When you don’t feel at home, at home. And yet you do.

the perfect coffee

I’m tucked away in a little ally-way, finally getting some time and space to just do what I want. My first week home has been filled with appointments (nine, to be exact) as my mom has graciously helped with the kids. I’ve been so excited to get some space and do some writing (sometimes I call that prayer since it’s my language beyond language).

I’m here to rest, to recharge, to process, to heal. I need time and space and there’s a tension between my desire to introvert hard and to connect with all the ones here I still love.

But now that I’m finally out on my own I’m busy culture-shocking.

You’d laugh at me if I described the little things that are stirring me. I suppose a few weeks back in this groove and I’d click into gear as if it’s all normal again.

But somehow I feel like this place is changing faster than I am. Certainly it’s changing faster than where Ryan and I live. (Often I feel like the whole western world is changing without us there in our little town in the tropics.)

I’ve known Bend, Oregon was a “cool” place, but every time I come back it’s clear that the standard has been upped. The guy directly in front of me has brought in his own mason jar to be filled with coffee. No big deal. (Trendy little ragamuffin.) The 20-something stay-at-home dad beyond that, with his scruffy hair and perfectly crafted messy beard reads his son Goldilocks and the Three Bears, changing the words to make it politically correct. (Seriously?)

The basket in the corner next to me is filled with wooden toys and storybooks and the wall ahead is exposed brick decorated with original artwork, fit for the most hipster of hipster cafes.

To my right is a woman in her forties, covered in tattoos, who alternates between entertaining her three year old and reading the local paper. The couple to my left share a tea pot and discuss gender roles. And two ladies in their late 60’s just left carrying their yoga mats and take-out lattes.

I’ve found myself smack dab in the middle of this crunchy-hipster-yuppie-hippy-urban-cool-farm-fresh scene and I’m not sure whether to be impressed or appalled, freaked out or insecure or amused. Mostly, I’m just fascinated by it all.

It’s mainstream here to eat organic, buy local, own more bikes than cars, and perhaps even have more dogs than children. It’s normal to have a myriad of craft beers lining the door of your fridge and a compost bin out back. It’s clear that many of these people work hard at looking like they just rolled out of bed and I chuckle to myself because that, I can appreciate – without the working hard bit. (I’m going make-up less for a week since I just had eye surgery… and, let’s be honest, I’ve never been one to do my hair.)

I settle in to life in America and realize that although this is home, it’s not. I feel the same way in Australia and that’s okay too.

My home has no zip code. No distinct accent. No trends.

My home is in heaven – a theme not new, but running deeper through my entire being since losing Scarlett Grace.

I’ll drink my chai, I’ll check my phone, I’ll recycle my napkin, and then I’ll leave quietly.

While I’m here I’ll appreciate this home – both shocking and familiar all at once – and I’ll miss home where our house rings empty with silence as Ryan walks the halls without his love and two littles, remembering what it’s like to be the keeper of his own time.

Friends, do you ever feel out of place in your own home or hometown? Have you found the place that feels like your “real” home yet?


Note: Written in June while I was in the States, in case you hadn’t picked that up. (Heh!)

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Rachel
    16 July 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I laughed out loud while reading this because I just got done venting my frustrations about this exact feeling to Jason over lunch! The feeling of being so in this world but not of it is sometimes incredibly intense. You’re right — sometimes its frustrating, sometimes its just down right hilarious! Only today, I didn’t remember the part about being set for Heaven so thanks for the reminder! Goodness I feel better now.

  • Tiffany
    17 July 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Yep, I totally get this. Bend has changed a bunch. That’s probably why I stick to the east side most often, it seems more “home” than the west side.

  • Tiffany
    17 July 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Yep, I totally get this. Bend has changed a bunch. That’s probably why I stick to the east side most often, it seems more “home” to me than the west side.


Leave a Reply