Guest Blogger: Donna Cronk / Where is Home?

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The home down the lane. Picture submitted by Donna Cronk.

Introduction: Home sweet home is where our hearts are. When we are away from home, we try to feel at home. In her Christian novel, Donna writes about returning home. God gives us a longing for our eternal home. For now, Donna Cronk calls Pendleton, Indiana, her home.  She has written for Hoosier newspapers for more than three decades. For more stories and perspectives on life, see Donna’s FaceBook page, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast by Donna Cronk. Her novel, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast, is available on Amazon.

Where is Home?

By Guest Blogger Donna Cronk

Recently, I returned to the county we called home during most of the 1980s. On the way there, I wanted to look at the farmhouse that we rented for most of those years. At the edge of the road, I took a picture of the snow-covered lane to show my husband. That lane was the bane of our winter months because it blew shut so frequently. I knew he would remember and chuckle, relieved to be free from that issue. Even so, that home back down the lane was dear to us. We rented it for $200 a month from a sweet old farmer who had moved “to town” with his wife, but continued to plant a garden out there and insisted that we eat our fill and then some of the fresh vegetables. It was up that lane that we brought our newborn son Sam home for the first time. As I paused there briefly at the end of that lane, it occurred to me that while this was once our home, it was no longer that at all. The “Private, keep out” sign on the telephone pole was directed at strangers … at me. The people who lived there now didn’t know me from the man in the moon. The thought was sad.

As we near retirement, my husband and I discuss where we might want to call home for that phase of our lives. Brian’s comment that he wouldn’t mind spending it back in my hometown in a different part of the state helped inspire me to write a novel, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast. In my fantasy-writing world, we would return there and open an inn. But the hometown I remember wouldn’t be the same hometown against the backdrop of our retirement years as it was against the framework of my youth. My parents have passed on and we no longer own the family farm. The children I played with as a kid are as grown and gone as I am. Our own kids never lived there so there would be no nostalgia on their part. In fact, we might be strangers in a familiar landscape.

Like jobs, relationships, hobbies and everything else in this world, the concept of “home” is fleeting. We are here for just a moment in time, yet we deeply long for something permanent, eternal; for home in its deepest, truest sense. We are hardwired to crave the notion of belonging, fitting in, being loved and wanted and welcomed. When I was a girl, we sang a song in Sunday School with lyrics that went like this: “I’ve got a home in glory land that outshines the sun.” It goes on, “Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do remember me.” Wherever we may roam in our earthly lives, whichever homes provide shelter, and no matter how much sweat equity we put into them, our earthly homes are temporary stops on the road to eternity. How I want the Lord to welcome me and my loved ones with open arms one day and say, “Welcome home.”

 

John 14:2

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Donna Cronk / Where is Home?

  1. A beautiful, rich post that gives me comfort that our true home awaits eagerly for all of us in God’s kingdom. I can so relate to this post. I left the Philippines in 2003. It’s the only home country I knew and has all the best of childhood memories until I decided to migrate to America. Me and my wife never totally out grew the Philippines. 11 Years in the US but still part of our hearts feel that part of our home is still in that country and hope to retire there one day. But our last visit last Summer gave us that feeling that we are already part strangers in a town we used to know. So much changes had happen both people and landscape. Fortunately, we still have our families there and several old friends, so that was comforting. Today, I’m trying to embrace the thinking, “Home is where our heart is.” Home now is where my family is and where God’s love is present and it no longer matters whether I live in a house or an apartment, my country of birth or the country of my dreams. God bless.

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    • Island Traveler, Donna Cronk beautifully articulates that longing we all have for “home” and encourages us to be at home in the Lord. Perhaps God is calling you back to the Philippines one day. If so, there will be a God-given purpose for that move. A side note: I have been reading a non-fiction book titled, “The Bully Pulpit”, which one of the story lines is the connection between William Taft and the Philippines. The history is so interesting and I am learning a little bit more about your birth country!

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