I’m home, mostly: a companion

back yardBehind my parents house in Alabama is a stretch of big woods that drops off in hard edges, boulders precariously stacked below in whispering creek beds. When the sun finally started shining up over the hollow (holler), it lit up the leaves, all the yellow barely hanging on, God-art in action, the prettiest display I’ve seen there. 

front yardThe driveway stays wet and riveted. The deer come out here along our pasture, where my daddy keeps Sadie, his big baby Clydesdale. She makes his 6 feet and 6 inches seem nearly small. My boys think they’re both giants.
Sadie and the boys

Memaw and a smiling baby

Going home to Alabama isn’t easy. So much of my heart has denied how Arkansas really is home, how Seth really is home, how my Jesus prepares one so beautifully for me. When I go back, I remember the life I lived there, certain people and houses, and I’m mortified and humbled. I want to crawl somewhere and hide. My nature is wild as kudzu.

big hand, little handWe’re all older now. My parents have 5 grandsons. It’s funny how I thought they knew everything they were going to know. As a kid, I didn’t realize how they would continue to learn, to lead us better. I never planned to see such grace in them because they know the old me that sometimes creeps up and confuses herself with the new me. Home is the last place I let myself experience grace, and it seems, too, that it’s the last place I give grace.


I’m learning how it all has to do with what we believe about forgiveness. Am I really forgiven? Are they? 

I believe the answer is Yes.

About me


When God Rains Grace
August 31, 2015
Wild in the Hollow Book Club: an Introductory video
August 28, 2015
How Right Living Was My Brokenness: a guest post from Kelly Smith
August 11, 2015
Marriage Letters: On Home
July 06, 2015
A Final Haines Home Companion: a Secret I’ve Kept
June 06, 2014
On Broken Parts in Regular Towns: Alabama, Arkansas, and Haiti
April 03, 2014
On Losing Place
September 05, 2013
How the Light Peeks Through
August 26, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: A Little Eden
March 13, 2013


Reply November 2, 2009

I believe Yes too. How beautifully written.

Reply November 2, 2009

Absolutely YES! :)

Reply November 2, 2009

Nothing quite as hard and wonderful as your childhood home! I love knowing that my kids are building their own memories of Grandma's house just like I did as a child.

Boy Crazy (@claritychaos)
Reply November 2, 2009

'Home is the last place I let myself experience grace, and it seems, too, that it’s the last place I give grace.' I hear you. When my four sisters and I end up back home at the same time, I swear we revert to the way things were when we were there. I know you're getting at more than that here, but that was just a touch of what that part means to me.

Reply November 2, 2009

I completely and entirely know what you mean. My parents no longer live where "home" was, but I still have that grace withholding problem whenever I'm back among the familiar faces. Like Boy Crazy said, I always revert a bit (so do my siblings) and then I marvel (like you) at how home--and the best Me possible--really is with my husband and children.

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light
Reply November 2, 2009

There's something special bout going home in Bama. I did it this weekend, too, even though I live here all the time. My Momma's Bama is different from "my Bama".....

...it's home sweet home!

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus
Reply November 2, 2009

Lovely, Amber. Truly.

Isn't is true that it is hardest to give grace and to receive in the places where we've once felt most vulnerable? For me, anyhow, that's the case.

With your words, you set my feelings to poetic song. I love your style, Amber. So beautiful and stirring.

Reply November 3, 2009

"I never planned to see such grace in them because they know the old me that sometimes creeps up and confuses herself with the new me."

I can absolutely relate to that.

Reply November 3, 2009

I can't stop thinking about these words, Amber.
It has been so long since I've gone to any semblance of a home other than my here and now.

Jane Anne
Reply November 3, 2009

Yes! yes! yes! Why is it that at times it is hardest to give grace to those that we are closest to? And, when I go "home" I shudder to think that people see me how I was and not how I am now.

Scott Carothers
Reply November 3, 2009

Grant is cool.

Reply November 9, 2009

I like this. And the answer IS yes.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *