Friday, November 21, 2014

Thirty Thanks, Day 21: Homespaces

I am slipping this post in just under the radar, I know. But it's my first "do nothing" day in over a week. I have been busy. I've been hostessing, and having doctor's appointments, and teaching children and teaching adults and planning plans. I'm a busy woman. My mind is at 110% capacity 200% of the time. (I am also really bad at math.) I am never not thinking about something, even if I look like I'm relaxed. It's this never ending cycle of being strong enough to handle all of it but fighting myself every step of the way because I either feel like I'm not doing enough or I'm sure that if I don't stop I will actually explode.

I used to call it "fighting my own strength." I wrote horrible poems about it in high school.

But you know what makes all of this fighting worth it?

Homespaces. Yes, I just made that up. But it's a real thing, which I will explain.

A homespace is a space (...) that feels like home. Obviously. You probably could have figured that out. But the root of it is that it doesn't have to be home. There are other elements that make it feel that way. This can make life tolerable, especially if you don't actually have a place to call home.

I've felt homeless for a while, really. My parents no longer live in the house I grew up in. My apartment, while it is the place I sleep, is not exactly homey and the fact that the property owners won't fix our leaking wall definitely doesn't give me a sense of belonging. And, in general, Illinois has never felt like home. The weather makes me miserable year-round, and most of my favorite people are very far away. I will always call Washington my home, even though I personally don't have a place to live there.

And that's because a homespace isn't about the location... it's about the sense of belonging.

So when I'm with my husband, I'm in my homespace. I belong where he is. When I'm with my parents in their apartment, I'm in my homespace, because I belong with them. When I'm with my dearest and closest friends in a coffee shop or at the movies or walking around the city, I'm in my homespace, because we belong with each other.

I am thankful for the many homespaces in my life. I am thankful for the group of wonderful women who have supported me this last year, and the ways they see me and love me and make sure I know I belong with them. I'm thankful that despite my apartment's shortcomings, it is a place where I can be safe with my husband or with friends. I'm thankful for the opportunity I had last December to visit home for Christmas, to experience a different homespace with my family. I'm thankful for the friends I've made at work, and the homespace there where I can be challenged and can touch the lives of students. I'm thankful most of all for the Holy Spirit, in allowing me to find "homespaces" in so many different experiences and places and situations.

Thanks, homespace. (Not homeslice...) You're incredible.

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