Monday, October 20, 2008

Natalie is hosting At the Well this week. The topic is how our homes are an extension of who we are. Hop on over to her blog to read her thoughts on this subject, as well as the thoughts of the other ladies who have blogged on this topic. After you read my post, of course. (grin)

Our homes do reflect who we are. Are we messy, organized, obsessive-compulsive, tidy, just doing what needs to be done in our housekeeping? Just as we discussed in Keeper's At Home, we are to keep our homes in such a way that honors God.

Lately, I have been what is known as a slacker. I haven't felt well, so the floors haven't been vaccuumed, the kitchen, bathroom and foyer haven't been mopped, supper is rarely cooked (it's bought), and I went two weeks without washing the sheets. I've washed dishes and clothes and that's about it! Martha Stewart would faint if she walked in my house, although not before admiring my autumn candles and apple cinnamon plug-in's that make it smell like fall.

A bit about our home. The house had had just been built when we bought it about 15 years ago. It's in a subdivision in a suburb. It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath one story house. It has a double carport, a nice patio and a perfectly sized front and back yard. When we bought it, there were no furnishings because no one had ever lived in it. Before we signed the closing papers, we went over one night and climbed through a window. Steve, Kristyn and I sat down on the floor where the table would go and at supper we had bought at Sonic. Our house became a home that night. We began with putting up blinds, and moved on from there. Over the years we have added our own special touches. Steve put chair railing in the den on a Saturday and we wall-papered from the chair railing down. We've changed the carpet in our den and bought a matching sofa and recliner. We have personalized the house to suit our preference in decor and needs. A tire swing was hung from a tree in the back yard, patio furniture was a gift, a matching bedroom set was purchased. It's comfy, it's cozy, and has bookshelves to die for.

Although the interior design of our homes may we reflect who we are outwardly, do they really reflect who we are spiritually?

In the Old Testament, specific laws were given on keeping the home. Mildew was potentially cause for a house to be condemned and it's owner to be declared unclean. I'm not kidding. Read about it here. When a person was considered unclean, there were major steps they had to go through to become clean again.
In the New Testament, we are instructed to be keepers of the home. I'm not kidding. Read about it here. Fortunately, we are under grace now, and when we slack as I have, we have a Father we can go to who can cleanse us and give us the opportunity for a do-over.
My home reflects love. You can see it in the handprints on the walls, the Gail Pittman bowl on the table that catches junk mail, the recliner that rocks the grandbaby, (grandbabies, I have to get used to saying that!) the pack and play in my Quiet Time Room (what doesn't belong here?), and the 3 bears laying throughout the house that the dog loves on. You can see it in the telescope in the pool room, where Steve keeps all things important to him, in the books stacked at various places throughout the house so I can pick one up and begin reading, you can see it on the back patio, where there is lamp oil for the torches so we can have light for our late night talks and keep the mosquitos at bay.
Love lives in my den, where on the hearth there is a silver pewter cross on a stand and above the mantle a picture of a Lamb sitting on a crown of thorns. Excellent conversation pieces!
Love lives in the kitchen, where meals are prepared in the oven and microwave, where the dishes that are in the sink are proof that the food was good because the plates are empty. Love lives in the echoes of the kitchen where a 13 month old grandson runs through screaming, "Ayyyyyyyyyyy!" because he has found his voice.
Love lives in the recliner, where daily devotionals, Bible reading, and much prayer is given to the Lord.
Natalie asks, "How does your home reflect who you are?"
"Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
~ John 14:23

My answer? Through the love that lives in it.


LauraLee Shaw said...

Amen. His love lives in your home...though I may never see your home physically, I already know love lives there, because I have seen your heart. Beautiful post as usual. ;)

Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

Thanks for helping me remember that love is even in a stack of dirty dishes becuase that means my short people ate with me.

Homesteader in Training said...

I'd come over my friend. It sounds very inviting!
Blessings to you.

Daniel's Mom said...

:) Wonderful thoughts! I'm blessed to have met so many wonderful women!

Denise said...

Such a comforting post, bless you.

Willow said...

This is a beautiful and insightful post and it touches my heart and convicts me in many ways. Thank you SO MUCH for giving us this look into your family's home and life.

Marsha said...

Postful post.

Several years ago the Lord was dealing with me about the secret places and sins within my heart. As part of the purging time, I decided to start cleaning out drawers and closets because I have the tendency to stuff things there, too. It's such a freeing feeling to clean before the Lord in all areas of my life.

Thanks for this post.

Joyful said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and celebrating with me today!

As soon as your blog header appeared I thought...this looks like one of Kelley's blog designs - and it is! Very pretty!

You asked how our home reflects who we are....I think my house reflects my love for the Lord first of all. I have a lot of pictures, plaques, figurines etc..that all speak of my love for the Lord and my desire that He be my passion. I enjoy having things around my home that 'say' something meaningful and give testimony to all who enter that Christ is the center of our home. The plaque on the outside of our front door reads: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."


LAURIE said...

Laurie Ann,
Beautiful - just beautiful. Not only have you shown us a glimpse of your home in your AT THE WELL post but most certainly a glimpse into your heart as well. Thanks for sharing and encouraging all of us. -Blessings, Laurie

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

Love, love, love this post.

I must say, Wilson needs some more toys. Ripley is overflowing with toys. I even tried to sell some in the garage sales. They are clean, because you know I throw all of Ripley's toys in the washer, including plastic ones. They always come out great. And, they still squeek. Ripley is a squeeker. He loves to squeek toys.

So, send me your address, because we want to share with Wilson!

Love ya,


Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I love how you climbed in the window and at your Sonic meal on the floor before any furniture was moved in!

I loved this post. Thanks for your encouragement over on mine. Hugs & blessings to you today!

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...Love definitely declares who you are and is where your hearth is warm...& even cozy! You are so loved! And what an expression of that love beams from your home. This is so lovely to read!

Though I have no excuse, I am definitely a slacker. Though I sweep daily, 2 or 3 times it is never enough! I clean what I need clean and I'm missing so much that I need cleaned & the tools to do a good job. It just seems like such a
large task here and costly! No carpets...thank God! but I'm only renting and I just don't want to have all that stuff around.

I loved all that you shared for moving in to making it a place that's comfortable & lived in!
God bless your home & all who enter! Many spiritual coorelations and applications! Thanks for your LOVEly visits!

Lynda P. said...

I think you make it fairly clear that keeping a home that reflects your love of God and family doesn't necessarily mean always having a clean home - the family members are what make a home not the material things.

Don't bash yourself if you are not a good housewife; you have a lot of issues going between your health problems, work and making time for family. It doesn't matter if the floor is vacumed and the gee gaws are dusted. Honestly, it doesn't. Our houses will long outlive us and we need to take care of ourselves and spend the time we have with family and friends and doing the things we enjoy. No one is going to arrive at old age wishing they had cleaned more.

Rebecca said...

I agree with Lynda, health problems cancel out any slacker titles. Take care of yourself and get well! I was so intrigued and strangely encouraged by the passage in Leviticus. Because of my own health issues, I am doing a rigorous anti-fungal diet (No yeast, no sugar, no fruit, etc.) The longer I am on it, the more I recognize God's issues with mold and yeast. I had never read that mildew passage before, just as I had never realized the Feast of Unleavened Bread would be the same as cutting yeast out of your diet for a period of time to let your body recover. Oh the longer I walk with Him, the more amazed I am at the wisdom to be found in His word. Even the odd parts. :) Blessings, Rebecca

Earthmommy said...

I really enjoyed this post. I love keeping my home, although at times I get way too involved in the home part and neglect the love, so that is something I need to work on.