A dear friend of mine once said, "I like that whenever you talk about your house you call it your home."
"What do you mean?," I asked.
She replied: "I've noticed that you never call your house 'a house.' You always say 'home.' I think it's sweet."
Truthfully, I had never recognized my affinity for calling "the place where I live" a home until my friend pointed it out to me. What a quirky thing! Once it was brought to my attention, I became more keen to it. I started to notice it's abundance:
What are you doing this weekend? James and I are painting our home.
What do you like to eat for dinner? In my home, we always have Taco Tuesday on a Wednesday!
Where do you live? My home is the one with the blue shutters.
I've thought a lot about why I choose to say "home" rather than "house." (As you know, that's kind of "my thing"--to overthink and to analyze!) And the striped-down, bare-bones, root of the reason is this: For me, a house is just a structure. It is walls and windows. It is a roof and a door. It is a shelter from the elements and a place to lay your head. It is heat and water and protection. And it is necessary and good, absolutely.
But a home is different. A home is a special and important place, where unconditional love fills up the rooms and all the empty spaces. It is where laughter dwells, where lessons are learned, and where faith is fortified. It is for teaching; it is for joy! A home is a place of safety, security, and service. It is where broken hearts go to heal. It is where the emotionally weary retire to rest. A home is a place where memories are made. It is where stories are shared and jokes are told. It is a place painted in the colors of happiness and compassion. A home is built on a foundation of imperfection because the inhabitants therein are imperfect people. Imperfect people who are sincerely trying, listening, learning, and growing. Wonderfully and beautifully imperfect families.
And at the very center of it's holy frame, a home is where we build for forever.
I believe that's where we find heaven.