Tag Archives: home

Music on a Monday // Home Sweet Homes

My TOP TEN songs about house and home.

This playlist is a huge category.  There are soooooo many songs about hearth and home or houses and hometowns.  Quite overwhelming, actually.  I had to leave off another 8 or 9 that I really liked (like “Lucky” Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait – to be used on a future list)  just because I was determined to keep this list at 10.  There is a playlist from YouTube at the end of this blog that includes each of the songs I have written about here.

I’m a home-grown, home-loving, home-girl.  I don’t necessarily mean a house, either.  I mean home the feeling, home the peopleHome.  Sweet home.

LORD, it seems You have been my home forever, from ‘once upon a time,’ to ‘happily ever after,’ (from before the mountains were formed until time is no more), You are God and You have been my God and my home.  Psalm 90.1-2, my paraphrase

Check out my top ten songs and why they made the cut.

#1  Back Home Again, John Denver

Long story, told as sparingly as possible.  The rest are shorter.

Why do I love this song?  There is a whole family story.  I cannot capture it here, but suffice it to say that my brother Joe (yes, that Joe), ran away from home.  My dad had accepted a church far, far away from any home we’d ever known and there was some culture shock and he was a HS freshman and of course, we showed up mid-year, so it is hard.

It tore our family up – days of Joe just missing.  But after the better part of a week, he was found and the police were putting him on a plane and my parents drove to New Orleans to get him and he wasn’t there.  The airline said he hadn’t boarded.   We all mourned even more.  My mom was sick with sorrow.  We assumed he ran again after the police delivered him to the airport.  There was a heavy darkness at our house.

Then a phone call: the flight he’d been on was cancelled – he arrived late (airlines can be dumb).  We all climbed in the Ford Station Wagon and went to get him.  What a relief.  There was much love and my dad took us to a really nice steak house and we feasted on the fatted calf, so to speak.  The son had come home.

It was nearing midnight, I think, as we drove back to Robert, Louisiana, past our school-night bedtime.  The excitement was quieting down and we were just so happy he was there.  The family was settled in listening to the radio, still, as the car hummed along.  Just as we pulled in to the driveway, John Denver’s voice filled the car

There’s a storm across the valley, clouds are rollin’ in

the afternoon is heavy on your shoulders.

There’s a truck out on the four lane, a mile or more away

the whinin’ of his wheels just makes it colder.

He’s an hour away from ridin’ on your prayers up in the sky

and ten days on the road are barely gone.

There’s a fire softly burning; supper’s on the stove

but it’s the light in your eyes that makes him warm.

My dad put the car in park, but none of us moved, not a muscle.  We all sensed the holiness of the moment, the serendipity of this particular song at this distinct second in time…and we just sat there…in the driveway…in the late night – listening, knowing somehow God was blessing the boy coming home.  We listened to every single word and note of that song, almost afraid to even breathe…

It’s the sweetest thing I know of, just spending time with you

it’s the little things that make a house a home.

Like a fire softly burning and supper on the stove.

And the light in your eyes that makes me warm.


Hey, it’s good to be back home again

Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend

Yes, ‘n, hey it’s good to be back home again.

It was a moment barely spoken of for years, for it was too precious.  And it was this monumental transcendent time-fragment we’ll never forget.  Because for all of the fear and sadness and rejoicing those days had brought, that moment became the time we knew we were together, all those miles from our kin and the life we’d known before, and we were home.

And the brother I loved was safe.  My little Joey.

So how could I not love this song?  It’s my number one song about home.

#2  The House that Built Me, Miranda Lambert

This was the Country Music Awards song of the Year in 2011, I believe, maybe 2010.  Such a great song.  It is the story of adult going back to the house she grew up in and asking the owner to let her come inside to look around.  She calls it “the house that built me” because of all the memories of her experiences growing up there.  It immediately, when I heard it, reminded me of 1723 York Street, an address which, if you read this blog, you’ll recognize {the house of my carefree-childhood memories}. A quick search and you will see the address shows up regularly here…I wonder how many times?  :)

And I have always wanted to go back there, to my house-that-built-me and see if I could go through it.  And if the owners now ever stumble on this blog – I hope they won’t think I am crazy.  I hope they’ll just watch the Miranda Lambert video and be able to understand that many-many-many years ago, I was a little girl there, and the memories are sweet and fine.  O, the projects I planned and the dreams I dreamed and adventures I experienced there

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it

This brokenness in me might start healing…

If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave

Won’t take nothing but a memory from the house that built me.

#3  Home is Wherever I’m with You, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

This song is so fun-gritty, backwoods-country-AND-modern and did-I-mention: fun.  The sentiment is that “home” is where your “people” are, the ones you love the most, not so much a location and street address.  And that is a true thing!  Cute-cute-cute!

#4  Who Says You Can’t Go Home, Bon Jovi

Well Bon Jovi is a great rocker who wrote and performed this song, which highlighted the work of Habitat for Humanity.  I like him a lot.  Crank it up and roll down the windows and sing loud while you are enjoying your neighborhood.  You can go home again!

