[bl]I[/bl]t’s not the paint. But I sure love to surround myself with color. It’s not the furniture. But the wood piece we call The Moses is super special to me. It’s not the kitchen. Though I can’t wait to organize the room I frequent the most. It’s not even the beds. But ours are cozy with feathers and down. It’s not the framed pictures, though I love filling my rooms with the faces of people I love. It’s not the big comfortable couch. But I can’t wait to pile on it for family movie night.
What makes a house a home is the life that fills it.
There are many well decorated, fully furnished houses that don’t feel like home at all, even to those who live in it. And there’s a brick hut in Bugaya, Uganda with very little furniture that is every bit of home to our dear Tom.
What makes a house a home is you. The kind of life you choose to live. The way you relate with those who live with you. The activity you allow to take place in it. The people you welcome. The words that fill the air. The love that is given. The grace that is offered.
I like a creative home. Not to impress others. Not because I need it. I like to creatively shape our environment to reflect our family and express who we are. I intentionally fill our rooms with items that tell our story, of the places we’ve been and the people we love. I enjoy creating a place of comfort that welcomes others.
But I have come to learn that what I really need as a homemaker — all I really need to make a home — is a spirit of grace. I don’t always have it or give it, but I know it’s what I really need to shape a space that keeps my family and welcomes others.
I can cook my family countless homemade meals, but if I don’t engage the real hunger of their souls, my family will be unsatisfied.
I can keep a clean home, but the real challenge of cleanliness is exemplifying and encouraging purity and confession that leads to a clean heart.
I can design my space and decorate my rooms, but if I don’t teach my children what is truly beautiful, the superficial and false beauties of the earth will blind them from what really matters.
As I take apart one house and make another home, I am reminded that what will make the new space finally feel like home is us living in it. Eating meals together. Running through the yard and bike riding down the driveway. Family gatherings with Bobos and Greshams. Laboring on the land. Filling the empty seats at our table. Conversing over coffee. Stockman Sundays with homemade tortillas and sangria.
And as my hands begin to create and organize, clean and beautify our new environment, I pray that the Homemaker of my heart will creatively shape me. To be gracious. To be compassionate. To be hospitable. And that His Spirit that dwells and manifests in me will adorn and embellish my home to make it an environment of grace for all who enter.