Before moving away to college, I’d only known two houses as home, and they sat just across town from one another. Eighteen years surrounded by familiar faces, places and the handful of friends I’d made when I was still in diapers.
My husband, on the other hand, spent most of his childhood moving from one overseas Air Force base to another with his Mom and two older sisters, leaving a bread crumb-trail of houses across Europe.
All I knew growing up was roots, while the only constants in his early years were family, adventure and the itch for some place new.
When we got married, we bought our first little place together, and for a couple of years, that was home for both of us.
Red bricks, fresh paint and a yard for our someday-children to play in.
When plans changed and my husband’s career path made a sudden twist that lead him to the military just a few weeks before our first baby boy was born, he already knew a little bit about what we were getting ourselves into, but I had a lot of learning to do the hard way.
Since then, we’ve spent time at Fort Gordon, Fort Bliss, and Fort Sam Houston/JBSA, and we’ve welcomed another baby boy into our family along the way.
In April 2015, the call of duty beckoned us to move, once again – this time, around the world. Now, we’re adjusting to a new life in a beautiful little German village far from our family, friends and all that is familiar.
In the midst of all of the packing, unpacking, and chaos we’ve experienced over the last couple of years, we’ve come to realize something pretty important about this chosen lifestyle of ours.
Home is not a place.
It’s not made up of what we’re surrounded by, but who.
But, as with all phrases used so often they become stereotypical, it’s studded with truth.
The walls we live within are only temporary.
For us, home is the little family of four we’re working to build from the ground up on a foundation of faith. The bricks we lay with intention are made of hope, commitment, sacrifice, laughter, forgiveness and imperfect memories. The mortar that fortifies and binds them together is love.
We are home, even when our household goods are driving away on the back of a moving truck.
We are home among the overstuffed suitcases and bleached hotel linens.
We are home in unfamiliar cities and foreign countries.
We are home no matter where we are, simply because we’re together.
Join us here at Courtney at Home as we learn how to make the most of life as a wandering military family, exploring the world along the way.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. | Joshua 1:9, NIV