Asulon Collective featuring Tyler Russell
Tyler Russell is a man of many talents. He’s an author who co-wrote the Baxter Family Children series with his mom; their third book is about to release on February 23rd! He was the screenwriter for Maggie’s Christmas Miracle featured on Hallmark. He has acted in a variety of plays. He even wrote, choreographed, and directed a musical called “It’s Christmas!” He’s also an artist frequently releasing new music! You can follow along all the adventures on his Instagram: @itstylerrussell.
Beyond all of this, Tyler is a good friend. He is readily available to help, encourage or provide comedic relief. He loves his family, and the people in his life, hardcore. He is kind and has such a generous spirit; in fact, he regularly opens his own home providing space to cultivate community and live out the very words you are about to read below. I’m so honored to have him share his perspective with us on “Asulon.” Tyler, thank you for your time and words!
When you read that word, what comes to mind?
Maybe home is a happy place for you. Memories fill your head of dinners, game nights, sleepovers and family time. You can picture where you were when you took that prom photo on the staircase. You remember what it was like to carve pumpkins in the kitchen. Decorating the tree while “Jingle Bell Rock” played through the speakers. You are reminded of that time you cried on the couch when you got that bad news. Or running into the kitchen celebrating acceptance to your dream college.
Maybe home was a complicated or sad place for you. Maybe it was a place where you felt scared. Maybe you think about home and you tense up. Arguments and shouting was the main ambiance of your home. It was not what it should have been. And now, home is a tough word and a scary or foreign concept.
Whatever your experience is … Home should be a place where you feel safe, rested, and recharged. It should be where your dreams are encouraged and your passions are fostered. It should contain all your laughter and all your dreams and all your joys. It should be your favorite spot in the world. And, while it would be great if “home” was where you lived, it doesn’t have to be.
Wherever you call “home” should be your refuge. Your asulon.
In my book series, The Baxter Family Children, a series I co-write with my mom, the Baxter kids wrestle with the change of moving. If you’ve been there, you know that it is a challenging and trying time for anyone. Especially for kids in school.
Book two, Finding Home, is about the Baxter Family adjusting to a new city, school, and neighborhood in Bloomington, Indiana. It is not an easy road. Third grader, Ashley Baxter, one of the sisters in the family, refuses to embrace their new situation. She is determined. This new spot will never be home. To her, their new house is a stranger.
However, Ashley slowly begins to find home in Bloomington. The more memories she makes with her siblings in the house, and the more she opens herself to the idea of a new home, the more she falls in love with it.
Finding home can be challenging and uncomfortable. But it is worth the work that is required to get there.
Book two of this series came out in February 2020, right before the pandemic shut everything down and put everyone into their homes. For many, it forced them back home, maybe to a place they hadn’t been in years. They were forced to wrestle with complicated or forgotten memories and concepts about what home is and what it could be.
Maybe you are struggling to find home in your life. That’s okay. Ask yourself, “What do I want home to look like?” Do the work. Take the time. Find your refuge. If you don’t like where you live, consider what you can do to change it. Invite people into your space on a weekly basis. Add a new plant or paint a wall. Buy a candle. Spend more time at home and be sure to rest there. Don’t just go to your house to sleep. Make it a place you want to be.
And if your home is in no way a place where you want to be, or if you’re not in a season where home can be a refuge for you, then consider where you can find that elsewhere. Like I said, home doesn’t have to be where you live. You can find home in other places. A local bookstore, a market, a church, your neighbor’s house, a coffee shop. Find a group of people and meet up for coffee and conversations. Finding home and discovering asulon is an invaluable thing. It feeds our souls and warms our hearts.
I understand that it may not always be easy to find. But your own version of home is out there. And it is waiting to be found.
So whether you feel like you love your home, or you’re looking to improve it and find another option, embrace “home” in this season and be sure you find what that is for you.
Once you do, you’ll discover that there really is no place like it.
Things to consider:
- What is my home? What do I like most about it?
- What would I change about my home in order to make it more of a refuge?
- What are ways that I can make my house a better refuge?
- Write out 5 great memories from your childhood home. Dig deep if you need.