I'm going to be honest .. we have a nice home! God has blessed us in this area beyond our imaginations (but He has a plan for it, that I'll touch on later!) We had the luxury a couple of years ago of designing our house and building exactly what we wanted. I know that some have not had that opportunity and I am amazed at the hearts of those women who have taken the house they have been given and made it a home. We have lived in "houses" before, where we never felt settled into. We lived in a temporary "house" while we were building this one, and hardly even unpacked any boxes while living there. And even in a beautiful "house", it can remain just that. Making it a "home" takes a special touch, a heart!
I've been evaluating, this morning, what has made our house a home. In each of these, God is infused throughout it.
1. Passion. No plastic people live here! We have the freedom to have the emotions that a house of extremely different people have. We love passionately, get angry passionately, get disappointed and hurt passionately. This is something I am learning every day. Home is where you should have the freedom and safety to do that. If you can't do it at home, where can you do it?
2. Coffee. Well, I'm just going to say it. If there ain't no coffee, it ain't my home. As I sit writing this post, Eli (age 5) and Brynne (age 3) are sipping their coffee concoctions out of their travel coffee mugs. Dawson (age 12) starts his day off some days gulping down the last of his coffee as he waits for the bus. Somebody always has to bring in his empty cup later in the day. It warms my heart !!
3. Gathering around the television. I love doing this! For many years, we got away from it. But as of late, we do it a lot. Nothing like a family experiencing laughs and tears while piled on a sofa!
4. Love. It means so many different things to so many different families. When designing this wall art, coming up with a phrase for our family was a challenge. We are a blended family. To me, it's all about love. "Love One Another" !! That's a command by God, and a command by this mom.
5. Nicks and scratches. A perfect house means no one lives there! A home is not perfect! Our house is only a year and a half old. But we've lived here long enough that we have nicks in our stained concrete and out of the wall. Dawson's bathroom doorknob has a dent in it. Kyndal's bedroom wall has a scratch through the paint where her bed used to be. Those are signs that living is going on in this home.
6. Things unfinished. A perfect house is a museum you have likely paid admission to enter, and are being kept back by roped barracades. A home has things yet to complete. We still don't have copper mesh on the kitchen office cabinet (it would seriously take about 15 minutes to do this). We still have not finished our bathroom floor (again, wouldn't take much to get it done). Our yard is a perpetual work in progress.
7. Projects. Always a project going on around here. For me, right now, it's my container garden. I planted seeds in indoor pots a month or more ago. I have green peppers, green beans, tomatoes, basil, oregano, marigolds. I watch over them like only a mother can. I will be transplanting them to their larger containers soon. For now, they go back and forth from the kitchen table to the back porch.
8. Pets. Not only people live here, but other critters as well. There's Clifford the Big Gray Cat. We've had him as long as we've lived in Oklahoma. He's lived in every house we've had. He honestly counts this one as his home. Then there's Bandit, the bearded dragon, and Camo and Scout, the green anoles. They live upstairs in the teen wing. But, they define a member of our family, so we love them. If there was a fire, we'd be certain to grab each one of these members of our household (as well as my scrapbooks and Rick's golf clubs!! Eli would grab his blankies, Brynne her "pup", Dawson would get "Robby" and Kyndal wouldn't save herself if she didn't have her cell phone. I'm not sure why I just said all that, but I did).
9. Our Back Porch. I love, love, love our back porch! That's where living happens! I love to sit on my porch swing and read a book or watch the kids play. I love the mama bird that has made her nest up in the corner of our porch. I love the birdhouses that are sitting, filled with food, taking care of our flying friends. I love to have friends over to hang out back there, although we don't do it much! I love that soon my vegetables will be growing there. I love when the flower pots are overflowing with blooms and my ferns grow huge! I love when the kids sit on its steps and eat popcicles. I love when Clifford comes outside to the safety of our back porch. I love to listen to music from the speakers that are out there. I just love it.
10. This Family. An empty house is a shell. The ones who live in it are ultimately the ones who make it a home. My family is dorky, totally whacked at times, annoying at other times, but totally what makes this home breathe. To others it's a house, to this family it's a home.
Home is definitely where the heart is.
And I started out talking about how God has a plan for our home. He didn't just build it for us so we could sit in it. He has called us to share it with others .. to build relationships within it's walls. That's why He allowed us to build it! Nothing more, nothing less! And we've just recently been awakened, reminded, of that call. The doors of this home are about to be opened up! Relationships and new friends are about to be made! God is about to be glorified!
Go here to see how other homes are made.