Thursday, July 31, 2014

What Makes a House a Home?

If you asked one hundred people what makes a house feel like a home, you'd likely get one hundred different answers.

Homemade bread in the oven.

China dishes from a great-grandmother.

A family picture hanging over the mantel.

Books in the shelves. And nightstands. And coffee table. And end tables. And....

It probably goes without saying that part of what makes a house my house is books.

But with our recent move, I realized that while I was surrounded by books, it still didn't feel like home.

In fact, after being in our house for a month now, it has only truly begun to feel like home in the past few days.

And I was actually pretty surprised at the moment the thought, "this feels like home", first struck me.

It was late evening, just a bit past 8 PM. The sun was just disappearing. Light fading. Lamps glowing. The house was settling in for the night and so were we.

While Ryan tucked Lily in, I started the dishwasher and moved some laundry from the washer to the dryer, added towels and soap to begin yet another load.

Ryan stepped out of Bird's bedroom, singing under his breath, turned on the television and found a Spurs summer league game to watch.

Reagan got on the computer and FaceTimed Ryley in Virginia, showed her the progress on their new shared bedroom.

I opened a kitchen drawer, selected a Mexican hot chocolate, and fired up the Keurig.

And that's the moment when I first thought, "Home. Tonight this house feels like home.".

You know what it was?

Sound. Or rather, sounds.

Lily gibber-jabbering through the baby monitor, Backyardigans on the iPad.

The murmuring voices of Ryley and Reagan on the computer, punctuated with laughter.


A basketball game on TV.

Washer, dryer, and dishwasher all busily humming along.

The Keurig noisily spluttering out my yummy drink.

These were the sounds of home.

I paused for a minute, just listening, feeling grateful that such simple sounds could be that powerful, could evoke such warm feelings.

Living in eleven houses in twenty-two years of marriage, you soon learn that a house is just four walls and a roof.  It's what's under the roof that really makes a home.  And hearing those sounds was a nice reminder that this twelfth house will soon feel like a home every day, too.

So what about you?  What makes a house feel like home to you?

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."
Maya Angelou


  1. When we moved across town from "the woods" to "the water", my house felt so foreign! It was about two months later when I was walking down the stairs and I paused to just take a look around and suddenly realized I was home and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. So happy your "home" in your new home. :)

    1. I love it, Joanna! I'm going to come see you and your island one day!! :)

  2. What a JOY it was to see your blog today! I got goose bumps reading it, and my heart rejoiced with you . . . for so many reasons.

  3. So glad you are back to your blog!! You have been missed!

    To answer your question...we moved from Houston in 2005-2006 to build our dream retirement home. It took a year since we did 75% of the work. When it was finished and we had moved in, we had an extreme feeling of self satisfaction that we were able to accomplish this feat. However, it didn't quite feel like home yet.

    I want to add SMELLS as well as SOUNDS to my list.

    The smell of cooking family favorites from the kitchen (My son loves bisquits and gravy which is all time favorite...ANYTIME! LOL!)

    The smells of cooking during the holidays...especially Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    The smell of a favorite candle or two burning in the evening.

    The smell of a freshly cleaned home.

    The laughter of my hubby and grandson playing and roughhousing together.

    The smile it brings when I hear hubby in his "Radio Room" talking to another Ham Radio operator or practicing his Morse Code to keep up his skills.

    The smell of freshly mowed grass and a tall glass of Ice Tea or water during and after the mowing.

    The smell of rain coming and then the smell after a gentle rain.

    Books in our bookshelves (which are full) because we are both avid readers. Need to purge this frequently too.

    Seeing family heirlooms and pictures that have been given to us by family members that have gone to b with Jesus.

    The sound of football on the the TV even though I may be the only one listening/watching it. If more are involved in watching, then all the sounds, laughter, and excitement that goes with watching a good game.

    The smell of popcorn as I get a Coke and settle in for a movie marathon whenever I am home alone for a couple of days.

    The smell of coffee brewing in the morning and having a cup on my back porch while admiring God's creation.

    The smell of flowers blooming. Especially when my rose bush starts to bloom.

    Knowing our home is a place of peacefulness and a refuge not only to us, but to those who come to visit. How often they have said how peaceful and stress free the feel while being here with us...a place to recharge. (It is not always like this...LOL...we do have our times of upheaval just like anyone else.)

    Finally, the realization of how blessed I am by my Heavenly Father and the joy and gratefulness I have in my heart for the little things He has provided for me and my family as well as the "big stuff". The overwhelming love I feel when I realize just how much He loves me..."warts and all". feels like home.

    1. What a wonderful list, Teresa! And I love that books made your list, too! :)

  4. My mom said what makes a home are the people in it! I am glad yall are settled, that is such a nice feeling.


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