Where are my fellow homebodies? It’s that glorious time of year when we bring out the cozy throws and light the pumpkin candles—and my husband and I are celebrating living in our current house for exactly TWENTY years this month. I know. Craziness. As adventurers who emigrated from the UK to Canada with itchy feet, I never thought we would be those people who set their roots down deep. Perhaps we just found our perfect place—but I can’t help wondering, what makes a house a home?
“Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, a dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.” Robert Montgomery
When we moved in and raked the plethora of golden leaves from the lawn for the very first time, our three children were tiny. The youngest still in diapers. We had panic-rented the house after selling our old place and then a deal falling through on another.
But I knew this was our forever home. It was imperfectly perfect for our family. The owner was a missionary abroad and long story short—he agreed to sell it to us. And we’ve been here ever since.
“I want my home to be that kind of place–a place of sustenance, a place of invitation, a place of welcome.” Mary DeMuth
I remember sitting on the top stair peering down into the living room and wanting to stay and make this house a home for my people. I prayed that if God would allow us to buy it, I would do my utmost to use it for Him… I know how grandiose that sounds and trust me, I’ve failed royally time and again when it comes to living up to that promise. (Thank you, Lord, for being incredibly gracious!) But I hope I’ve made my house a home for my loved ones and for those who have visited and stayed a while.
Let me ask you, friend: what do you think makes a house a home?
I found a few quotes that wrap a hug around my own thoughts:
- “The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal.” CS Lewis
- “That is how it is with your home. The imperfections play an important role: they put people at ease.” Myquillyn Smith
- “The experience at the table was more than a meal; it was nourishment for my soul.” Kristin Schell
- “People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
- “More important than a clean house is a close family.” Ann Voskamp
- “Love begins at home.” Mother Teresa
It’s not the stellar thread count of our sheets nor the dust-bunnies lurking beneath the sofa. And as women of the house, most of us possess the power to literally construct or destruct the moral fabric of the home. We influence relationships that will either thrive within our four walls—or come to ruin:
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1
Basement suite or bungalow, castle or condo, duplex or double-wide—we have the phenomenal opportunity to infuse Jesus’ love into the essence of our home and make it a place of refuge where memories are made, our loved ones can be themselves, and everyone yearns to be present.
I don’t know if we’ll be in this house for another twenty years or twenty months, but I do know that God is challenging me afresh with how we will use it. Who will be welcome. What I will do with this home, for His glory:
“When you offer peace instead of division, when you offer faith instead of fear, when you offer someone a place at your table instead of keeping them out because they’re different or messy or wrong somehow, you represent the heart of Christ.” Shauna Niequist
There’s no place like home—warts and all—and for that, I am truly grateful…
Feel free to leave a comment below with what YOU think makes a house a home—we’d love you to share!
P.S. If your home is in “empty nest” mode, here’s my “10 TOOLS FOR THE EMPTY NEST MARRIAGE” PDF, which you get for FREE when you sign up for my monthly newsletter HERE!
Also linking up with some fabulous encouragers… check them out: