Skip to main content

31 Days of Free Writes : Move, 31 Lessons: Make people Feel at Home

My sister has moved so many times that I cannot even calculate it.  Really since 2006 when she graduated she has moved to a new place either every year or every year and a half.  Maybe there was one stint that lasted two years. 
My dad and my husband have hoisted her couches and collection of furniture up many apartment complex stairs. 
My mom has come to help clean and bring an opening meal to christen the apartment with and the offer to the new roommates.
My sister is almost thirty now and still works all of the time literally.  Except for Sundays.  And I mean from sun up to almost down every day, but Saturday where she just works eight hours.
While she was in college sharing rooms with three girls I always wanted to clean my sister's apartment.  I remember one year when her apartment was close by taking my two oldest girls to her apartment and trying to deep clean for the week. 
Back then she wasn't concerned so much with cleanliness and seeing that always bothered me. 
I wanted my sister to feel at home. 
To be living in a place that felt like a haven from all of the hustle.  Not just a landing point to sleep and eat a few scraps of food. 
My mom and I would fix her one large meal that we would share together over plastic plates and she would eat the leftovers for the week. 
I loved doing that for my sister. 
I love to take care of her in tangible ways.
Another year my mom and I would combine items for care packages to send her even though she just lived an hour away.  It was a joy to do so.
Recently I was reading a single woman talk about the importance of home. Of making home.  No matter if you are single and living a rather nomadic lifestyle or a family living under the same eaves year after year. 
Everyone needs to "make home".  I liked her terminology.  (The Lifegiving Home - Sally and Sarah Clarkson)
The other day I walked into my sister's home with a tray of blueberry muffins I had picked up for her and noticed that though her apartment was now usually quite clean and the decor was bright, stimulating and all matched nicely it still didn't seem like home.  She has expressed that to me.  How its hard to live there.  This summer she walked through a very surprising tragedy.  An unexpected death that has produced so many haunting questions.  She's spent a lot of time trying to make sense of it. 
I have sat beside her on the couch listening to her try to sort it out and trying to pull out the "Why?" and "What could have been done?" 
After my observation the other day and the decade of nomadic living my sister has lived transitioning from college to adult and most recently after this life jarring situation I have decided I need to help my sister 'make home'.  
That it doesn't matter if she has a husband or children.  Just she and her cats.  It's still as important. It's necessary to the soul to have a safe haven, a safe place to land in hard times, a place to go and shut out the world so she can rekindle and nourish her soul.  I want her to enjoy being home.  
I want her to make home and feel settled no matter if she has moved oh so many times.  I sense she wants it too. 
Maybe now is the time :) 
I guess my mom and I will be bringing meals to set on her lovely new dining room furniture and try to fill her home with home.  Perhaps we can locate some snuggly throws, sweet smelling candles to flicker, soothing air fresheners, and soft pillows to surround her. 
More than anything this year as I pray for her healing I'm praying for her to find home.  
Have you ever helped someone make home? Have you had a child who just ventured out on their own that you sent care packages to as a glimpse of home?
Do you have a single friend that you invite in to your family welcoming them home?
Many times we shower people embarking on marriage with gifts for their new home.  We are essentially helping them make home. But why not single people too? Honestly, they probably need the sense of home just as much if not more. Their home needs to be celebrated too.
Now is the time to make home if you are single.  Not to be waiting to fill your life with things that feed and steady you when you leave your work and come to your dwelling.  You need things that bring life to you now.  Right now in the life you are now in.  Don't wait to find it.  And we shouldn't wait to bring it to you, in little and big ways.  

My sweet sister, Faith 


  1. Yes, I have a single daughter who periodically comes home for a while. Then she is off trying something new. I wish that she will someday have a home that is cozy and safe.

  2. Somer,
    Oh I loved reading this about your beautiful sister (and what a beautiful name she has too)! Of course I could relate to the bountiful gifts showered on brides when we singles go out and buy our own stuff :) but maybe that's so we can get what we truly like!

    I love how you and your mom help her move and cook and get settled and I can imagine you were a stalwart for her during this difficult season. I bet your girls adore their auntie and I somehow think they're learning wonderful things by just watching her -- like strength and perseverance and joy, that they wouldn't be able to see if she had her own family and children. Love this post, Somer and loved reading about your family! xo

    1. Yes Valerie. As always you give a positive perspective. Maybe you get to buy for you so you can get what you actually want :) And that is true!
      yes, you are right. Faith gets to be a regular part of our lives probably because she isn't engulfed in her own family. She is a blessing and an indispensable part of us. As you are for your niece I know.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Free Writes #Wave

Four summers ago the first weekend in September marked one month.  One month lived out shaky and unsteady.  Just putting a few steps in front of the other and letting tears drip down faces or anger spill out at the sky.  "Why?"
I had watched my husband shake violently at the graveside of his twenty-six year old brother as he sat a few inches from the casket.
My usually stoic husband reached out for the casket as he passed by and I heard his voice crack as he called out his name.  One more time. I had never seen him stricken with grief.  That groan of emotion haunted me.   Those fifteen minutes spent under the funeral home's green awning the last minutes his family would ever be within arms length of this special brother.  A brother who had just slipped quietly out of this life beneath the green gold water of a river one steaming August day.  Bare chested and tan, jumping off the dock with friends.  Never to resurface again.
A lot of that week in August was just wakin…

Five Minute Fridays - "Last"

Last is such a final word, it’s a word that always makes us sit back and take note. We take note of the fact that something is about to draw to an end and we better enjoy the last drops, savor the last bites before its all gone. Like that last hot week of summer that we spend soaking up every last beam of Vitamin D. Or that last couple bites of a once a year Christmas dinner, slowly swallowed down. Or maybe the last night of a vacation where we try to take note of everything and know that we are returning to real world, real bills, real deadlines all seemingly too soon. Two weeks ago I experienced a last. For seven months I was given a gift. It was truly an unexpected gift. One I had never anticipated being given. For the past six years my sister Faith and I have lived in different cities for most of the time. We always mused over the idea that we should've lived together for at least one year of college. But from icy January 4th to steamy August 10th I had the gift…


Five Minute Fridays

Morning seems sacred to me.  Having nocturnal children kind of robs me of the mornings I like to enjoy in silence and quiet thought.
For years I would get up at least two hours before anyone so I could just be by myself and be quiet.
My parents are early morning people that like to eat full breakfasts and watch the sunrise on the porch. There's something exciting about watching the day open its' eye lids with the first glints of sun playing on the horizon edge.  Pale blues and periwinkles rouse us out of pitch black and many times morning rises in strength with extravagant colors.  It signals something new.  A new twenty four hours.  A new chance. Kind of like a new little slice of life.  We are mesmerized at first at the idea of new.  It's beautiful, holy, and hopeful.
Morning breaks the night.
I love that Cat Steven's hymn Morning has Broken.  I've always thought the words were so beautiful.
Especially the last phrase, "God&…