I’ve been in Raleigh for approximately 53 days and I have already had my eyes peeled on the tiny homes with twinkly lights in sweet little neighborhoods. I’ll drive to destinations and point my fingers to porches that feel like they could be my own next year. I envision what it will be like to have a yard for bonfires and porches that facilitate conversation. It’s like I am slightly trying to fulfill this dream of being Joanna Gaines and HGTV needs to hire me for Fixer Upper, even though I have no architectural qualifications.


There are so many clichés around homes. We like to exclaim that “home is where the heart is” and geek out around the concept of a “house becoming a home.” But aside from the aesthetic appeal of marble countertops, big comfy reclining chairs and king beds- we all have this innate desire to create spaces that feel like home.


It’s not the foundation of the four walls that draw us close, but the safety fostered within. The blueprint extends beyond logistics and into pillars that protect us, shelter us and invite us in. I’m sure we all have different connotations of home. Some of us grew up in cold spaces where families were divided and love was withheld. Others of us grew up in kitchens where we danced and sung and felt freedom. Maybe the rest of us land somewhere in the middle.


But I can’t get over the fact that home might not be solely in geographical locations. Maybe a home isn’t just an address we plug into Google Maps, but found in community and people. It’s the people who have the ability to unmask your theatric side that yearns to perform and allows you to walk into doors of authenticity. Homes are areas where our identities are formed and our belonging is reinforced.


These homes aren’t created and bought in one day. We have realtors that help us weed out the unsturdy foundations and deconstruct the lies. We have days and months of building that involve time and patience. We have inspectors that check for mold and other harmful factors lying beneath our surfaces. We have interior designers that create warmth and fill in the emptiness. We have family and friends that make the space unique, lived in, and our own.


I guess I am turning into a poet-loving-fanatic on the side of my house-hunting-career because I can’t leave these thoughts without another John O’Donohue excerpt about homes. (This is not a paid ad, but everyone should go purchase a copy of To Bless the Space Between Us. Or maybe you don’t enjoy poetry, in that case stick to Harry Potter or something.)  


“May this home be a lucky place,

Where the graces your life desires

Always find the pathway to your door.


May nothing destructive

Ever cross your threshold.


May this be a safe place

Full of understanding and acceptance,

Where you can be as you are,

Without the need of any mask

Of pretense or image.


May it be a house of courage,

Where healing and growth are loved,

Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;

A home where patience of spirit is prized,

And the sight of the destination is never lost

Though the journey be difficult and slow.

May there be a great delight around this hearth.

May it be a house of welcome

For the broken and diminished.


May you have the eyes to see

That no visitor arrives without a gift

And no guest leaves without a blessing.”


What if we invited people into our homes and life? What if we welcomed and dwelled and loved without pretense? What if our doors were never locked? What if we tossed our masks at the doorstep? What if our lives became windows that were open and honest and our faith became brick that was sturdy and True?

all the LOVE! -Emily Magnus