what it might look like to miss home

I am in the tension. I miss my home.

The smell of a burning candle. The creak of floorboards under bare feet. The windows opened wide in the morning. The bluejay in the primroses outside the kitchen.

The kitchen itself is torn up, the first place I would head to each morning. Tiptoeing to open the shutters, letting out the dog, waiting for the light to flood in while the house still sleeps.

miss home

My soup pot is tucked away in storage. My baking sheets in boxes with my spices and mixing spoons. I miss cooking. I miss baking. I miss the familiarity of simple things: walking our dog around our neighborhood, going across the street to get the mail each day, visiting Berta, my ninety-two-year-old neighbor, playing music through the speakers while I write and then make dinner, leaning on the counter while my kids eat a snack and tell me about their day.

Home not home

Our furniture is stacked in the middle of the family and living rooms, a mountain covered in  plastic sheeting to protect it from dust and wood chips and paint. We walk through before picking up the kids from school–climb up onto the stair-less porch, visit each small room, shutters clapped tight.

I walk through to the back, where the writing studio is an open shed with a fixed roof now. Insulation will be installed soon. When we move back in we won’t be cold in the winter and hot in the summer when we sit at our desks and listen and write.

Home not home Home not home

In the backyard I find the old metal watering can and grab the hose. There are still plants in the backyard that are green and need tending. It feels good to turn on the hose, let the water flood through and pour into the potted soil. I water lemon trees, and shrubs, and a climbing vine with purple flowers. (I have never known the name.)

Home not home

Things are a mess inside and out. Walls torn up to the studs. The wood floor covered in thick paper and tape. Dust layering everything. Our front and back grass are dead. There is a gray porta-potty by our front window, next to the fence.

Home not home

I miss my home.

But I mostly miss the rhythms, the privilege of taking care of it–cleaning and caring for the little bungalow He gave us nine years ago. I miss my family harbored inside, the familiar rhythms of waking and walking and listening and cleaning and working in it. Most of my writing has happened in these walls.

Maybe that is what I miss most–not only when the house is filled with voices and smells and warmth and movement–but also the stillness of the place when everyone is gone and it is just me in it. The moments with the house to myself when I sit at the kitchen counter, or on the floor, or walk around the neighborhood and I listen and I write.

Things feel unfamiliar now. We have been out of our home for three months now. And there are months more to go. My days are spent book marketing, and driving the kids to their schools back in our old neighborhood, and asking God to show me how to listen for Him, find Him, in this new space. I miss the simpleness of routine, of comfort, of familiarity. With this book launch, I am so out of my comfort zone. I don’t even know how to write about it here.

What to do when you miss home.

And that is when I have to trust that I can do all things with my God. And that a place does not equip me for success. And familiarity can make me stagnant. And adventure and newness and uncomfortableness push me to lean on Him.

Father, remind us how you are our constant. You are our rock. You are our fuel and our guide and our solid path. We are not floundering. We are not forgotten. We have not lost our way.

What season are you in now, sister? How do you need reminding that God is steadfast, despite your circumstances?


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  • I miss home….. We’ve immigrated to another country. Our home doesn’t feel like home, even after 10 months. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take to feel like home. But I’m doing my best to let it feel like home for the kids. I need home to feel like home again!

    • I can only imagine how difficult this is! And I am so grateful for your sharing here. I am praying now for His presence in your new home. I pray for HIs surprises of goodness and light–and His comfort and peace and hope as you look for Him and continue to adjust to this new place.

  • Oh, thank you for this!! I am in this exact season of my life and woke up this morning feeling so uncomfortable and sad! We moved from NJ to NC at the beginning of the summer, with no familiarity whatsoever… I know the Lord brought us here, but it is so hard to find him, when we cant find ourselves in this new reality… But he is here…HE IS OUR CONSTANT…. Thank you Jennifer for speaking truth…May His peace pour into you this day…GBY….

  • Messes come in all shapes and forms. It is a matter of learning to trust God in all circumstances. God wants us to grow and learn, our Messes are his way of growing us, forming us to do what he has called us to do.

    Often we have to step out of our comfort zone and experience life in a new way. We need to really understand and in order to do this we are forced to feel the uncomfotableness, uneasiness, and even sometimes fear.

    God’s plan is for good to prosperous us, to grow our trust and to show us all things can be done with him. I long for familiarity, but even more than that I long to know our Lord and savior.

  • Dear sisters in Christ, As I read this tears are running down my cheeks. I remember home. My first home with mom and dad where laughter and liove ruled 6 happy children. I think of my parents and smile. Some of my family are now in heaven , our real home. I miss my children waking and running to our bed to snuggle and I miss them with us. We have grown old but still miss home . God teaches us patience in many ways, He is so patient with us. It is now time for me to breathe in deeply the derp smellof our garden, to inhale the sweet smells of new cut grass and to feel my husbands strong hands holding mine. Thanking Him each time for His patience as I learn to miss home.

    • Pam, I love how He makes us restless for Home, for Him. Bless you as you choose to see Him and appreciate the miracle of this day, this moment, sister. I am so grateful for your words here.

  • I don’t have a home right now but my precious parents opened theirs to me. Circumstances do that sometimes, they may look bad, but in the long run there is benefit. I miss home and the way you described missing home, Jennifer, is exactly my feelings. At age 63, I would not have figured to be where I am right now. Quite sometime back, the Lord spoke to me to “Let the little girl live.” Little did I know that would take me back home. I am trusting the Lord and thanking Him everyday for the life He gave me and the path upon which He is leading me. There is a home in my future, both physical and eternal. I am so very thankful. Many blessings to you. Thank you for sharing your heart and home.

  • Tears….I too miss my home. The home before he left me after so many years of marriage. Where we did life together and raised kids together rather than tossing them back and forth. I wish the construction would end and we would resume. But there is no we now and the finances and loneliness threaten to consume me. I love my Lord and cling to him but life is hard and I have to live one day at a time just to keep moving forward.

    • Sweet LA, I am so sorry, sister. Praying now for strength and hope and restoration of your heart. He holds it so close. I am so grateful for your vulnerability here. I will continue to pray.

  • Such a truth! I miss my family, and friends, and the church we Pastored in CT. We’ve been in Florida for 17 months. We know God brought us here, but the culture and climate are so different! Its so hard not to keep looking at the past, but He promised us NEW things. The ladder bring greater than the former. Yes God, I believe.. But could you possibly speed things up? I feel like I m drowning. ?

  • I can imagine how you feel. I am a creature of home and order and routine, so I would undoubtably feel similar to you right now. Praying you moments find home within. So excited to see what you are doing with this book launch!

    • Thank you, Jen! Yes, I love your home–full of light and warmth and laughter and love! I cherish that time I got to spend with you and your family! Thank you for stopping by here! I love it!

  • Hi Jennifer – I can so relate to your heartfelt blog post. I too am missing home. At the age of 60, The Lord has called my husband into the mercy ministry of the church (caring for the sick as a full time RN) after we had been serving in the pastoral ministry for over 30 years. This required uprooting our lives, leaving our home, family, friends and brothers and sisters and following Christ in faith to to a new unfamiliar town. The Lord has blessed us with an absolutely beautiful new home, but because it does not yet have the memories the walls of our old home hold, I am finding it a challenge to really feel at home. We still have not sold our old home (and it’s been a year) which makes letting go even harder. I wrote about it in my last blog post entitled “The Gift of Surrender” if you or your readers would care to read it. http://www.heretotherelifecoaching.blogspot.com
    So excited for about your new book! Will pray for God’s grace as you both renovate your home, live your lives, and launch your new book! In His Strength 🙂 Blessings!

  • 5 Years afther my father died my mother remarried and we moved into the house I grew up in. Living there for 28 years. Sadly the Children move out afther finishing school. Afher 12 years we desided to move to a smaller place. We staying here now for 3 months and sometimes still missinng my house with all the memories and all the wild bird’s songs. Where we are staying is a lack of tree’s so no birds neither. But I pray God will fill our house with laughter, peas and love.

  • I miss my home when I separated to my husband. Ir was dificult to me find a new place. For me and my young daugther. We have lived in many places renting an apartament. Righ now I haven’t bought a house. But in any place I have lived God has been with me.