The other day I had a conversation with a friend. This friend is restless, and needing a change…Going “home” after college, as an adult, can be hard. You have to live up to expectations, and live down potential past mistakes, etc.

I told him I don’t have that problem, because I don’t know where “home” is.

I think I was wrong.


Because I just looked at this picture and I teared up.

This picture, to most of you, is a grainy shot of what appears to be a dusty street with a few houses.

But to me, the house there in the very middle, that is “home.”

My family moved a lot during my childhood, and I ended up attending 3 high schools in 4 years. I made wonderful memories at each, and am thankful for all the people I met and formed friendships with.

But that picture- that grainy Google Maps shot, that is my childhood.

That picture, to ME, represents…

-hours of playtime

-rolling in the grass with our beloved family dog

-climbing atop the wall, watching the world go by

-sleeping on cold tile floors to avoid the African heat

-learning to bake in a sweltering kitchen

-rollerskating down the street, taking turns on the sidewalk with the herds of cattle

-biking with friends to the neighborhood pool

-playing “house” in the treehouse that my Dad built for us

-reading on the porch swing as the first rain of the season, the glorious thundering end to the “Dry Season,” blew through

Why do I share this with you now, though? Seems a bit random, right? This morning I was talking to a mom friend of mine. She recently housed a few college aged kids who were away from home. One of the girls was sick, and my friend was able to give her the medicine she needed in order to get better.

My friend went on to tell me how she just couldn’t imagine having her own children be sick, miles away from home, where she wouldn’t be able to help them.

I reminded her though that the Lord had put that girl right where she needed to be, to get the medicine she needed, in order to heal. Couldn’t God do the same for her children, should they ever be away from home?

The answer is YES! A resounding, screaming YES!!!

I may be a bit lost at times, my roots may not be grounded as deeply as some. But I know, without a doubt, that God is everywhere.

He gave me a childhood, full of wonderful, precious memories- on a dry, dirty street in Africa. He kept us safe, through many illnesses and political uprest.

Then He kept us safe as we transitioned back to the US- He allowed me to meet more friends, and even my husband.

And now, as I sit in Rural Town, North Carolina…I can still repeat that God is everywhere. He is faithful.

He is my “roots.”

As I look back, His faithfulness is the common bond from place to place, from home to home, from school to school.

He is everywhere, and He is good.

All the time.

(PS- Dear Mom & Dad, I know you wish I had learned this truth a tad earlier… Sorry I didn’t fully embrace this through the teen years 🙂 )





5 comments on “Home?

  1. Donna says:

    Okay, I teared up, too! That African picture represents a lot of years for you, doesn’t it? For us, it is a memory of precious family serving the Lord so far away from home. We missed you all so much but we knew your parents were doing what God called them to do! As Daddy used to say ” In the center of God’s will is the safest place on earth!” He believed it, too!!
    Hasn’t God been so good to you? The hardships you faced brought you to a deeper understanding of Who He is & Who He will continue to be…Unchanging One, Faithful One, Provider, Counselor, Friend; I could go on & on!
    Keep writing sweetie…Love you!
    Aunt Donna

  2. Merri Holmes says:

    OKay! I cried too and so did Dad when he read it…..such sweet memories from that time in our lives and I am glad that you children have come away with precious truths that you can hold on to as you raise your little ones….you’ll have lots of stories to tell them for sure! Weren’t the monsoon storms the BEST? And of course the electricity would go off and we would sit around the kerosene lamps and play games, just being near by each other…..not really scared, but not wanting to be alone either! 🙂 We did miss our family in America sooooo much at times that it hurt, but we were doing our best to fulfill God’s will for our family….and through it all we were able to learn to rely on HIM! God is good! Thanks for reminding us of our “African home”. (I still wish they hadn’t cut down all the pretty trees.)

  3. Ann B Hardee says:

    Well~ of all things- I am the Mother of Merri and Donna and I had cried reading it, too! So, like Mother-like daughter, you know. It was a precious story which brought back all the memories to me, also. We used to get pictures of the children and that was all until they came home in person! But, the cutest thing I will mention is when Dad and I got our first computer around 1995-6 after moving from Florida to N. Carolina. We did not tell anyone we had gotten on and it surprised all the Holmes family so!! Remember that? Then, we could keep up so well!
    Heidi’s story is so true and emotional. I could write about my life in VA. and feel the same way as even the very word-HOME- is to me a most beautiful, strong feeling word. I have always LOVED it! That reminds me how I am using it now- making an outdoor sign that hangs on a little black holder to stick in the ground we take with us in the R.V. that says:
    That little sign made with embroidery thread says it all- that wherever family is together…it is HOME.

    • Heidi says:

      You’re right, Ma! I also love Oliver Wendell Holmes’ quote, “Where we love is home. Home that our feet may leave, but never our hearts.”
      Love you!

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