I’m spending another week away from Ashley while attending some meetings for work in Gainesville, GA. I have to do this on occasion just to keep up with all my colleagues and make sure we’re all on the same page. It usually means five or so days away from bride, a pattern that we’ve gotten used to over the past two or so years that I’ve been with AIM and lived in Nashville.

To be honest, I look forward to these times apart. So does Ashley. Inevitably, a trip comes up in the midst of a season where we’re beginning to get annoyed with each other. I mean, we spend most of our evenings, weekends, and free time with each other, trying to do stuff together to “build a good marital foundation” – so, every once in awhile, a break is nice.

Time apart makes us miss one another, and that’s the thing about it – no matter how much I love Ashley, I eventually get used to her and take her for granted. As that begins to happen, I realize that it’s time for some time apart, so we can fall back in love. My work schedule just happens to play marvelously into this. God always teaches us something about ourselves or our relationship while I’m gone, so it’s great “counseling” for us. I recommend leaving to all couples (only joking).

But here’s the lesson that I always learn and re-learn: my home is no longer a place. You see, when I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to leave home, to change residence, to become independent, and make my college dorm my new home. I did this regularly – changing from one home to the next. After college, when I traveled with a music ministry for a year all over the U.S., my home was a different place every night.

So, when I got married, I was expecting just another transition – a new home. The first time I came back to my wife after spending some significant time apart, I told her, “You’re my home.” And I meant it.

In marriage – at least, in our marriage – “home” is a person. And what’s amazing about that is wherever you go, whatever you do, however you do it – if you’re doing it together – you’re home. And that’s a beautiful thing – to always feel at home.

Right now, I’m missing mine, but in several hours, I’ll be home again.