Cheesy people will say that home is where the heart is. Hmmm....I just can't agree with that. The more I've moved around (and taken my heart with me), the more I have come to realize that for me: Home is where your stuff is. I know that sounds really bad, and almost doesn't sound like something I would say. If you know me, you know how much I hate stuff. Stuff clutters. Stuff confuses. Stuff gets in the way of life! I like to live with less. However, MY stuff is comforting to me. Those few items that have traveled with me throughout my journeys, the things that I can't let go of that hold meaning-that is the kind of stuff that makes a home.
When we moved to St. Louis, I felt like we were still very transient. We had gotten lots of new furniture (well, new to us!) and everything felt strange. We didn't own anything and everything around us felt unfamiliar. When we moved across the park 2 months ago, I felt much more at home. Sure the building is a little nicer (and quieter!!), but I feel at home here because our stuff has become our own. We had time to create memories around our dining room table. We've spent countless nights watching Elijah jump on our gray couch and that made it our own.
Obviously as a Christian, I do believe that our true home is with the Lord. But there is a strange balance between living here on earth and creating a loving comfortable place and waiting to be in that perfectly loving place with God Himself.
Those of you who know me also know that I LOVE to shop. I love good clean design and straight lines. Still, I don't like to shop for just anything. I have come a long way from my shopaholic days of grabbing anything slightly cute just because it's on sale. No, I've learned how to "Say NO to Sales" and now enjoy the thrill of hunting for that one priceless item which also might happen to be $5! I've learned how to save for the rug I really want instead of settling for the ugly one that is only $8 cheaper. You actually end up spending less when you have a vision and think through decisions.
And so-here is my living room: I call it "Mid Century Modern Meets Africa". I guess that's my style. Most of the furniture is used (with the exception of the gray couch and the cream colored ottoman-both things we wanted/needed AND were on SUPER SALE-HA!). The only things missing are curtains but they are too expensive. Plus, our windows are awesome and let in so much light, we would never actually use the curtains-thus putting them in the "want" category forever.
Most of the pictures in the room were taken while in Africa. Almost all of the knick knacks are from there, too. Even the hanging bird print was made by Dan while teaching Art in Malawi.
I have loved creating a home for us here in St. Louis. Yes, I will agree that a home needs love (or "heart"), but after leaving so many different homes and talking with people who have done the same, I believe that possessions, memories and familiarity is what makes a home. That is why I felt at home after living in Malawi for over a year. At first, it was not home at all, in fact far from it! After a while, things had become familiar to me and I felt so strange being back here in the States.
I will always be at home in my parents house. It will smell the same, look the same and feel the same. I guess no matter where I go, until I'm in Heaven, the Meeksarosa will always be my home.