#5  I’ll Be Home for Christmas, The Carpenters

Everybody and their dog has performed this classic Christmas number.  This song, written about a WWII soldier coming home from war for Christmas, was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943.  But then the likes of Amy Grant, Anne Murray and Andy Williams recorded it, too.  Other covers were made by the Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Brad Paisley.  Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Elvis sang it, too.  Hundreds of people have recorded the song and it is a lovely,melancholy tune recalling, with great affection, the beauty of “home.”  It speaks of a longing, a homesickness, that resonates for all of us when we just wish we could be with the people we love, in a place we’re together.

Dave and I were talking about the renditions we heard most growing up.  And though I feel like I heard the Johnny Mathis version a lot, we determined The Carpenters was the primary version we grew up with, that Karen’s haunting voice was the smooth sound that made this song relevant in the 1970s and beyond.  She interpreted well and as far as songs about home, this one has to be in the mix because, Christmas or not – sometimes dreaming and remembering is the only way we actually get to be with our families, our loves.

#6  Home, Phillip Phillips

Phillip Phillips won 2012 American Idol.  He was good and my pick from early on.  He is very earthy and young, but also sort of timeless and seasoned and when the 2 finalists got to pick a song they’d release in case they won and I saw him perform this song, I was like, “O-my-gosh he will positively win this!”  He just killed this song.  In a good way.

And you know how sometimes when you first hear a song it takes a while to grow on you?  This song was not like that. I loved it immediately!  It speaks of some one making a place for you, a home, a safe place.  LOVE it.

Hold on, to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone

Cause i’m going to make this place your home


Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons

They fill you with fear

The trouble it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found


Just know you’re not alone

Cause i’m going to make this place your home

#7  Green, Green Grass of Home, Tom Jones

It was the 1960s…and this song just sucked me in. I couldn’t seem to hear it enough back then and the surprise ending got me every. single. time.  Tragic.

#8  Home, Michael Buble

Just smooth and sweet, sung by the super-suave crooner of the day.  He is on the road (trying to write her letters) and and he is missing his love and he just wants to get on the plane and go home.


#9  House of Love, Amy Grant and Vince Gill

They sang this in 1994 way before they married and I do not really understand the official video (the little house thing?), but I just enjoy this hope-filled song.  I had a friend going through a break-up when this was on the charts and this was the song we prayed through.  And it is a fun song to sing and “the lights are coming on in the house of love.”  And they did for my friend!

#10  Taking You Home, Don Henley

The gravely-soulful drummer-boy of the Eagles.  “Take my hand, love, I’m taking you home, Taking you home.”

Come on.  Let’s go home.  :)

Embedded // the WHOLE playlist, in no particular order:

“For me, home is the coming together of my past memories and experiences, of my love for my children, husband and friends;…my optimism tangibly expressed in life-enhacing ways, room by room…” –Alexandra Stoddard

The 45:15 plan for work-at-home sorts

Heaven Fest.  I do that.

Our current office is not opened on Mondays, but I work on  Mondays…and Saturdays…and Sundays, too sometimes.

When I know I have to jump headlong into a long-list Monday working from home, I have a way of dealing with it that makes it a wonderful day.  Sometimes I don’t do this, and then I feel cheated and totally worn out and sort of like a prisoner in my own house.  But when I remember…

The secret?

45:15.  This is the formula.  I work like a maniac for 45 minutes.  Then I do something totally un-work-related for 15.  I actually set the timer for this.

At first, when the task list is long and time-pressure related things roll out endlessly causing my heart to palpitate and my breath to shorten, the timer going off feels like an interruption…like, what? wait…now?  I am just getting my groove.  So, it doesn’t always feel like a blessing.

Pinned Image

But, then, I find my pace and get my groove and the timer becomes a reward for me.  I plow with vigor into my 45 minutes of work and when the beep begins, I am set free like a kid on that last day of school and for 15 minutes I can do anything I want without one thought of the tasks at hand.  Sometimes that is cleaning the bathroom or doing a load of laundry.  Today it is weeding and pruning and writing this quick post.  I might even call my mom during one “break” today.

I suppose one could put her feet up, eat some bon-bons and watch a soap opera, but that isn’t my deal.  So even though I am still doing “stuff” it is stuff that makes me happy and makes me feel accomplished and gives my worm-out mind a rest.  It is good.

At the end of 10 hours today, I will have competed my work task list, have an amazing sense of accomplishment and I will have enjoyed a couple of hours of tidying and weeding and fresh air and music and working from home.  The productivity goes up and the breath normalizes.

NOTE:  I have never been able to actually “do” the Flylady thing, but I think I got this idea from an essay she wrote some years ago about how to handle it when what you have to do is a crazy-high mountain of tasks.  Steady as she goes…  :)

Life by Design


Easy.  E A S Y !

Ask yourself:  If some one spent several days visiting my house, how would I want them to recount their time here?

