The Essence of a Home

Yesterday, Mr. M got word (in what struck me as an exasperatingly vague way) that we won't be heading south to a job in the city of our incredibly beloved surrogate father/grandfather. We're both a little heartbroken. It was amazing that Mr. M got on the short list, and we got our hopes up. It was his Dream Job, and we love this octogenarian so much, and the combination made the "no" just stink on ice.

And so, we're going to be in limbo a while longer, a more indefinite limbo, without any idea of what might be next. (Yes, I know that's true for everyone-- both tragedies and joys jump out from behind the bushes all the time.) We will certainly be fine, but today is a time for mourning. Premature cheerfulness helps no one (and encouragement towards the same might get you socked in the eye).

This morning, it struck me that most of my sadness comes from not being able to make our next home. This place has always felt like temporary housing-- first because we thought I'd be heading off for seminary, but eventually because... well, have you ever just not belonged somewhere? I'm damn adaptable (heaven knows I've had enough practice), but I've never stopped feeling like the new kid in school here. (My theory is that's what happens when most people in an area have roots that go back generations.) I remember talking to my spiritual director a few months ago about how we carry a sense of "home" with us when we're accepting of who God made us to be. It's true. But I'm still yearning for a little cocoon.

We're feeling a bit like orphans, and I badly want to make us a little cozy sweet nest. (Maybe less orphans than runaways, I can't decide. Either way, it's relatively recent, basically unbloggable, and horribly sad.)

This afternoon, I thought about what makes a "home" to me. Mostly, it's hospitality. A place feels like a home to me when there are extra plates set at the table, fluffed pillows on the guest bed, laughter in the living room.

Well, I can get that going again, right? That can happen in transition.

But my heart still hurts. And I still hate our butt-ugly couch.


  1. I'm so sorry. Job disappointments can be so brutal. Especially after entertaining the possibility some something great. Praying for you and praying that you find a "home" soon.

  2. Em, that is incredibly kind. Thank you.

  3. I could prate on about "something better will come along..." which may even be true, but that doesn't mean the loss of the current hope doesn't suck.

    I'm sorry it didn't happen. (((Mrs. M)))

  4. Dorothy10:47 PM

    As my Christian Scientist aunt would aay, "Never fear, some good will come of this." It's hard to agree when times are tough, but that thought has helped me over the years. Perhaps it reminds us that our hope is in the Lord. Praying for you-all.

  5. we do that too... imagine the life that would happen if a job became reality, and then never live it. then start dreaming when the next job is applied for. Sorry to hear about the disappointment, but you can't leave before we break bread together, so if that is the detriment here, we better get something planned

  6. I, too, grieve with you. I know how hard it is to feel out of place and to not be able to get to a place where you'd feel more at home. Maybe God is trying to speak to you with this experience of exile (that's what I tell myself, anyway).

  7. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Hey, I have a butt ugly couch too . . . it was the couch I raised my kids on . . .they aren't yet ready to give it up (especially my daughter). Perhaps we could swap:) . . .Blessings to you in time of sadness.

  8. sorry to hear about your disappointment. I hope you find your 'home' (it sounds like one of your gifts is 'hospitality'!)

    I'll be praying for you that something great comes along, and that you'll be able to settle in with a sense of home.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins