Home, a word that evokes a wealth of memories, memories that stir a spread of emotion, and emotion that cultivates a passion to create. This one word, how does it have the power to captivate us like this? What is it about ‘home’ that ignites some of our greatest longings for comfort, security and rest? But, what is ‘home’? Or, better yet, where is ‘home’? Home is a place to belong. It is safe. It is comfortable. It is rest. Home is what we long for.
Oh, to be home.
This summer, they set out on a journey. They left their place called, ‘home’, and with a circus of thirty-one college students, they traveled the state of Texas for ten weeks, presenting Jesus, and teaching His ways through a fun, crazy and enthusiastic environment… an environment that they best describe as camp
The trailblazer within her eagerly anticipated the start of something brand new, but at the core of her bones, she shuttered with fear to imagine what this venture might encompass. They were just babies at being married and now responsible for a college staff and the start of a brand new camp… She anticipated living out of a duffle, alongside of her newlywed husband and moving into a new stranger’s home each week. How would they do it without a place of reprieve, to let go, to unwind and simply be what they needed to be? She stood, here, feet planted at the base of Mt. Everest, her lungs already gasping for air. “There is just no way…” She thought, “Surely, we will crumble.”
With no turning back, the only way out was to forge ahead. So, they loaded up into their diesel rental truck and lead a caravan of three, fifteen passenger vans, hauling two trailers and a rock wall, out of the parking lot, away from everything familiar and into the unknown of what became the first ever T Bar M Camps, Discover252.
From June through July, they moved from city to city without a space of their own, relying on residents to take them in, and care for their needs. Yet, every week, in each new city, they were welcomed warmly, housed luxuriously, fed heartily, fueled by families and slept ever so snuggly. She could not yet see that ‘home’ was being provided above and beyond what she had ever experienced it. Dreamy spaces, quiet places, comfort abounding, and the people, the sweet, funny, quarky, vulnerable, wise, generous and hospitable people…. What she failed to recognize was that within the entrance of each doorway, her ideal of home was evolving. With warm greetings, gifts of laughter, caring questions, relieving responses, morning coffee, hot showers and many face-plants into bed, she felt safe, at rest and comforted. But even in all this, her heart was sick for their 600 sq. ft. garage apartment rental. She set her eyes on the end of the summer, longing desperately for home, and at the end of ten weeks, it was oh so good to get there.
Reflecting on the summer, the lessons they learned are too many to count. The fights they fought were humbling and hilarious. The laughter they shared was pain to the abdominals, and the stories they witnessed unleashed ugly tears of awe. In a million different ways, the summer swiped the rug right out from under their feet. But what floored her the most, was how ‘at home’ she felt each week she was away. These families ushered them into their lives and made the two of them, their own. Each week, for ten weeks, strangers became kindred, and she had a place to belong.
But even, here, in the sitting room of her tiny garage apartment, she still longs for a place to belong… These homes and families inspired her to dream of a home and family of her own. She watched interactions and observed traditions. Her photos are filled with shots of décor, style and novel furnishings. She took note of details in hospitality that warmed her soul. She wanted to create a home and family like these. Oh, but if they only had the finances to buy a home of their own… to build, furnish, decorate and keep… Then, she would really be home…
Home, a place to belong. How do these people create it? What makes her heart sick for it? Why does she still long for more? Where is it that she ultimately belongs?
Over the next couple of weeks, she hopes to bring you alongside as she explores these questions that continue to challenge her ideal of ‘home’ in her blog series…
Oh, to be home.
Thank You notes to:
Patrick and Sondra Appel for greeting us with La Croix, wowing us with your home elevator and showing us the value of a big ole backyard breakfast. Your excitement to host us made us feel the most special.
The Horton Family for bringing to reality the house of my dreams and opening it to complete strangers while you were out of the country. This week, in your home, was the greatest ministry to our marriage.
The Burns Family for nurturing our hearts with your care, our smiles with laughter and our bellies with the best meal of the summer. There is no other place we’d rather have been to welcome Hurricane Bill.
The Zoboroski Family for spontaneously bringing us into your home and family. Your enthusiasm made us feel like superstars and your authenticity is something we hope to emulate one day.
Rick & Kerry Kruger for meeting our desperate need of rest and soul care by way of sleep, healthy eats, real conversation, and a chance for Jacob to pick up a golf club… Oh, and the most heavenly bed we’ve EVER slept in.
The Waller Family- for greeting us enthusiastically last minute and inspiring us to abandon our excuses and to live life adventurously. We cherish the few days we got to learn from your family, and hope for many more.
Alan and Carrie Catalani- for assuring us that vulnerability is powerful, and grace abounds only because of Jesus.Your home and presence is one of warmth and comfort, we left spurred on to seek the face of Jesus.
The Minter Family- for making us two of your own. We observed your home as a place of refuge and security for many as you embrace each visitor with honor. Thanks for investing in us. We want to be a home like yours one day.
Dan, Chels and Haley Pup- for being the best first married friends we could ask for. Your friendship is one we cherish, and your home, this summer, was an exhale of familiarity. Getting to watch the US Open was a game changer.
The Ha Family- for showing us lavish hospitality in the lack of your presence. Welcome signs, goodie baskets and pour over coffee ministered to our weary souls. Thanks to you, we are excited to implement an ‘Overby Family Fall Checklist’.
The McNeil Family- for showing us what ‘Don’t Waste Fun’ looks like as parents of three. Your story trusting the Lord encouraged us to look to His plan outside of our own. We also now aspire to be coffee connoisseurs and fly fishermen.
Thank you, families, for a summer we’ll never forget.