Born in a Navy hospital, I lived twenty-one years as a Navy brat. Each time my Navy family settled into a new house, my mom would say, “Home is where your stuff is.” She meant that once you arranged familiar things in your new house or quarters, the place would start to feel like home. My mom was so good at making each house we lived in HOME.

In my lifetime, I have lived in nineteen different houses. Today, I’m one month shy of giving the Army as much time as the Navy having been married to my Soldier for almost twenty one years. It doesn’t matter how brief or long our military family anticipates being in a place there will be curtains on the windows and maybe even some fresh paint on the walls. Our “stuff” will be arranged in homey vignettes. I’m determined my kids will look back and feel like they lived in a home, even if “home” means many different places throughout their lives.

But what if we didn’t have the stuff? What if a shipment got lost or the moving company misplaced the shipping crates? What if our favorite items got broken? Sure, the military would reimburse us for the damages, but how could we replace the memories attached to the items. How would we have HOME?

Perhaps, home is more than stuff. The longer I live this military life I’m inclined to believe that home is where your people are.

kristin edited

I don’t just mean the people who live with me—who I must tell you are awesome—but, I mean friends who have walked alongside me during good times and bad. I think of women who haven’t judged me when I failed, but instead loved and encouraged me. Home is the people I haven’t seen for years, but we can pick up right where we left off when we see each other again. Home is friends who have prayed for me over the years.

As a military wife, my people are all over the world. Why do I love them so much? What do we have in common?

The answer is Jesus. My friends have walked alongside me, loved me, and encouraged me with the love and words of Jesus. We can pick up where we left off, because we have Jesus in common. We have prayed for each other and Jesus has knit our hearts together, even across the miles.

Yes, home is more than physical stuff, although stuff can bring sweet reminders of people and places. For me, home is where my people are—the people who point me to Jesus.

What about you? Who are your people? What does home mean to you?