I spent most of my childhood in the same home. A 1920's farmhouse that my parents bought when I was 5 years old and renovated room by room. It was a good home. Full of laughter and sibling fighting and parents (gently) yelling at us to turn down the thermostat. Full of the smells of baking bread and candles and a fire smouldering in the fireplace my dad installed when I was a teenager. The yard was a bare lot with waist high grass but they planted trees and gardens and built big wrap around decks and a campfire area that has welcomed more people than I could ever hope to count. The grass is lush with irrigation and in the back corner is a dog pen that in my lifetime has housed 3 of the best dogs a family could hope to have. You can't imagine a better home to grow up in.
In the past decade I've moved 10 times. And while I joke that I'm practically a professional mover and that it doesn't really phase me, and while my community has mostly stayed consistent throughout my moves, I often feel that I am constantly in a state of upheaval. When I move into a new home I make sure to keep my boxes, for the inevitable "next time". I am intentional about not accumulating an excess of "stuff" because all I see when I bring something new into my home is one more box. I am hesitant to put down roots. Some people are built to be free spirits, wandering the globe, never owning more than they can fit into a backpack or a car, falling asleep in a new bed every night.
I love the security of the familiar. I love to have adventures, but I need to feel rooted.
As winter and I both settle in, I am realizing that what I crave, more than anything is stability. The ability to rest comfortably in the knowledge that I am home. And I know that this is probably about more than a physical space, more than four walls and a roof. While I recognize that having a stable physical space that I know won't change could be a part of it, I know the settled-ness needs to come from inside of myself. The work of calming the feelings of chaos and disruption needs to start in my own heart, by knowing that I take my home with me, wherever I go. My home is in my family, my home is in my work, my home is in my God.
So settle down. Take a deep breath. Look around and be grateful for somewhere to lay your head. Figure out what makes a house a home and carry those things in your heart.