On Homemaking

Being away from home is hard. I was gone for a week without my husband and children, visiting my dad and his wife in the frigid cold of Montana. My dad is very ill and the week was one of those hard-but-good-but-just-hard times that we all have to face at some point. I'll spare you the details, out of respect for my dad, but please do pray for him.

Montana from 20,000 feet

I felt a new compulsion while I was away to pray for that Christian kid at college - away from all the comforts and routines and supports of his home-life, away from what's normal and having to make it alone, with only his own convictions and standards.

I long to abide more in Christ. I long to be so solid in my fellowship with Him that even being out of my routine and all that's familiar doesn't change my relationship with Him, doesn't stagnate or diminish it.

Home is such a part of us, and such a comfort of routine and safety. Being away is foreign, even if many of the components seem the same.

It's like cooking in someone else's kitchen or driving someone else's car. It's a kitchen, and you know kitchens. There's a fridge, a stove, a sink, and a pantry full of ingredients. Or it's a car, and you know cars. A steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, heater, wipers, lights.

But it's not your kitchen and it's not your car and it just doesn't feel the same. It's all familiar and comfortable to someone else, and though they may be the greatest of hosts, you're still just visiting someone else's home.

Home is people and inside jokes and silly antics. It's a reminder that grace is needed everyday for the moods and pet peeves. Home is the round-table of souls united for the good of one another, even when that table feels hard and unyielding.

So I've been back a few days now and homemaking has taken center stage, rather than housekeeping.

Think, "Messy, but Cozy". Think of large, blank walls that finally have pictures hanging on them, after two years of living here. Think of all the things that make your own house feel like home to you.

The floors are fairly clean, the countertops get cleared once a day, the laundry piles are manageable, and I'm just so thankful to be here with these people that, for now, I'm content to let little messes slide.

It may just be the season or the circumstances of my current life. I guess I always get a little more homemaker-y this time of year.

But I also am awake to the realization that every goodbye could be longer than expected, every phone call more important than you thought.

Making a home is so much more important than keeping a house clean and sparkly. Home is something you feel and some of your most important feelings just can't be cleaned up, can't be tidied away.

In the same way, abiding in Christ has to be less tidy and more real, more true to who you really are and less polished than mealtime prayers or Sunday morning rituals.

Abiding means all of me. It requires more depth than I can give any relationship, because so much of my devotion is dependent on circumstances and moods and yes, location.

Thankfully, it also means all of Jesus. Abiding in Christ means home is always with me and Jesus is in every home I make, every house I enter. He makes up for everything I lack.

{And then I read this, and it summed up everything I was trying to say here.}