That’s Home

I did something really fun last weekend. Something that was a new New York experience for me.

And I’m not talking about standing in line at the break of dawn for SNL tickets – although I can check that off my bucket list as of earlier this month.

And I’m also not talking about discovering a hidden Chinatown speakeasy, where the mixologists use ingredients such as lavender infused vodka and fresh pressed kale juice.

Nope. Been there three times in fact.

No, last weekend, I went up to Harlem and saw a Christmas show at the Apollo.

And it may or may not have been a date with a gentleman. A gentleman I may or may not have met at a candlelight Christmas concert at church.

But wow. What an afternoon. I had no idea what to expect. Set the bar low. Little did I know that I was about to be moved to tears watching a show about the beauty and power of Christmas.

In fact, sitting here in the airport at O’Dark Thirty, waiting to fly home to Ohio and reflecting on the show, I’m realizing how incredibly familiar the story is to me personally, and how – it actually was like looking in the mirror.

Long story short, this woman returns to her Harlem brownstone, ready to sell the place after her parents passed away. The musical was her reliving her childhood memories. How her baby sister passed away in that house, and for the rest of her life, her parents struggled to move past the pain.

In the end, our protagonist opts not to sell the brownstone, because although there was pain in that house, there was also love. And realized that she could always go home. That even though that tragedy rocked their world as a family, eventually it brought them closer together and closer to God. She had finally made peace with her painful past, and embraced her home and where she came from.

I saw so much of my story in this show. And, if you take a long enough look at it, perhaps you can too.

I’ve talked to enough of you in the comments section to know that, we all have things in our history – or a loved one’s history – that is painful. That haunts us. Weighs heavily on our spirits, especially during the holidays, when family and faith and togetherness are front and center.

Home, if we’re honest, can sometimes not be the ideallic, twinkle-light encrusted, issue-free house that is depicted in Hallmark Christmas Movies.

It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am today – where home is no longer that bleak reminder of a broken girl, broken dreams and broken relationships.

Living through anorexia, as a family, takes a toll.

But home is more than just that one season of life.

Home is your family. Home is the look between brother and sister, knowing how much he believes in you. Home is a hug from your father, wordlessly expressing his love. Home is the tender conversation with your mother. The dance party with your neice.

Home is not just a place. But a living, breathing experience with the people you love, and who love you.

And even though the past may not be perfect, there is beauty in the coming toghether of everyone, in that same place, choosing to live and love in the now.

That’s home.

That’s what we can choose to embrace.

It’s there that we can find peace.

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190 responses to “That’s Home”

  1. Very thought-full, even poignant, and I would say quite fitting tribute to “home.” Until very recently, I’ve never really deeply considered what home really is and means, so it’s fortuitous that you happened to write about this right now… Now that I am literally facing being without a home, this strikes a chord deep within my soul. Home . . . not idyllic or perfect, certainly . . . as you say, not the Hallmark version, but nevertheless where the heart resides in an interwoven connection of relationships with an history … heritage. Oh, but now I’m going on too long. Sorry. Two thumbs up for your article! God bless you! 🙂

  2. Beautiful thought. My family has lot of background I don’t like to think about. My own home life is just about the only Christian family within the larger extended family. I like to think we started a new trend. There are the Hallmark moments, and the sitcom moments, but Jesus changes everything. What was the name of the Show you saw? it sounds great.

  3. My prayers for your safe travel. I imagine you’ve been anticipating this for just a little while. I just “turned off the light” for work until Wednesday myself.

    It’s almost a year since I found your blog. After you find mine and liked something, now that I recall. Thank you for all of your positive messages, your Christian witness, and your friendship! You’ve been a comfort and a blessing. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Jeff

  4. Dooga’s got a dude, do tell? 😂😜 are you excited for Christmas? What are your traditions for Christmas. Do you attend church on the day? I do hope you and your family have a blessed and peaceful day & eat lots of yummy food. I hope there is festive butternut squash ice cream 😂 love and blessings xoxoxoxoxox

    • Haha nah, hardly. just went on one date. So exited! We go to midnight mass. What about you? Oh you know the BNS Ice cream will make an appearance! Haha thanks for stopping by! Merry Christmas! Xox

      • A very lucky dude he is to spend the evening with a special Dooga in a beautiful city I wouldn’t mind getting to spend time with you sadly we have a pond in the way 😂. I’m going to my local Church Christmas morning, you can go at midnight but it isn’t a mass. Won’t be at my current church until the new year sadly 😞 I know 2017 God has said will be a transition year for me. I’m sure God has an amazing 2017 for you.

  5. That sounds like a lovely show. I’m glad you had a good time (even if it moved you to tears).

    On a side note, too bad. Downton Abbey chick isn’t impressed with lavender infused vodka. 😀 I guess she’s more of a wine drinker?? Maybe?? I don’t know.

