This Week's Sunday Message

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Reverend Arlyn Macdonald Picture

As Maya Angelou said, "The ache for home lives in all of us…" It's true. We all ache for the perfect home. Some of us had a more perfect home than others growing up. Those of us who didn't, try to create the perfect home for ourselves and our children as adults. There is a deep longing for that special place filled with Love and understanding, acceptance and comfort.

It wasn't until I went through the Grandmother studies that I realized women are responsible for creating Home. It made be think about my own home growing up, my home as a young mother, and my home as an Elder. I also thought about the old saying, "It takes a woman to make a home." And I realized it was true. Women are the creators of home.

Women create Home, wherever they go, and with whatever they have. It is the special gift of women to make Home and because of this gift they should be honored, as well as for their other gifts. There is something deep inside of us that speaks to us of order and beauty. That is what women bring to Home in addition to Love.

It is not the material house that surrounds us, it is the feeling of Home that we create within the structure. It's not the furniture we have to sit on, it's the feeling of comfort and release we have when we sit on it, surrounded by all the things that speak to us of beauty.

During my growing up years, I attended 14 different schools. I did not know when I came home from school whether I would be living in the same house as yesterday or not. Mostly my parents rented furnished houses, and once we lived in a motel. My favorite house was right across the street from the high school on Main Street in Sebastopol, CA. The train track ran just outside my bedroom window. When the Christmas parade started, we could watch Santa getting into the railroad car that took him down the street.

I also remember a cherry tree growing right outside our bedroom window which we used to climb into when the cherries were ripe and eat all the ones we could reach. It was also the tree my sister climbed down to go into town late at night to meet boys.

I'm sure you have a favorite house that felt like home to you.

When I was in junior high school, I had an art class and at the end of the year we were allowed to take all of our pictures home. I decided to pin up every picture on the walls of the house we lived in. I thought my Mother would take them down right away and my step-father would say they were stupid, but they didn't. My pictures stayed up for several weeks until we had to move again. It was the first time that I realized that I could create beauty in my Home. It was a realization I took with me when I had my first apartment and I could make it beautiful the way I wanted it to be.

Women create Home. Women can take an old dilapidated house and turn it into Home. Oh, men can repair walls, lay new carpet, fix the roof, but women make it into a Home. It's not the dishes, fancy or otherwise, that are in the kitchen cupboards, but what they represent as comfort, nourishment, and family. It's not the new living room furniture, but the vase of garden flowers that bring beauty.

And this feeling of Home is also felt surrounding the house. It's in the trees, the yard, the fence, the doghouse, the sidewalks, the garage. Every time a woman thinks about her Home or does something to make it beautiful, she adds a little bit more energy to the space. You can feel this Home energy whenever you walk into a Home. The décor may be different, but the feeling of Home is the same.

I like what Nate Berkus said, "Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love." It makes me happy to go into other Homes and see pictures of family on the walls, or to see toys in the corner, or hobbies proudly displayed. A Home should tell the story of all the people who live in it and truly be a collection of what they love. Does your Home tell your story? Do you have things around you that you love?

Home is also our first school and for many children continues to be their school with the popularity of home schooling. We learn so much at home: how to talk, how to talk nice, manners, how to show kindness. We learn about things that can harm us. We learn about growing and reading, and now about computers and I-phones. Little Arlyn Jade came to visit on Mother's Day. I was awed by her desire to learn everything. She stood up in the chair by the table where her mother had left her I-pad and using one tiny finger, scrolled the screen, touched the icons and explored the device. She was able to do this because she has a good Home for learning and two good teacher-parents.

If Home is our first school, who is our first teacher? Our Mothers. Women are connected to the inner world of Spirit in a way in which men are not. That is one of the major things that attracts men to women. We learn about the inner spiritual world from our Mothers first. Who is the most interested in our religious life? Our Mothers.

If we have religious Mothers, we have a huge background in religious ideals and religious teachings. If we don't have a religious Mother, we often have a Grandmother who fulfills that role. I was so lucky to have my Nana. Everything I know about the spiritual life began with her teachings. I am so grateful for her encouraging me. I think she would have been quite surprised to find me today as an ordained minister. I am grateful for her caring and nurturing of my inner life.

Women make Home on Earth, but our real Home is with God. The Home that women create is but a shadow of what it is like to be in our true Home. But it is enough of a shadow to remind us of what it must be like and what we can expect when we return. For we are all on a journey to return Home. We ache for the feeling we have when we are truly home again. It is not the childhood home, the home we have created as adults, but our heavenly Home we ache for.

Sometimes we can almost imagine what it feels like, especially when we feel God's Presence in our lives. And we want more. That deep desire in the core of us is the desire to be Home again. For it is there that we truly know who we are and can feel the Divine Love in and through us. We long for our spiritual home.

But until the time comes when we are ready to end our journey for this lifetime, we have Home that women can create. I am grateful that as a woman I can be a part of creating Home. Home is where the heart is. Home is where we can truly be ourselves. Home is the feeling of Family and here in this very room, we are Family. It is the feeling between us that makes our spiritual center our spiritual home. Home is where the heart is, and our hearts are home when we are together as family. Namaste, dear family.