Home has been near and dear to my heart for over ten years now when I made a shift in job title and became a Stay at Home Mom. My primary place of work became my primary place of living and so the idea of home took on new meaning in my life. I began to view home as more than a place to eat and sleep and to see a bigger view of what was going on in my four walls. As I learned at the feet of “Mama Sally” Clarkson and others, God invited me not just to care for my children but to live out the cultural mandate and cultivate creation through my home.
Home is what forms us, nurtures us and inspires us, into who we are and who we will become.
The art on the walls of my home, whether created by little hands or those of a seasoned artist, is no longer merely placeholders on a blank wall but cultivate beauty, evoking feelings and thought to inspire. The furniture that fills a room is selected in a way that honors who made it and how it was made to welcome all that sit upon it to find rest after a long day or spurn the imagination of a child to become a boat or a fort of epic tales. The morning routines we form as a family in our home aren’t just about getting out of the door on time, but preparing us and strengthening us for what we will be invited into. And the list goes on and on as each object, each tradition, weaves into the fabric of our being.
For me, this picture of home has been lived out in a very small way, for me and my family, but after traveling thousands of miles south to the country of Guatemala and being invited into so many countless homes there I saw the universality of this theme of home come alive. Homes exist all over the world because the human race has multiplied and filled the world. So though I entered homes of different sizes and shapes and locations, each was filled with the same themes of Belonging, Love, Beauty, Joy, Lament, Comfort, Celebration, Inspiration and on and on.
I realized the importance of welcoming others into my home to learn who I am and traveling to others homes to learn who they are, whether it be my neighbor down the street or my neighbor in another part of the world. To enter someone’s home is learn who they are since it is the place that has shaped them. In it, I learn my neighbor, though their home is unique to them and mine to me, is not so very different at the foundation. I appreciate them for who they are and the story their life tells and I see how our homes together more fully depict God’s kingdom here on earth.
May home take on a deeper meaning in all our lives. Our home will shape us, whether we see it or not so may we be purposeful and thoughtful in the way we approach it. May we be intentional about getting to know other people’s homes so we can get to know them better. Look for the universal themes and foundations that shape each of us and open wide the arms of your home to receive all.