oh, to create home

 Imagine a green-eyed blonde with baby doll in arm fully engaged in her own world playing ‘house’.

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Born to nurture and nest, she’s been creating home since before she could walk. Whether in the backseat of her family’s Suburban on a road trip, inside her desk at school or beneath the bunk bed at home, she has always found unique ways to create room for comfort and rest.

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Still, to this day, she comes alive flipping an empty space into a warm and welcoming place to belong. But even in this, she wrestles with tension. Is the home she creates ever going to be enough to satisfy?

Home, it is a place to belong, and a place we long to create.

Oh, to create home.

In the beginning, God created…. He spoke the heavens and the earth into being. He separated light from darkness and the sea from the sky. He gathered the waters together and brought up land from beneath. He ushered forth trees and plants and fruit bearing seeds. He positioned lights in the sky to distinguish day from night. He filled the ocean with all kinds of creatures, and the air with birds that fly and the land with animals that walk, run, creep and crawl. He did all of this by the utterance of his voice, and He saw that it was good… Then, at last, He made man. Forming man to bear His own image, God breathed life into him. God blessed man and gave him the responsibility to rule over and care for the earth He had fashioned… He saw all this, and saw that it was good. It was very good.

[Genesis 1]

In the beginning, God created… He created home, a perfect place for his people to belong. She wonders how much time it took for God to dream up a home like this. He created a universe of magical mysteries out of NOTHING. From the deepest part of the ocean to infinity and beyond the furthest star in the night sky, His handiwork stretches all throughout and in every detail. There is not an atom out of place, or an inch unattended. He spoke into being a space and an order where His people would thrive…

God had her in mind when He created this place for her to belong. He thought through what would appeal to her eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin. He knew how He would use creation to captivate her attention and draw her closer to Him.

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God anticipated that as she experienced what He created for her, that she would be inspired to re-create it alongside of him.

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Perhaps, God created her to be a little home-maker. When she creates home, it honors God and it cares for His people. Her creating is not futile, as she sometimes ponders, but at the end of the day, she’s still incomplete, longing to create something bigger and better.

As mentioned in ‘oh, to be home’, her and her man rent an almost 600 sq. ft. garage apartment.

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It’s a quarky little guy, but they love it. 

Their home sits in an ideal location between the river and the historic square of New Braunfels, TX, the small town where they live, work and play. They’ve managed to make it home, and she grieves the day that life season shifts and they have to move. But even still, she longs for what’s next. She gets sucked into Fixer Upper marathons dreaming of her ‘perfect’ home and stalks the housing market so that she’s up to date on local listings. If God created this perfect home and His people to recreate alongside of Him, then why is she restless?

…Well, one day, the perfect home God created fell apart. His people didn’t believe the home He had created was enough, and they decided to go their own way. The place God created as ‘home’ became corrupt and began to crumble. His people immediately felt the separation and longed to return to their perfect place of belonging once more, but there was nothing they could do to restore it. They sought to fill this hole with everything outside of God, but it never satisfied. Home was set in their hearts, the place they once belonged, and all they could do was hope for the Day that God would make it new.

Home, it is a place we long for, a place we belong. But this world, it is no longer our home, and nothing that we create or hope in will satisfy our longing to be home. No amount of money, creativity, or hours spent on Pinterest will satisfy our longing to be home. These created things are not sufficient to uphold our souls.

So where do we rest until we are finally home?

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens… We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body, and home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.“- 2 Corinthians 5: 1, 6-9

So whether we are at home, or away, we make it our aim to please Him. In re-creating home as a reflection of who God is, we make it our aim to please Him, in all that we do, we do it unto His name.

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And we hope for the Day, that we’re ‘home, at last’.

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oh, to be home

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

‘Oh, to  create home’.

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.