When does a house become a home and a home become a house?

All of life experience is both mystery and fascination to me.  Brilliant human performance guru, Paul Nakai, tells us, “Curiosity is the highest form of emotional intelligence.”

Curiosity leads to an investigation; investigation produces knowledge; knowledge, the art of knowing becomes understanding. Knowing and understanding result in doing.

Mike Nilson says, “If you know it and don’t do it, you don’t know it.”

Without curiosity man would still be living in a cave – amazed by fire coming from lightning striking trees. Curiosity was the fuel that led to the discovery of flint, matches; then blowtorches.

We have all left the caves, and we have an amazing privilege in this life to build our own home. Whether it be in the 500 square foot house I lived in 70 years ago or the home we live in today.

Crowell house, 70 years ago.

Crowell house, 70 years ago.

My wife Susie and I changed houses and homes 14 times the first 8 years of our marriage, so I became curious about how and when a house officially turns into our home.  

At what moment in time did the new house become home and when did our once beloved home return simply to being a house once more?

Seems like a simple concept. Not true. Some houses, even when fully occupied never become homes.

House is a building. House is where you exist. Home is where you live, alive with joy and passion. Home is a sanctuary of safety and optimum opportunity for growth. House is just four walls, roof, and heat.

We can easily make a house more of a house; bigger; prettier, better, but homes can become better homes as well. Both require planning, hard work, and intentional action. Both cost energy, time and personal sacrifice.

When our lake cabin had to be raised. Each time we removed Crowell life, the home started becoming simply a house. Within days our former home was a shell, yet ready to become open doors and windows for an inner city ministry house.  

Reminds me of the admonition to build the house on the rock; not the sand. With the lesson for me being to make sure the new house has a solid foundation. Once the new cabin is built, as we bring in Crowell life, we must be sure to bring love, joy, peace, kindness, and goodness to make it a home for others.

Cabin being torn down due to foundation failure.

Cabin being torn down due to foundation failure.