  6. Wow! I may not have known, or else I have forgotten (age wreaks havoc with memory), that you are originally from Ohio like me! 😛 As we both know, there are good things and bad things about living here but, although I’ve lived many places, including Manhattan, I like to enjoy the best of Ohio, just as I’ve enjoyed the best of every place I’ve been lucky enough to live in.
    There is no longer a family home for me to go to. I’m the oldest survivor of my family of birth. But I did actually have that almost perfect childhood. You can take a look at it on my blog at
    I was truly fortunate! 🙂 However, problems caught up with me later in life. Because yes, life is sooner or later a struggle. It is how we deal with struggle, whether we can ‘struggle with serenity,’ as it were, that defines the quality of our lives…imho. 🙂

  7. This is very important and very true. Life isn’t perfect so why should home be? Especially if we spend so much of our life at home? “Home is where the heart is” as they say. Glad you had this revelation 😊 never be afraid to take the good things with the bad.

  8. You did another wonderful job of helping us, your readers, bring memories both old and new sweet and painful into a useful perspective. To me most of our life is made up of memories. The present lasts only a second and then it too becomes another piece of us as people. Thanks for helping me better appreciate that fact. You are a great writer. Even more your growing recovery shows an understanding of life that is enviable. Have a blessed Christmas. John

  9. Not trying to brag or anything, but my home rocks, my family is so friggen amazing! It took moving out and away for me to realize just how much, and there’s only one thing more important to me now than my family. Soyeah. I feel you. And it’s grown so much over the years–I grew up with seven siblings, so now with two in-laws (not to mention my own miss) and a couple might-be’s, two little nephews and a neice, I’m really just looking forward to everyone being in one place for a day or two cause there just isn’t anything better C:
    Anyway, ;D these kind of posts will always give me the warm fuzzy feels 🙂

    Happy Friday AND, Merry Christmas to you and your family! (:

    • Oh my gosh wow that sounds so awesome, Carson. I’m so happy for you! I’m so with you on that – family friggen rocks 😎 same to you! Merry merry Christmas my friend! Hope it’s awesome! 🎄🎄🎄🎄

  10. This is very sweet. Thank you. Home is such a blessing of awareness, and you wrote it beautifully. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and have a wonderful trip to Ohio. Blessings – Debbie

    • Thanks Debbie. You’re so right-there’s something so special about home and I feel very fortunate to have these people in my life. Same to you! Have a blessed holiday season! Big big hugs xox

  11. This is true. Maybe home is where you are, eventually. I was 14 one Christmas and, I left. It’s been 20 years but living is accepting. My dad passed me and kept walking. I know what a real family looks like so I’m glad for you.

    • Hey Kenzie, thanks for sharing this. It sounds like you’ve had quite the journey so far. I would love to hear more about it. Because it’s obviously shaped you into the strong and kind person you are today:) have a merry Christmas my friend xox

  12. Wishing you a wonderful time with your family as you quietly reflect on how far you have come and what you have achieved so far (and will be achieving); may your home be filled with love and may you all enjoy a very special Christmas and look forward to a truly exciting New Year full of hope and promise and many many blessings – Andrew

  13. „Little did I know that I was about to be moved to tears watching a show about the beauty and power of Christmas.“

    Wow!Not many people are able to feel Christmas so deeply. For most people, Christmas is probably just a fairy tale, whose true meaning is lost. But we can make it to a reality again. You can be the living proof that Christmas is still alive and a reality. I am sure you will like that Christmas message from Ted Nottingham… Merry Christmas, my precious friend! 🙂

  14. „It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am today – where home is no longer that bleak reminder of a broken girl, broken dreams and broken relationships. Living through anorexia, as a family, takes a toll.But home is more than just that one season of life.“

    I love you! 😛 Know this: You are always welcome. My home is your castle or something like that. This is not a joke, not a nice phrase, I really mean it. You are a member of my (broader spiritual) family. My feeling is, that I’ve known you forever…. 🙂

  15. Wow. One of many voices this season urging me to listen much more carefully to the stories all around me. It’s not that people will always tell you their stories, it’s what happens when they do! Have a Merry Christmas, celebrating the greatest story of them all!!

    • Hi there friend. Thank you so much my friend. You’re right-everyone has a story and when they choose to let you in, it’s a beautiful thing. Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  16. This is so beautiful and I totally agree 🙂 Home is also the funny look you give your sister when your brother starts acting like a crazy person 😉 that one’s from personal experience <3

  17. Have I mentioned that I just love your writing and perhaps you too but not in weird or creepy kind of way. Carolyn I too was supposed to travel to Ohio to be with my church but mistakenly I lost my passport 2 days prior to today I got in an argument with my father I was unable to go to Ohio once I told my friend how disappointed I was by not being able to spend time in church my mother it suggested that I talk to my father he hasn’t been able to talk to me in 6 months I wanted to talk to him tomorrow and give him love message and I love this kind of love message you present to your readers we all love you and this Canadian is jealous that you’re actually in Ohio and he’s not

    • Hi there! oh gosh, that sounds like a traveling nightmare with the passport situation. I’m so sorry that you weren’t able to go! And I’m sorry you haven’t been able to talk to your Father. I hope that you two can converse soon. Merry Christmas my friend xox

  18. Yes indeed. Home is family, and family is home. Hence, you can always go home. I still can with my aging parents, and our girls can always come home too, in every way that means.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours,

  19. You wrote… Home is not just a place. But a living, breathing experience with the people you love, and who love you.

    Absolutely true.

