Day 5 Reflection & Discussion – February 15, 2016


Growing up I lived on the same street, in the same house, in the same room from birth until I took off for college at 18.   Not only that: it was the same neighborhood that my Mother, and her Father (my Grandfather) grew up in. This formed my understanding of home. For many years home, for me, was synonymous with consistency, sameness, and uniformity. Growing up I also had the chance to travel. When I was 4 years old, we drove from Iowa to Vancouver Island, Canada and I still remember that trip, especially Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.   When I was 6 years old, my grandparents begin volunteering in their retirement as missionaries on the border of Texas and Mexico, and we would go for a few weeks every year.   Many weekends we visit family in various parts of the Midwest. And parts of each summer were spent at the family cabin in Fairbault, Minnesota. It was during these trips, explorations and adventures that I felt full of life, excited and ready to learn new ways of living and being.   Home became the place where I was, the people I was with, the ways God guided me to grow and flourish.

– Submitted by Rev. Paula Cripps-Vallejo, Pastor of Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, Chicago

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How many times did you move before you turned 18?
  2. If you moved more than 3 times, how has frequent moves impacted you? 
  3. If you moved less than 3 times, how has ‘housing stability’ impacted you?
  4. If you were going to “move home,” where would that be?


  1. Yesterday, Eloisa pulled out a book detailing the story of Grover’s move (from the suburbs) to Sesame Street; it was a cute and strangely emotional story for Lexi and me. As we read the story, we were reminded of the fact that, not only have we moved a lot since starting our marriage, but Eloisa has already moved once in her life. Does that mean that she has housing instability? Not at all. However, the anecdote denotes the value of a stable definition of home. Personally, I was exceedingly lucky and unusual growing up, as I lived in the same place for the entirety of my childhood. I am struck by the fact that Eloisa won’t be able to say the same thing.

    Currently, Wisconsin is trying to pass legislation that will authorize police to ask for documentation, similar to the laws passed in Arizona. We have been involved in that community here in Madison. Lexi works with these families insofar as her job necessitates her communication with students and parents, but additionally this affects Eloisa’s friends and their families. I pray that the legislation doesn’t pass, so that these families have the same home stability for their children that we have the luxury of experiencing.

    1. Praying with you. Even the threat of housing instability within a community discourages connection to others and inhibits the natural development of networks of support. (After all, why invest in networks and friendships if you’re not sure how long you’ll be around.) Eloisa won’t even remember the first move in her childhood, so that one doesn’t really count. 🙂

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