Friday, March 13, 2009

accent from "home"...

Yesterday at work I was talking with our auditor, whom I had just met, and a few hours into our day, the subject somehow turned to where we were originally from-- where was "home"? I am originally a Michigander (as we would call ourselves!). I was born and lived most of my childhood in the lovely state of Michigan. Two years ago, however, I reached the "equal time in both states" point and have now lived in California longer than I have in Michigan.

The reason she asked me the question, however, was because of the way I speak-- my "accent," if you will. Now, we Michiganders say we have no accent, but, well, we must begrudgingly admit that we do. It mostly has to do with the pronunciation of the short sound of the letter "O." It's a Midwest thing, and it definitely sets us apart from the West Coasters. There are also words or phrases that are part of the "accent." Words like "pop" (yes! that IS what it is, folks! no matter how many of you call it "soda"!!!) and ways of pronouncing words like "eggs," "bag," "measure." (or so they tell me!)

Now, after living almost 23 years in California, I've lost the pronunication accent. I go home to my family in Michigan, and they tell me I talk funny. I do, however, still use (at least in my head!) the word "pop" and I guess some other phrases or mannerisms in speaking that peg me as "not Californian." This was what started the whole conversation about it yesterday.

It made me start thinking, though, about my other home. Heaven.

It is said "Home is where the heart is." And, heaven is where my heart is. It is where my future lies. It is where my Father is waiting for me. And though I miss my home state of Michigan, the place for which my spirit grows most homesick is my true home. It is this place for which my heart truly longs.

That makes me a stranger here. Oh, not just in California, but in this world, period. We who hold our citizenship in heaven are strangers and aliens in this world (Hebrews 11:13b), and as a stranger, I would expect that I may look and sound like a stranger. There must be some kind of an "accent" from my homeland which sets me apart, by which those who encounter me can identify me as "from somewhere else." Something about my way of speaking and living--the words I use, the mannerisms, the attitude and ideas, how I behave--should set me apart from others here. For I am not of this world. (John 17:16)

I hope that my accent here on earth is not just the left-overs of my Michigan upbringing but first, and foremost, that of heaven, my true home. I pray that others, right from the first moment of meeting me, will "hear" my accent of heaven--that they will be curious and intrigued by it and will ask me where I'm from and what's it like to "live there." And I pray that as I speak and live, they will see the beauty of my homeland and the wonder of my Father... and will desire to live there, too.

So, I don't mind having an accent--a heavenly accent. I hope I keep it always and that it stays fresh and real. I hope it will always clearly identify me as from another place-- a lovely place, a joyous place, one I'm proud to be from, and one about which others want to know.


  1. I have always lived in Washington, not far from my home city Tacoma. I cringe when I hear someone call the brown stuff in the bottle or can, soda. Soda is what you put in the biscuits or your Bourbon and soda. Flavored carbonated beverages are pop and nothing else in my brain. I've been known to stare blankly at someone asking me if a want a soda, I do not understand why they want to give me a chemical compound mostly used in baking. For crying out loud these very same people buy what they call "soda" out of what they call a pop machine! So I ask you fellow POP drinkers who is calling it the wrong name?

    And yes the last words in your post, about where our "accent" should tell people of where our true home is, is the most important. That is why I hope everyone read a smile into my silliness above. have a good weekend and take lots of lovely pictures to tell us about where you've been.

  2. Great post! I have never thought about it in this way, a heavenly accent. Very cool. You are right, very similar to my post on the same day...God is good!

  3. Dear Sharilyn,

    Though I think I will never hear you speak, it is obvious to me that you carry a truly heavenly accent. =) The sincere purity that lies in your expressions, kind words that make my days better! Through you, I've learnt what image that the Lord desires of a beautiful woman. And I thank the Lord for who you are, and what you do to inspire me.

    Gee, I'm guilty. I just hope that my crude self won't disgust you too much. Have a lovely week ahead!


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