When I first picked up Simply Tuesday, I had no idea what I’d find inside. I’d been told it was good. The first couple chapters convinced me that it was good, and then I hit chapter three. Mercy.

One of my favourite things is to read late at night, tucked in cozy, quiet house, with my reading light driving my beloved crazy. The night I read about Gates & Cul-de-Sacs, I was awfully glad that the rest of my people were asleep, because Emily’s words about places that are gates, living in cul-de-sacs, and finding home where we only believed we’d find transitions had hit a deep nerve, and I was a teary mess.

SimplyTuesdayBook(For the record, the rest of the book was also so very, very good. I could quote a multitude of pages, and profound, beautiful thoughts that touched deep. Nothing quite like this did though.) In her story of going back home to explore her childhood hometown, I found myself, in my mind, back home. The near-new elementary school I attended is shabby now, some thirty-years past.  The neighbourhood it serves seems tired. A lot of transitions for me happened in those concrete block rooms, with outside doors holding kindergarten classes, hormonal sixth and seventh graders chess clubs and sticker clubs and kids. My memories are good and bad and shame and growth and everything that comes along with puberty and burgeoning independence, honestly.

But I always felt like that place, the city, the orchards around my school (which are now subdivisions) was home. This place was a reference point for me. The older I get, the less like home it is. My family is there, and they’ll always be where my heart is, but my hometown, which I thought was my cul-de-sac, turned out to be a gate to the world to me, and I don’t know if I really realized it or wanted it to be.

When I moved to Ontario, I thought it was a gate. A career move. A thing to do until I moved home. I had no idea I was moving to my cul-de-sac. The place where I’d set up my bench, welcoming friends, becoming a neighbour, finding my people, building a life. And it’s still a conflict for me, knowing where home is. A conflict that can make a person feel so very small.

Giving TuesdayIt’s hard to think of building benches or welcoming people to join you as you sit a while if you believe the place you are in is only temporary. I can be tempted to wish deeply, heart-achingly, for things to be different instead of living whole-heartedly in what is. Emily’s words about courage and wisdom and taking the Spirit of God with us wherever we are reminded me deeply: I bring home with me wherever I am and wherever I am is home. And being home? It means that I can breathe deeper, dream further, love stronger, and rest easier.

I will re-read Simply Tuesday – I know it. And I’ll likely do it right where I’m at, at home.


Today, to share Simply Tuesday on Giving Tuesday, I’m giving back! Thanks, Christa Hesselink for the awesome idea! I’ll be donating $1 to the Better Beginnings Adoption Fund at Family & Children’s Services Waterloo Region for every comment and share of this post, on Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 2015. This is so close to my heart, that I’m praying you comment like crazy.

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