Making Home

   I don't think people use the term "home maker" as a job description much anymore, it went out of style and has since become slightly archaic.    I don't usually use the title to describe myself either but I do see home, and being the maker of it as a high calling.   What is our home and what am I trying make?

Firstly, our home is a hub of never ending activity.  This comes naturally.  As a family of 6 people, with 4 children at home all day, it is bustling, bursting and brimming with conversations, questions, projects and creative mess.  Our house is far from a show home with formal sitting rooms and carefully selected decor.  Our home is lived in and it is lived in well.   There is not a room in the house that does not scream "children live here!", or a space that is not utilized to it's fullest potential.  Years ago, I took pride in neat perfection, carefully placed decorations that showcased my individuality and style....now I take pride in a sink full of dishes washed and 6 loads of clean laundry successfully put away.  

Home is a place of learning.  We have chosen to educate our kids in a family integrated , home based kind of way.  We have a non conveyor belt educational philosophy that ensures our home is a messy one.   My table is usually covered with notebooks, workbooks, a laptop and various crafting supplies.   My bookshelves are crammed packed full of various novels, biographies, children's books, and classic literature.  Our floor is covered with lego creations.  My kitchen is full of little people learning how to make a salad and crack eggs into a frying pan.  I have a model of the Nile Delta in my entry way growing grass as it is flooded each week.  Each one of us is learning, discovering, and growing... from the toddler to the grownups in the house.

Home is a sanctuary.  In a world that opposes, ridicules, and tears down, I want our home to be a place that encourages, edifies and builds up.  In a world that is filled with deception and  shallow flattery.  I desire home to be a place where truth is spoken,  hearts are opened and vulnerability isn't exploited.  Successes are celebrated by us all.  Even small victories like Cece using the potty is met with cheers, dancing and singing from her older siblings.  Disappointments and hurts are shared among us all as we learn to serve and comfort each other.  

Home is a place where a lot of mistakes are made and grace is given.  No one in our home is above the need for regular repentance and forgiveness, including the grown ups in the house.   Our kids hear us say "I'm sorry, will you forgive me"  as they are taught how by example what humility, grace, and forgiveness looks like.   

Home is a place that always has room at the table for one more.  Our doors are open.  Our hearts are open.   If God brings us another little blessing we will joyfully squeeze in another bed.  Our meals aren't fancy, our table is small, and our couch is second hand but we desire our home to be a place that embraces true hospitality.   A place we can share warmth and welcome with others.

Our home is the place where our legacy begins.  My treasure is not built in business, land, or bank accounts.   My inheritance will not be something I leave for my children someday, it will be my children.  I am investing in that legacy now.   The futures of our children, our grand children, our great grandchildren are built or devastated by our priorities now, in this short season of motherhood.  With each choice of selflessness, with each hard lesson learned, with each relationship nurtured, with each tender conversation, and reassuring hug I am building my inheritance.    While other women appear to leave me in the dust aiming for corporate careers, grande personal endeavors, applause and appreciation, I smile and wait, because those things are not my prize. I have set my eyes on something that will take time, so I will rock my babies.  I will teach my children. I will enjoy the people they are becoming.  Someday when the rest of those efforts are nothing but dust and rubble, my treasures will live on.   

Our home is a place where Jesus is celebrated and our mission begins.  Faith is not just something we tack onto a long to-do list.  It is not a compartment to fill, a balance to keep, or a list of rules to follow...it is our life.  We desire to live out the gospel both in word and in deed in front of our children, as we are transformed and regenerated.  In our home the Bible is opened.  It is studied, talked about, absorbed, and applied.  Prayers are uttered.  Gratitude is given.  Jesus is king. 

So, if you come to my home you might notice that the floor needs to be washed,  and there are baskets of laundry waiting to be conquered.  I might have to warn you to enter the bathroom at your own risk.
You will never want to look under our couch cushions, or inside the closet that all 4 of my children share.  You might even critique that the tv is on too much, and there is frozen pizza in the oven for dinner.  I may confess to you that I have nagging parental insecurity and fears.  You will see that we are so very far from perfect.     

At the end of the day, I'm not striving for a perfectly arranged house, with china tea cups carefully displayed on window sills.  I'm not building a mirage.  I'm building a home and a home is so much more than a place of residence. It may look messy, it usually appears random, it certainly won't be perfect, and sometimes what is planted takes years to grow but ...
it's home.

Every one of our homes will be as different in dynamics as the people who make up the home.  I should clarify that I am not saying mothers should never ever have a career, hobbies, or income or that the only reasonable way to educate kids is at home.   During this season of life we have chosen to focus on child raising as our priority and we have arranged our lifestyle around that.   As  children's needs, ages, and seasons change so will our dynamics.  I think the big idea is that as a mother my heart should be oriented home, and my priorities/ time should reflect the significance of how important that task of motherhood is.  If  my quantity of time, my energy, my passion, my focus is directed away from my family, then my children will be effected (this includes dads too).  My home will be made more by accident than by careful intention. 


Allison said...

Super like, Carla. Although we are most definitely choosing to send our kids to school - I think I just might end up in the nuthouse if I tried to home-school! My son especially is WAY too much like me!!
But I do see the lack of value put on raising kids. Like my cousin's husband said when they started having kids and weighing the pros and cons of her going back to work - "We didn't have kids so that someone else could raise them." And I fully agree.
(That's not to say that there is little to no choice for some mothers out there to work outside of the home - I definitely recognize that.)

Stacey McKeown said...


Marcy said...

YOu said it!! And I LOVE it. I am so thankful that God has allowed me these opportunities to make my home a place of love, creativity (although I lack in this area), fun, social situations that get worked out, the list goes on. I love your pics. They are a beautiful example of what goes on in your dwelling.