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Refining Life, on Purpose

Redefining Home – a Review of Almost There by Bekah DiFelice

Bekah DiFelice’s Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move offers a unique perspective of a transient lifestyle. It shows how we are constantly redefining home according to our sense of personal belonging, identity and purpose.

I figure the constant redefining of home is a big part of having a transient lifestyle. It’s not something with which I have much experience. In fact, I lived in my childhood home into my twenties. I never switched schools. As an adult, I have only lived in two homes since finally leaving the one I was raised in. So, it was with a lot of interest that I read Bekuh DiFelice’s Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move. In a sense, it was a way of living somewhat vicariously as she shares her personal experience.

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. has provided me with a complimentary copy of Almost There. I’m delighted to share my thoughts and reflections with you.

Redefining Home as a Sense of Belonging

Despite my stubborn resistance to transient lifestyle, I related to DeFelice’s initial words. She expresses a lifelong feeling of belonging somewhere else. I too have also spent much of my life asking that question — even while rooted in my comfort of what I called home.

There was always an agitated restlessness inside of me as I was growing up. On I couldn’t explain but knew existed. I never put it into context of home though. As she suggests, home can represent a “quest driven by the belief that peace and rest are out there somewhere, if only you could find them on a map or in a career field or among a community of people who finally ‘get you.’”

DiFelice goes on to suggest that it’s her belief that the quest represents “pursuit of God – because I need to know that peace and rest can be found in every place I am, that there is reason and rightness beneath the chaos of my days.” It’s no coincidence, then, that I felt agitation and restlessness dissipate after a near-death experience and giving my life to Christ in August of 1995.

Sure, the agitation and restlessness was still there – and remains to this day. However, the process of redefining home had begun. I like to think I’m zeroing in on my definition of “home” as I grow closer to knowing God.

Bekah DiFelice’s Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move offers a unique perspective of a transient lifestyle. It shows how we are constantly redefining home according to our sense of personal belonging, identity and purpose.

Bekah DiFelice’s Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move offers a unique perspective of a transient lifestyle. It shows how we are constantly redefining home according to our sense of personal belonging, identity and purpose.

Redefining Home as a Pillar of Personal Identity

In 1995, I went off to college. I didn’t travel far and was home about 95% of the weekends during those four years. So, while I didn’t have near the separation that most college students experience, there was some. And it was a pretty significant one for a kid who had lived in but one home his entire life. Still, I took that separation as an opportunity to redefine a lot, grow into my own and, in a sense, find home.

Even though, as DiFelice says, it’s sad to mourn the end and realize part of you is shrinking, a “moment of departure is a moment of reinvention, of renewal, of freedom. The moment you get a redo on the adjectives associated with your name.” In fact, most well-known individuals in the Bible left home before their real stories began.

That reinvention continued after graduating, starting my career, getting married, having children, publishing my first book, and throughout many milestones since then. It goes to show that I am constantly redefining home as I my personal identity evolves. We all are, in fact.

“When something is built into your identity, it becomes a home unto itself, an address where you go to find a familiar version of yourself.”

Redefining Home as an Anchor of Purpose

Many people lack purpose in their lives. Some may be – or at least appear to be – comfortable with that. Yet, suspect that lacking of purpose is more troubling and conflicting than it is exhilarating. That’s because, “…as much as we are children who want to be parented, we are also kingdom builders who want to be released in authority.”

That authority, God, joined in his creation through Jesus, who anchored himself to purpose as opposed to place. For us to have that, DiFelice says, it “requires a similar engagement of faith, the cultivation of relationship, and the deep conviction that no place under our feet is wasted.”

God’s plan for instilling that purpose which many never truly find is the church. Not just the building itself, but the church universal. Where we have our identity (in Christ) and where we gain our belonging (to God). The building…

“You call it your home church, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s where you decide to become a regular on Sundays… [c]hurch, then becomes an orienting landmark to find the family I haven’t met yet on the day I need them most.”

“I will be reckless enough to hope, to set my alarm on the last day of the weekend. On Sundays, I will start at church as a place that helps me find my way home.

Some Final thoughts…

I’m not the target demographic for Almost There, nor is it one that I expected to have drastic impact. However, I marvel at how it was the exact message I needed at this season of my life. I have no doubt the same is going to be said by many who also give it a read.

“Home is sacrificial. It always costs something to build and maintain. One of the mercies, then, of a life of physical transience might be the way it teaches us that home really can’t be handed to us. It must be built, labored for, grown into; filled with our stuff; occupied with parts of our history.”

In other words, we are constantly redefining home according to our sense of personal belonging, identity and purpose.

Buy the Book

Read the first chapter of Almost There

About Bekah DiFelice

Bekah DiFelice loves strong coffee, her home state of Colorado, and turning strangers into friends. She’s a wife, mom, and writer. You can find her at BekahDiFelice.com, where she shares her story of discovering pieces of home in the most unlikely places.

Bekah DiFelice - Author of Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move

Bekah DiFelice – Author of Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.