe and loved. Our church is the same way. We just moved to Wisconsin from Michigan two years ago to be near family. Adventures are fun, but family is where it’s at. Be safe.

  14. says

    Home to me is where you make it. Wherever you are happy, safe and content is home. That can be among family and / or friends, complete strangers or no one at all. And a few furry friends make it complete! Have a safe trip!

  15. says

    Great post. It reallly resonates with me as an expat! After moving 11 times in 15 years of marriage home to me, is where my husband, dog and boy are! Enjoy your new place. New things are always exciting.

  16. says

    Love this post. I moved from Wisconsin where all of my family and my husband’s family live 33 years ago when I was 25. It has always been home. It is where my heart is. Sometimes I confuse people when I refer to “home” and I am talking about Wisconsin and not Los Angeles.

    Have a good trip “home.”

  17. says

    I had to learn at a young age is HOME is where ever you are with your family. I moved a lot growing up and that is one thing I didn’t want for my kids but it has happened a couple times. I always feel home is where the love is. Good luck in making your home again!

  18. says

    I live near my family so I feel like a big part of how I define home is being near loved ones. If I had to dig deeper I would say home is where I feel safe and supported.

  19. says

    This comment so eloquently and beautifully built upon the phrase “home is where the heart is.” My husband and I retired three years ago to Florida, after having lived in Wisconsin for more than forty years. Married fifty-three years, “our home” is wherever “we are together.”

  20. says

    I haven’t lived outside the US, but have moved around quite a bit as well as lost all physical possessions in a natural disaster. I definitely agree that home is more the people. Wherever my family is, that is home. The physical place doesn’t matter. Have a safe trip and eas(ier) transition!

  21. says

    You are right … home is where you set your roots and feel safe and loved. But necessarily in a forever place. As a child my “home” was with my parents and extended family in Northern California. After I married, we made a new “home” in Central California where we raised our children. After 30 years of living in Central California, two years ago, we decided to embark on a new adventure and move across the US to Virginia … our new “home.”
    By now you are probably back in the states. Many blessings to you and your hubby as you embark on the adventure of making a new home.
    God bless …
    Lani

  22. says

    I agree with you that home is where you are. The feeling of “home” is hard to explain but we all know what it is. I am glad you are coming back to America but know you will miss Germany.

  23. says

    My ex was Navy, so I do understand how difficult it is. Each time we moved, we met wonderful people and made wonderful friends. There is that saying, “Home is where the heart is”. Welcome back to the states! I hope find a great new home. :0)

  24. says

    Oh Krista, this is such a beautiful post and I can definitely relate. Although our family has never lived in a foreign country (that is awesome, btw) my husband and I moved cross country less than a year after we married. 3 and a half years later, we moved cross country again. We started our marriage in SC, where I grew up and had lived my whole life, followed by UT and now western MD. Home, to me, is where my family is. Although I will probably always think of SC as home in a way because I spent so much of my life there and grew up there, I have come to realize that home is also just a place I can establish a place of love and security for my family. Thanks for sharing!

    • Krista says

      Wow. That is a lot of moving, Abby. It is true, though. Living in different places, away from family and “home” has really helped me to cling to my husband and helped us to create our own home in just being with each other, no matter where we are πŸ™‚

  25. says

    The best thing in this life is living together with the persons we love. If we can’t stay under the same roof, then we can always be in the same community or neighborhood! That way, we can still keep the family intact and happy.

  26. Bernetta says

    I enjoyed your thoughts about HOME too. It being a feeling. I know what you mean. My home will always be in Chicago. That is where my heart is.

  27. says

    At this moment in time, home is wherever my little kiddos are. I’m sure that concept will change once they go off to college, but for now, that’s where I’m at. Safe travels!

  28. says

    Home is where my husband and kids are! πŸ™‚ Recently having moved to Tennessee where my husband grew up has had its share of adjustments and sometimes I wanna move back to Missouri but at the same time I know eventually (hopefully) it will feel like home more and more around here!

    • Krista says

      I hope so, too, Leah. My mom grew up in Tennessee so a visit there often feels like home to me, too. My grandmother has lived in her same house in Tennessee for 50 years! Amazing!

  29. says

    If you are lucky, you take “home” with you wherever you are. I grew up and still live in the state I was born in. How lucky you are to experience different places and cultures. I am sure that there is something special about teach place that people live in if they must move a lot. I am getting to experience new places through the eyes of one my granddaughters who currently lives in California, but spent the summer living in New York City. Best wishes on your continued journey.

    • Krista says

      Thanks Grandma Loy! It is such a blessing to experience new places and I am glad your granddaughter is able to share her experiences with you!

  30. says

    I moved to Texas from Ohio when I was 19 and knew only one person. And believe me, Texas is a whole ‘nother country! I had to learn a whole new language too. ; )

    Thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking post.

  31. says

    We aren’t military, but we moved four times in about four years! I joked with my husband that if i wanted to move that often, I would’ve married a military man! I enjoyed each place we were in, but deep down never felt settled. We’ve been in the same home now for over four years and it has been nice. Took me a while to come to grips with the fact that we would indeed be planted for a good while.

    On another note about home, my grandmother’s house was always there. A place I could go for comfort and hanging out with family. It was so, so hard to say goodbye to that house this summer…a year or so after my grandmother passed away. I was raised in that house as was my mother. So many memories. My mom and dad were still living there and have since gotten their own house. I tell myself that the fun and memories will continue, just in a different house. Like you said, home Is where your family is. Can the structure you’re in be special? Yes, but its really the people who come and go that make it special.

    Thanks for sharing and may God bless your new home!

    • Krista says

      I know what you mean, Angela. I get so attached to the physical building because I can think of every memory that each corner holds. When we left Germany, one of our friends lovingly said, ” This has been a very blessed house and it has blessed a lot of people.” I so appreciated that because it was so hard standing in the empty rooms and saying goodbye πŸ™

  32. says

    Home is where you know the Lord has planted you! My home is not of this world. I’m glad you are coming back to the U.S.! What great memories you probably made!

  33. says

    As a military spouse myself “Home is where the Air Force sends you!” Moving is always bittersweet, I love starting a new adventure, meeting new friends, exploring new places but it is never easy to leave such wonderful friendships behind. However I have learned to never say goodbye, instead, “see you later.” Good luck with your move! You will build a wonderful new home wherever you are!

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