Hard to believe it has been a week.

Thursday thoughts of home were at the forefront, so I listened and made a call.

She didn’t pick-up, but was quick to get to the phone once it was announced the call was for her.

First words out of her mouth, “Hey Buddy. I love you.”

In the words of Michael Franti, “It was the sound of sunshine falling down.”

I was and continue to be thankful for gifts near and some as far as 2,000 miles away but closer than the man coughing out his lungs next to me in this downtown coffee shop.

Ah, deep breath… home.

As I continue to step, listen, receive, laugh, pray, learn, embrace new things being created for me and falling in love again, I realize I carry with me a suitcase full of stories, people and LOVE.  Have you ever stopped to think about the case you carry… what’s in and you may need to take out to make room for something new?

Not all of things in mine I want to continue carrying. I am trying very hard with the help of some dear sojourners to figure out how to take some stuff out to lessen the weight and make room for some new stuff.  I really like new things and have a respect for old things attached to stories that inspire, but I am surprising myself by my pack rat qualities over flat-out junk.

The good news, I must say, is how many good things are in this here suitcase.  When I allow myself time and space to dig through, I am finding things I had totally forgotten were there. Some real treasures.  They, along with the beautiful new pieces I am discovering, help in the letting go.

As I enter into week two of this sabbatical journey, it feels good to be carrying a little bit lighter load and to be anticipating with a new sense of joy what God is creating in the weeks to come.  I give thanks for home, in its varied shades, sizes, personalities and locations in my life. Thankful for the way home has allowed me to be, rest, discover, heal and be restored. I am thankful for the way home has and continues to love me and refuses to let me forget.

Home is always with me in some way, shape or form, and expands with each city I receive time in and discover. Looking forward to sharing more stories from this particular place and of my time here in the days to come. Many new stories and memories of love embodied.

Until then…

May we all be unafraid to dig through the suitcase, remove the junk, make space for and welcome some new treasures while giving thanks and holding on to the old ones.