If you follow my blog, you know I love home. Having grown up moving a lot (and I mean a lot-like 24 times before I was 30) there was always a part of me that wanted to “settle down”. However, in all honesty there is still a bit of wander lust in me and I do like a change of scenery every now and then! Any way, back to my point. I love home. As a Christian woman and mother, I have always felt like home was a critical part of my role, my purpose. Early on I spent time studying about how to care for home. Fortunately I went into marriage and motherhood pretty well prepared thanks to parents who taught and expected a lot. I remember reading Emilie Barnes’ books and her statement that “wives set the tone for the home” impacted me, stayed with me. I have always wanted my home to be a safe haven, a quiet place for my family to refresh, regroup, share, rest. I have worked hard at trying to create the right atmosphere-sometimes too hard, sometimes too focused on the material contents and keeping order. These days, as a mom of teens and quickly approaching 50, I have found myself settling into a bit more balance, lowering some of my expectations, and really focusing on the tone of my home. Tone of home is a feeling. It is that “home sweet home” sense you get when you walk in that familiar space that makes you feel safe, important, valued, loved.
I want that tone to extend beyond my immediate family. I want everyone who enters to feel that sense of welcome, to know they can stop and take a deep breath.
As I was reading through Home Life magazine from Lifeway, I came across some word art in the front of the magazine. It resonated with me. It reminded me of how very important home is. It made me stop and voice a prayer of gratitude for these days I am able to be at home, home school, raise my family. It made me ask forgiveness for those nights I awaken worried about our finances, wondering if I will ever have a job of any substance once the girls leave home and I venture out to help pay for college and all the associated expenses. It reminded me that while others may seem to have it all, be more together, have less worries, I would not exchange my life for theirs. Our finances aren’t easy. I walked away from a career I may never have again. We have to make choices and our girls are a part of those conversations. But it is worth it. Every moment home with them has been worth it. Home’s importance drew me to my Mary & Martha business, where I have opportunity to equip and encourage women to engage in hospitality. (www.mymaryandmartha.com/shana). Home’s importance is why one of my best friends and I run an organizing business.
I have posted the words above my desk-a daily reminder. Not my words, but words that encourage and remind. I wanted to share them with you.
We believe in the home. It’s the place where ministry starts and ends day in and day out. We stand for dynamic marriages that beat the odds and practice commitment. We believe in family meals and talking about your day. We believe that your corner of the earth, whatever it looks like, is an extension of the church, a place where community is grown and nurtured. We believe that if you change the home you change the world. There’s a lot of life between Sundays. (January Home Life magazine/Lifeway)
I hope those words encourage you and challenge you. Be grateful for home. Remember it is a high calling. The lives I impact in my home will forever impact the world. Home matters. It matters enough to give up some other things. It matters enough to set aside time to invite your friends in. It matters. The church does not create godly families. Godly families create the church.