Saturday, we had the radio on, listening to A Prairie Home Companion. That show finished, but no one bothered to turn the radio off or change the station, so we just kept listening to whatever came on. And I’m not sure what came on next, but the theme of the show was “There’s No Place Like Home.” It featured stories of people who left their original homes, made homes in new places, etc. It got me thinking about the concept of home. Not just the house I live in, but the life I lead.
Am I home?
Chef and I like our house. There is still work to be done on it (though much of that got finished this week as we prepare for an appraisal so we can refinance at a lower rate and shorter term), but it’s a nice place. Our home is great for having people over and for having people stay with us. It has a really nice porch where I can be outside and read a book or watch a storm roll in, but still be under some shade and shelter. And I really enjoy living in a small town. I like being able to walk to the library, the bank, the Farmers’ Market, the park, and the post office. I like that we have friends who live nearby.
Still, this house and its location aren’t exactly what we want. We’d like to live out in the country with a big yard, maybe with some chickens and goats, rabbits and honeybees. We want a big garden. We don’t really need the four bedrooms our current house has, and we’d like something smaller.
But it isn’t just the house. I’m currently working in a job that pays well enough, but doesn’t use my strongest skills or stimulate my brain. I took several months thinking about what I really want to do as a profession. I don’t really want to go back to teaching, although I considered it. But I never was able to come up with any other job that I wanted either… until I realized that the times when I was most content in my work were the times when I was keeping house. What an old-fashioned career goal! Feminists everywhere are shaking their heads. But that is truly what I want to do: keep house. Be a housewife, a homemaker, a stay-at-home-wife. I never thought in my younger years that this would be my goal. (I was a teenage feminist myself, a rather independent young woman.) But I enjoy planning meals, keeping the house clean and tidy — yes, I like doing laundry! — making the yard look nice, and taking care of my husband.
I know that for now, I need to keep the job. We’ll have our first debt paid off next month sometime — yippee! But it will be a good two years before all our consumer debt is gone, and an additional four or five or (sigh) six before the mortgage is paid. Perhaps at that point, I will get to have my dream job. I’ve no idea when we might have the dream house.
But even then, will I feel at home? Is this feeling I have simply a symptom of knowing that “this world is not my home“? Will I always feel unsettled until I am truly home in Heaven? If so, how do I learn to be content until then?