    Home is a haven, a refuge where one can recharge before setting out again.

  20. Merry Christmas. What speaks to us in art (music, theatre, paintings, dance…) is what art is about. Regarding, Mr. Ambiguus whom you may not have gone out with or met… did you check our his driver’s license?

  21. Love this! Thank you for sharing something deeply personal to remind others what is so important every day, but is especially important at this time as chapters close and new ones open! Merry Christmas!

  22. Great post 🙂 Sorry, I have not blogged on here for a while I have been very busy. I love that Downton Abbey image you have on this blog post 🙂 Anyway, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and keep up the great work as always 🙂

  23. P.S. Enjoying the Hallmark Christmas movies that usually play at this time of year? 🙂 I am 🙂 They are comforting and that is what makes them great 🙂 Once again have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and keep up the great work as always 🙂

  24. On Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 4:00 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > > > Hello,

    > Yes, yep, you are so right? I believe the Lord is deepening His children > by taking them back through places from the past like home. Hope your year > is full of time goes deeper, richer moments of the soul.

    > I am trying to get my 14 year off old daughter to follow her blog. She > doesn’t battle with anorexia, but I love your messages that are very > healthy for young girls. She loves the Lord, but to have a little female > mentoring in a way gives her a different perspective.

    > Have a great end of the year,

    > Gary > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > beautybeyondbones posted: “I did something really fun last > weekend. Something that was a new New York experience for me. > > And I’m not talking about standing in line at the break of dawn for SNL > tickets – although I can check that off my bucket list as of earlier this > month. > > And I’” > > > > > > > > > >

  25. So, I now know a few places to go to when I travel to NYC. Now, about that date, it sounds like it was fun! Now remember, Be You, Be Beautiful Girl! A very Merry Christmas and Warm Wishes for a Bright and Wonderful New Year!

  26. Merry Christmas, Caralyn!!! I am so happy for you for so many reasons! Congratulations on your wonderful date! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I am also so glad that you are able to go home and to enjoy the holidays with your family, accepting all the complicated history and complex dynamics of those relationships. I almost didn’t go home for Christmas this year. My brother always goes away to see his in-laws, so it winds up being just my parents sitting around the house, and last year was pretty much a disaster. (Unfortunately, my parents don’t really have much insight into our family dysfunction or their part in it, which makes improving relationships with them difficult). At the last moment, I decided that I would miss my goddaughter too much. I have been there for every Christmas with her, and I couldn’t bear to miss one. So, I got in the car and drove the 13 hours (from Ohio 🙂 ) , and it has been such a blessing! My parents are just as dysfunctional as ever, but perhaps I am changed and am better able to accept them as they are, understanding that I can’t help them if they don’t want to be helped. It was amazing to see my goddaughter, who wanted me to hold her all through Christmas Eve mass. All those feelings of unworthiness with which I struggle melted away. You are right that beyond pain and hurt, there is potential and hope and life and love. Merry Christmas, again!

    • Hi Lulu, oh my gosh this brought a tear to my eye. Seriously. Thank you so much for sharing it. I’m so glad you decided to make the trip. It must have meant so much to your goddaughter for you to be there:) and amen to that – there is always hope and potential. Merry merry Christmas, my friend. Sending the biggest hugs. Your presence is a gift to your family:) xoxo

  27. Hey thanks for the like and sharing your words within your own blog. Guess what? I too use to live in Ohio 🙂 Now that was a time of pure friendship and appreciation. I miss them. Continue to enjoy your holidays and everyday in peace after that.

  28. Beautiful expression of sincerity and humility!
    He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” Psalm 46:10a (NIV) The words may sound soothing, but in Scripture they’re a gentle but firm reproof. “Calm down” (CEV), He says. “That’s enough!” (CEB). At the time these words were written, God was speaking very pointedly to His battle-prone people. “Stop fighting” (ERV), He told them, “cease striving” (NASB) and “desist” (YLT).

    Okay, then.

    It’s clear that in our own daily battles we’re to lay down our weapons and trust God for the victory, believing it will come in His perfect timing and according to His flawless plan. In the meantime, He tells us to rest in Him and “let go of your concerns!”

    May God continue to strengthen you as you walk through this life! Remember Although I am weak, I am strong because of Him

  29. Well done on this article! Your descriptions made me want to see that play. Thank you for the reminder for all of us to value and work through things like home and memories in order to value what is real and enduring. =)

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