School begins tomorrow for my healthy children. I have one sick child today. I feel like I’m returning to something. It is true we homeschool; therefore we spend our summer vacation in the same place we spend our school time, but still, I believe I was homesick most of the summer. This makes me wonder what home really is.
One aspect is the physical building and the land it is on. If pressed, I will say this big old farmhouse is my home, but if pressed even further, I will admit it’s even more my husband’s home and has been in his family (not mine) for many years.
Another aspect of home are the things we make ourselves comfortable doing. I phrased that carefully because I was trying to describe in one sentence why I was homesick for homeschool. For some reason I never got comfortable doing summer vacation this year. I think it had something to do with my total lack of comfort (and ability) working on the farm with my husband. I felt like since the kids are a little older now and I didn’t busy myself with school, I should be driving the mile to the barn and helping out more. There are still some good excuses not to. The kids really aren’t quite big enough to help much. We want to keep the van clean, which is tricky when I’m hauling myself and three children back and forth, all of us wearing barn boots and smelly clothes. So anyway, I never felt like I was doing the right thing. I always felt like I was doing the wrong thing this summer. But with school coming, the right thing is to do educational/relational things with my kids.
There is also my spiritual home, which is in a higher reality, separate from this life. I am a pilgrim on earth. Now, the word pilgrim makes me think of the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower. But they came to make new homes where they could worship God in peace. It is true their new homes were rough and difficult compared to their old homes, but still, they eventually formed bigger communities, gained more aspects of civilization and comfort. So the Pilgrims eventually stopped being true pilgrims. Christians don’t stop being pilgrims until they get to heaven. All of this living in big old farmhouses and getting comfortable reading good books to my kids is part of a pilgrimage. It doesn’t even count as home, in that sense. Spiritually, Christians are always homesick. I guess that’s true for me, at least right now. Nothing seems right, exactly. Spiritually, my keel is uneven. I think I’m doing great with devotions and prayer one day and the next I’m unable to even think a full sentence to God. Does this make me feel better? Yes, it does make me feel better to write this stuff out. But it doesn’t matter so much. I’m still homesick. Knowing that my constant spiritual homesickness outranks the homesickness resulting from a bad summer does help me put things in proper perspective.