Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Conversational: On Fear and Home

While this is a sponsored conversation by American Home Shield, this topic of home has been heavy on my heart since returning from Relevant. 

Catching only a glimpse of our two-story in the rear-view mirror sent wet tears spilling over my eyelashes and onto my cheeks as I drove away from our home.

I'd never had a problem with the leaving our house in the past; I've actually never really worried about things breaking or anything because I've always rationalized that things, houses can be replaced.

But leaving behind my home, the place that would house my boys while I was on a five-day trek out to the Relevant Conference -- well, that was inspiring some deeply rooted emotion at the mere sight of our humble abode in my mirrors even about  things I normally don't worry.

That morning I smiled as I kissed John before he left for work and giggled along with boys as we embraced and my fingers danced over exposed bellies before I headed out the door; but I couldn't shake the dread that had settled into my stomach upon driving away from the house.

All of the what ifs began creeping into mind.

The fear, gripping and real, about not feeling in control over my life, the lives I love and the house I call home, clenched my heart. In reality, I know that every time I kiss those sweet boys of mine before we part, it could be our last farewell. I know that every day is a gift and that tomorrow isn't guaranteed. 

But this trip -- this traveling far away from my physical space of comfort, my home and the fingers that grip so tightly around my heartstrings --  for some reason was fueling the fires of fear in my chest in very real ways; like gasoline atop already-simmering coals, my feeling of being out of control of my every-day life was now a raging firestorm searing my insides.

In those moments of swelling firefear in the heart, it's hard to find even a drop of water to douse even the tiniest flame let alone a fire hose to extinguish the blaze. So I retreated to the only way I know to combat fear:
suffocate it with gratitude.

She likes to remind me that it's physically impossible for gratitude and fear to simultaneously exist in the mind. The two emotions run the same pathways in the brain; it simply cannot be done.

So like an insomniac counts sheep or stars, I began counting my blessings -- one by one by one; I started with the gifts most on my mind.

Thank you, God, for my husband.
Thank you for my boys.
Thank you, God, that very thing -- my home -- that very blessing that sent me into this tailspin of fear ultimately brought me to this place of thanksgiving so that I could begin again to trust. 

What has home meant to you lately? Has the thought of home sparked any thoughts in your mind?

This conversation was sponsored by American Home Shield, provider of Home Warranty Services to help with the inevitable breakdown of major home appliances and components. I was kindly compensated for the time it took to write these thoughts about home.


  1. I so get this...I would love to just hunker down with my family and stay home and just be. Probably would not work with teenagers now...and hubby reminds me at some point I may go crazy. But I just like being home with everyone there.

    I struggle with not feeling in control and feeling it could all be gone tomorrow and then kick myself on the days when I don't make the most of it.

    But yes gratitude can suffocate that fear. I am working on finding that even when the fear tries to be bigger.

    Awesome reflection...one many of us can relate to.


  2. Thanks for chiming in, Jen, and letting me know that I'm not alone in this.
    There is comfort in all being within the same four walls ... and it IS hard to relinquish the control we want to cling to ... but yes. Yes to keeping on with the gratitude and suffocating those fears. Yes. And yes. xo

  3. Oh, I get this, Hy. That fear is what has suffocated me time and time again since my grandpa died. I'm learning, though, the same thing you are - to focus on the blessings instead of the what ifs, to be in constant thanksgiving to the very One who has already given me more than I deserve. Because, in reality, my children, my husband, my "home", belong to Him. Our Sunday school teacher last Sunday said something I've been pondering all week: "I'd rather have nothing but Jesus...than everything without Jesus." I've been thinking about Job, how everything was taken from Him and He still praised God. Would my faith stand similar tests? If my children were taken, if my husband was taken, if I was left with nothing...would I still praise Him. Hmmm...these are thoughts I want to share more on Thursday, because it's really been stirring in my heart.

  4. The home I miss is not a structure but a destination. I don't feel at home in Mississippi and I long for the midwest!


There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.