Editor’s Intro: Home: What does it mean to you?

posted by: By Gaye Bunderson

By Gaye Bunderson


What kind of image pops into your head when you hear the word “home”? Do you think of a structure with numbers on it, indicating a certain street address? Do you think of a specific place where loved ones and familiar faces are waiting for you? The former — a structure with numbers — is a house, I think. The latter is a home.

Much has been said and written about the concept of home. I found quite a few quotes about home and will share the better ones below, the ones I feel really nail what home is to most of us.

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. – Robert Frost

Where we love is home — home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Home is not where you live, but where they understand you. – Christian Morgenstern

Home is the nicest word there is. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. – Maya Angelou

Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace. – Vernon Baker

Some of the quotes about home were not entirely what I was looking for, but you might find this one from Margaret Thatcher interesting: Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country. (Hint: It's not like running a golf course.)

We've all heard the expression “Home is where the heart is,” but do you know who said it originally? Pliny the Elder. Don't recognize the name? Well, maybe you'll remember his given name rather than the name he later became better known by: Gaius Plinius Secundus. (And you thought Mr. Rogers came up with that quote, didn't you?)

Because I'm fortunate, I have the warmest, fondest thoughts about home. I have been taken in when I had to go there. When I've had to leave, a part of my heart remained. They understand me there — or if they don't, they accept me anyway because they take me as I am and don't question me. I've laughed a lot at home, and cried when I couldn't avoid it.

Good mothers and fathers always have an open door policy about home, no matter what age their children are. It works both ways — family is always welcome at my home, too.

I read a great quote about home in an article titled, “5 Phrases That Can Change Your Child's Life,” written by NY Times best-selling author Rachel Macy Stafford. The subhead is, “Giving your children the freedom to try, fail, and get back up.”

First, for those of you who may be interested, I'll list the four quotes that, for me, have less to do with the topic of home and more to do with encouraging your children. They are:

1. “I still believe in you.”

2. “You don't have to have it all figured out right now.”

3. “I noticed something special about you.”

4. “Thank you for trusting me with this.”

Stafford really knows a lot about encouraging kids through life's difficulties, and these four tips illustrate that. She describes herself as “an author, speaker, special education teacher, mom of two amazing girls and two rescue cats, and a life inspirer.” You can find more about her at www.handsfreemama.com, and if you want to read the full article, it's at https://journal.thriveglobal.com/5-phrases-that-can-change-your-childs-life-2064f0669823#.fdxttkwva.

What I personally liked about the fifth tip is that it isn't age-specific; it could be applied to anyone. Tip No. 5 is, “You can always come home.” The full quote reads:

I can still see my mom holding a limp dishrag in her hands and saying, 'I want you to know that no matter what you do, your dad and I will always love you. No matter what happens, you can always come home.' My 16-year-old self nodded coolly like it was no big deal — but I knew it was a big deal. In the breath of two mere sentences, I became fully aware of just how much my parents loved me. My fear of making mistakes too huge to forgive, my worry of not measuring up, my apprehension to take risks or just be myself were put to rest. Standing on the unshakable foundation of unconditional love, I had an inner armor that could not be taken away.

My parents kept their word to me throughout years of foolish mistakes and repeated disappointments. … I knew the first people to be standing there with open arms would be my parents.”

That's as good as it gets when it comes to family and to parents of any age with children of any age. Those of us who have it are surely blessed. Let your children always be aware that whatever life throws at them — or whatever they throw back — they are always welcome to walk through the door of your home. Always.

I'll end with a quote about home that you're all aware of and which needs no explanation: There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.






Leave a comment