Home – Away – Home Again

In a chapel sermon on the Prodigal Son at Western Seminary a few years ago, Jeremy Begbie memorably and insightfully suggested that the most fundamental structure of any story (or song) is: Home – Away – Home Again. Home is the opening scene of the story where things seem settled, normal. Away introduces the conflict into the story, and generally involves the protagonist leaving the settled normalcy of Home and embarking on a journey (to uncharted territories of land or soul). Home Again occurs after the conflict is resolved when the protagonist returns home. But the return home is not simply a return to the way things were, for the protagonist has been transformed by the journey, and the place s/he left has changed as well. It is the exciting space in which a new equilibrium is established in light of the transformation experienced during the time Away. 

Mariah and I are eager to share with you that our period Away is coming to a close. After months of wandering to new and previously unheard of places, these two wanderers are coming Home Again!


The pirate and the mermaid are coming home! 🙂

There are many reasons for our return at this time, but a couple of biggies are:

  • Mariah’s DNRS (brain retraining) is coming along really well, and it seems wise at this point for her to continue doing this training in the midst of our community and our people.
  • Mariah’s other treatments (infrared sauna, binding medication, supplements) are also going really well.
  • Travis needs to be in Holland for the first three weeks in August to teach a class, which poses logistical and financial challenges to trying to stay in Morro Bay after August 1.
  • It is better to move back to Holland in the summer than the winter!
  • The cost of living in Holland compared to Morro Bay should allow us to save money.

If you have questions about Mariah’s treatment, and what limbic system retraining is, check out this explanatory post and this link about Mariah’s progress.

We fully recognize that our journey the last 6+ months has been very unique and unorthodox. We also recognize that you may have more questions about Mariah’s treatment, our life out here, or what our return home means long-term. Please know that we are open to questions, if you have them.

*                 *               *               *               *

Mariah has been making her way through the book of Exodus recently, and the day after we made this decision she read the following passage from Exodus 18 when Jethro instructs Moses on the importance of collaboration: “The task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone!”

We want to invite you to collaborate with us in making our transition Home Again! In particular, we need to find a suitable place to live when we come back. We plan to rent at first, and later on perhaps buy or build. This is what we need for the home to be suitable for Mariah:

  • Relatively new home (5-10, maybe up to 25 years old; well-maintained older homes are also possible)
  • Very clean, well-maintained
  • A lot of natural light
  • No water damage (leaky sinks, toilets, roofs, windows, sump pumps, etc.)
  • Not on a busy street (exhaust fumes)
  • Not brand new (because of off-gassing of paint, carpet, flooring, cabinets, etc.)
  • Available in July or August

If you know of any houses, townhouses, or condos for rent in Holland (we are also open to surrounding areas)—or if you know someone who might know about a home that might work for us (a home that would be a good fit with the bullet points above), please get in touch with us about it!!

Obviously we can’t look at anything while we’re out here in California, but we have some friends and family who are willing to scout out places for us, so keep that in mind as you imagine possibilities for us and with us.

We will be moving back in late June! We have a place we can stay until mid-August, so we could move into a place anytime from July to August.

We are excited for the next stage of our adventure together, and we are grateful that the next step is to come home.


Travis and Mariah


Categories: Uncategorized


  1. So glad you were both able to attend the pirate wedding. It’s wonderful you’re going home, but we will miss you! Hope you will keep in touch! ❤ Love, Judi and Terry


  2. It will be wonderful to have you in Holland again and CELEBRATE the goodness of answered prayer and healing…I know it’s a long road still so be assured of my/our prayers!


  3. Wow…Go God…amaze us again… Praying for all the details to continue working themselves out as you look forward to coming home again. Blessings in the adventure!


  4. So glad, friends, for this exciting update. Great to welcome you *back here* as you *go forward *with your lives. There may be competition for rental housing as several congregation are working with Bethany Chr. Services to find and rent houses for refugee families coming this summer. JRK

    On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 4:21 PM, Mariahs Health Journey wrote:

    > mariahdaniellewest posted: “In a chapel sermon on the Prodigal Son at > Western Seminary a few years ago, Jeremy Begbie memorably and insightfully > suggested that the most fundamental structure of any story (or song) is: > Home – Away – Home Again. Home is the opening scene of the story ” >


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