Our home as a tool

IMG_5451Sometimes I blog to document a fun thing we’ve done as a family. I throw up some pictures, pound out some words, and it’s up.

Then other times I have thoughts rolling around in my head for days, and they do not rest until I have fully processed them through the typed word. So here I sit blogging these thoughts in an effort to quiet my mind and let my overly analytical brain rest. (Though I know it never will).

I’ve often felt that my home is some extension of myself. I want it to look a certain way, reflect my style, and be impressive to my friends. But lately, my heart is changing. I am learning that maybe this perspective is not healthy or holy. Maybe my home has nothing to do with building a personal kingdom for myself. Maybe it’s a tool.

The Lord is patient with me. I can feel Him shaping and changing my heart in slow, careful ways, and He has graciously led me into a situation that has allowed me to examine my idol of house and home.

We live in the fully furnished house of a family that is currently doing work out of the country. This unique situation has been a huge blessing financially for us. It has also forced me to set aside my love of decorating. This has been hard, but it has challenged me, and I’m learning things. In letting go of the idea that my home’s main function is to reflect me, I am seeing more of what the Lord’s design for it really is.

I think He wants to use our home, wherever it is and whatever it looks like, for Kingdom things. His purposes.

I know this begins with our home being a garden for our souls. It must be a place where little (and big) people can learn and grow in truth. It is a training ground for spiritual living. I want it to be a haven for my children. A place where they know love is real. A place where we learn how to love our God and love each other. IMG_5352 IMG_5363I want our home to serve our family and serve others. The house we live in now and the houses we will live in in the future are gifts. Plain and simple. There is nothing that entitles me to them. They are from the Lord, and they are not about me. They are not for my image or my glory. They are for ministry, within my family and beyond.

The Lord has really been pressing on me this idea of hospitality. What does it mean and what does it look like? I’m not talking Southern Living, perfect napkin rings hospitality. I am talking about the giving of ourselves and our homes to others.

As I thought about this call to hospitality, I continued to be reminded of my friend, Ellen and her family. They have opened there home to numerous people over the years. They see a need, and they offer. And they don’t just let people into their home, they let them into their family. It is more than just, “Here’s a bed and a roof over your head.” They’ve let others into their lives and showered them with love.

This kind of sacrifice makes an impression on me. I want that. I want to live that. But if I’m honest with myself it’s hard to think about. My home front feels so sacred, but isn’t that exactly why I should invite others into it? IMG_5406Now before you go thinking that I’ve sworn off throw pillows forever, I do believe that there is a place for beauty in a home. We are made in the image of a Creator who used His creativity to make a world that was beautiful. And I want to do the same. I want it to be beautiful and functional, but I want the Lord to use that for Himself.

I don’t know exactly what He wants for our home now or in the future. But I do know it’s not about me. All He needs from me is willingness. Trust and obedience.

One thought on “Our home as a tool

  1. Those are good thoughts. I’ve been thinking some about this, too – how to use my home for others now that everyone has grown up! Hospitality is not easy, but it’s Biblical.

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