How you answer that question will give you insight into what your home should reflect about you.  Just remember to throw out pretentiousness and airs.  A real home with well-loved belongings and sunlight streaming through squeaky-clean windows (I need some of those!) filled with the sound of life will impress everytime.  Plus be a place you you will want to nestle into every single day.  It isn’t perfection.  Repeat that, please: it is not perfection.  It is authenticity.  Edit, putter and enjoy the process.
And isn’t home, really, after all, the sum of the people living there?

Stef shared this with me the other day from the movie “The Notebook” (yes, yes, yes, you should see it!).

When Noah’s grown children were trying to get him to move back “home” leaving his wife, Allie, in the nursing facility as she was failing, he said,

“This is my home now.  Your mother is my home.”

See?  Nicholas Sparks knows.

Past is Prologue

“The Past is Prologue”  Memory vs. Nostalgia

Some days I get really nostalgic with an actual sort of hunger and bittersweet longing for a person or thing from the past; usually feeling homesick for a place or a time in a sort of regretful kind of way.

Some days I am full of memories and just so grateful for the rich, full remembrances of life. 

Nostalgia makes me yearn, melancholy raring its powerful head, makes me wish for do-overs from earlier times, or for the gift of just going back and seeing things again, the way they once were, but with the wisdom of the years, with understanding so I’d not have missed anything important.

But memories“light the corners of my mind” like Barbra so beautifully sang way back when and are the things on which everything now is built.  They are the building blocks of my present and have added the depth and dimension that cause intricate color patterns that weave in and out of all I have seen and am and will be.  They are epic backstory, the altar of remembrance and the reminder that the story isn’t over.  It is just in the middle somewhere…

“Where are you from or where did you spend most of your growing up years?” was the question. 

Darla and Rachel, Joan and Sherri and I were getting better acquainted.   Such a simple question causes a waterfall of thoughts on the topic.  I have so many short, pat answers I have given over the years. 

I sometimes say, “I am an Iowa girl,”because I was born there and we lived in three different cities where my dad pastored churches in Iowa and then after marrying, Dave and I led a church in a fourth city in the Corn state. 

The house on 1723 York Street, Des Moines

Other times I claim the “near Chicago” as my “home,” because we lived in that little piece of northwest Indiana that ispart of the greater-Chicago-metro area and is actually in Chicago’s time-zone (as opposed to the rest of Indiana) and it is where the Moslanders (Ross-the-Boss, Mrs Moss and all the little Landers) ended up together before we all started leaving home. 

There were the short years in Louisiana… 

But my parents moved…have moved several times since, to different ministries in various cities and states and wherever they go becomes “home.”  I always feel a bit unsettled when they move until I see pictures of the house and google the street and get to go visit.  I need to know where they are.  I need to know where the boxes (the very few that are left) which are holding the photographic proof of our journeys and my life, are being stored. 

So a simple question like,  “Where are you from?” throws me into a few-seconds of a spin, trying to decide how to answer accurately, but without boring them with the tedious details of a dozen different houses and 11 schools during my lifetime, of 12 different communities, some more than once, of living as far north as Minot, North Dakota and as far south as Robert, Louisiana – two locations which were, indeed, worlds apart. 

Where am I from?

And in a nostalgic mood, I get all tender, feeling I am from nowhere.  But in days of remembrance, in times I am grasping what Shakespeare meant when he said, “The past is prologue,” meaning it has all just been preparation for where I am now, all setting up the real story of today, I am grateful for adventures and places, for the people and times I wouldn’t trade.

I look at Darla and Rachael, Joan and Sherri, kind faces waiting to hear a geographical clue to my existence.

“I am not really from any place,” I tell them. I am from a story and I am in the middle of it now.”  Home is where my heart is – and there is a little of my heart in lots of places, or maybe the places are here with my in my heart.  And I am full of wonderful memories of how I arrived here, interesting people who were kind enough along the way to notice my existence and deposit something rich, funny, happy, sad, meaningful or silly treasure into my life.

The older I get, the more I realize the things of value that have been given to me and I get a strong desire to walk where I once walked and look people in the face and say, “I didn’t know it at the time – when we were just ‘passing through’ so I maybe kept a wall between us, but you were part of God’s plan, a gift {even maybe a disruption} for me straight  from Him.” And I’d like to tell people thank-you and kiss them on the cheek and apologize that I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know they were so integral to my story.  I thought I was sometimes too focused on trying to get somewhere, trying to find home/destiny/purpose.  But I see it now.  They were that for me right in that moment.  They were my home.


Dear little Jeanie: why so serious?  God has good stuff planned for you ahead.  So enjoy today.

This kind of treasure is unavailable to the 20-year old. It is gained only by getting older and by understanding the past as prologue to whatever richness I now live in – past is part of it all.  And really just the beginning…

The York Street House & a Song for a Sunday

If you have been on this blog over time, you know that 1723 York Street, my childhood home, still holds pieces of my heart.

The windows are all smaller now. Modern. The neighbors got closer. Some trees are gone…(googlemaps image)

The  Academy of Country Music just named this the song of the year.


The House that Built Me by Miranda Lambert


It’s like she was reading my mail.