One of my biggest hesitations about spending an entire year racing around the world was the thought of being homeless.
It wasn’t the vagabond lifestyle that I was afraid of, and it wasn’t at all the fear of being homesick.
What I was really missing as I prepared to hit the road- packing up my life into a backpack that seemed much too small (until I tried to carry it- and then it was monstrous)- was a space to tend to my soul.
The year before the race, I lived with a family as a part of the deal for working for my college ministry.
They were so gracious to take me in, and I lived as a sort of year long house guest/temporary daughter.
I loved living with them and their generosity was astounding… but there was something that I was missing last year.
The home wasn’t MINE.
I would sit on their couch, next to their trusty poodle Ginger, and watch HGTV in between meetings with students and friends. I would sit on the couch, eat my toasted sandwich (my cooking skills were limited to gourmet sandwich making) and soak in the beautiful images that were flashing across the screen.
The thing I loved most was that they could take a seemingly ordinary looking room- and with a striped rug and a coat of bright paint – transformed it into a chic, polished, and cozy place to just BE.
And I loved that.
I believe that one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to be intentional with our surroundings. I feel like we are a sponge to whatever we surround ourselves with, and that’s why roommate choices, location, and decorating are so important.
I want to be surrounded by a place and by people that make me feel the way I love to feel- confident, inspired and peaceful. I want to be in a place that inspires rest.
I felt like the work they did on HGTV, going into a family’s house and transforming it from a temporary living space into a home, was incredibly important work.
And I couldn’t WAIT to create my own perfectly lovely space.
So as I got ready to leave, HGTV on in the background, I sighed a lot and packed up a huge dream of mine- putting it on a shelf for later. I exchanged a house for a tent and comfort for a backpack, and hoped that one day I’d have a place of my own.
Well the day finally arrived, and this weekend, I get to open up that dream in my beautiful new apartment in Gainesville, Georgia.
It is spacious and lovely and is quickly starting to feel like home. It’s a place where I can kick off my flip-flops and not be worried that they’re going to be lost or taken by mistake. I have my own room and my own bathroom and a queen sized bed that feels like a cloud.
But the best part is what is going to happen in that beautiful little apartment.
Growth is going to happen there. Love is going to happen there. There are going to be many nights of lying on the floor in front of a movie in our pajamas, or staying up late on our front porch drinking wine. Meals are going to be made and friends are going to gather and our bodies and our hearts and our souls are going to be nourished- all in that place.
A house and the community that forms within it is like food for our soul… it nourishes us, keeps us healthy, keeps us vibrant and keeps us alive.
And that’s what we’re building. With every nail in the wall and with every book shelf that ‘lies’… ‘some assembly required,’ we’re making a home- a place to tend our souls.
Stay tuned for pictures of our new place!