I am very thankful for my current house – a great 1-story w/ 3 bedrooms and a open living/kitchen area that has room to cram 50 people if needed. I chose the cool paint colors and, although I wouldn’t have picked the kitchen counters, they are expansive. But this is the truth – the reason this house is home is because of the people and animals that inhabit it. I really do believe that I could move into a tent (maybe 2 tents) or a trailer or whatever and make it work with my clan. It doesn’t hurt that my husband’s got some skills and could take care of us in all kinds of crazy situations. Point is – I have found my home with this husband and these children not just because we are related, but because they are “my people”.
When it comes to feeling this sense of home in friendships, things are a little different. Unlike marriage, where the hope is that you select your 1 person and stick with it for better or worse – for good, friends can come and go without any legal nightmares or social disgraces. Friends are a daily choice. They only remain if you make a conscious decision to make it so. They do not wake up in your bed by default every morning, so in order to have them in your life, someone must be making that happen. What an amazing thing then when you find a handful of people like this that stay in your life no matter what – for as long (or even longer) than a marriage. I have a handful of these treasured relationships, but today I want to highlight one in particular. She’s special, and it’s her birthday.
If something awesome happens – I want to tell Sharon. She will be so excited for me. We both want to win the HGTV Dream House in Nantucket. If I win, she will hate me for a couple minutes and tell me flat out how jealous she is and how evil I am for entering because that was meant to be her house. Then, we will plan our summer in Nantucket together before we figure out how to divide up the furnishings and sell the house because the taxes are too high. One the other side of life, if tragedy strikes – I also want to tell Sharon. There is nothing you can’t throw at her. This quote from Henri Nouwen’s book Out of Solitude (such a lovely little read) sums it up perfectly.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
I am thankful for Sharon, for my husband and children, and others (you know who you are) who can tolerate the authentic me without pressing me to be anything else. I want to be this kind of friend in return. I want to be this kind of wife and mother and daughter and sister. I wrote this song, Sweet Home, on many levels. It started as a simple song about finding your physical home, but it was really much deeper than that. It reflects the home I have found with my family and the home that I instantly feel with my friends. It is about the seeking and the finding of that kind of place, and about the time and space and freedom it takes to find it. So, my precious family and friends, it is a song I will sing over you today.
It’s in silence that our words gain their meaning
and in listening that the speaking truly heals
Space will bring us closer to the truth that keeps us free
Lose it all so someday we will find it
Give us room to roam and time for thoughts to wander
Slow the pace and let the wonders be revealed
Leave your striving far behind and rest in who you are
It’s a solitary healing for the heart
Let it go, let it go, all the worries of this world, let em go.
Seek the stillness — breathe it deeply
Find the peace that’s hidden far within
Let the sun be your embrace, the sea serenity
You’re a part of all the beauty that surrounds you
The waves roll in and your heart expands
Dreams reaching for the summer sky
The birds cry out with their morning song
Beckon you to come on out and sing along
You are home. Oh, sweet home, sweet home, home to stay.
You have room to roam and time for thoughts to wander
A slower pace to let the wonders be revealed
You left striving far behind and found the truth of you are
A joyful journey for a grateful heart
Let it go, you are home, your heart has found its resting place
You are home