Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Meaning of Home

living room at morning

            The boxes and furniture have been delivered to your new home and now set in a chaotic array in each room. In spite of the mess, I see the beauty of potential. My creative mind busily composes images of the arrangements, textiles, and unique pieces that will offer such comfort and attractiveness to these open spaces and blank walls before me. I eagerly wait to add the many touches that will help to transform the generic townhome unit into something much more special- our home.

            Yet, even with all these elements in place a certain depth will remain missing. I could have all the decorative elements and the utmost style in our home, but without the company of friends and family the space will remain empty. The essence of a thriving home is more than the materials that comprise it; it’s the people who join together within that space.

            This notion is not new, and is, in fact, a commonly shared piece of wisdom. However, to some degree “home” remains to have a negative connotation. Home is the place where we can take refuge from the outside world, it’s our coveted storage space for all our dearly held personal belongings, it’s the place we get “stuck” in when we have nowhere else to go or no one with whom to go out. And for some, home is filled with so many unsettling moments or people that associating it as a good in life can be a challenge. With so many poor definitions of “home” existing, creating it into something completely different may seem daunting. It’s not! Each new day is a new opportunity to believe in the potential of home. There is so much depth and meaningfulness that can be instill into our homes!

            My heart for our home is for it to be a place that not only brings comfort to my husband and I, but also to others. Similarly, our space and possessions can serve others just as well as they serve us. In her book Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home: Creating a Place You and Your Family Will Love Emily Barnes says:

                        Welcome home! That’s what I want my life to say to everyone whose path crosses mine. I want to create an atmosphere of serenity and joy, of blessing and belonging, that embraces people (myself included) and draws them in—an atmosphere that makes them feel loved and special and cared for. (page. 9)

Does this welcome and service require a little more of us? Certainly! Is it worth it? Absolutely! A life and home without welcome and service are regrettably missing something that truly enriches life. It’s not always easy to practice hospitality, especially when it feels like a faded practice among others. Nonetheless, I believe in the beauty of opening the doors of my home to guests and will continue to strive to do so. Think of it this way- could we spare one night each month to invite a family to enjoy dinner, dessert or an activity together? That’s only twelve days out of three hundred sixty five. Sounds a little more possible, right?

            But what if our homes are not decorated exactly like we’d want, or we don’t have the right (or enough) pieces to serve or entertain many guests? Then, take a breath and refocus yourself on the people not the possessions. Your guests are there to spend time with you, not necessarily your things. In fact, when they are there don’t even mention what is not as you’d like or how you’d change it if you could. The true lacking in that case is not of a material matter but a personal one. What is it that makes a less than desirable place one you feel compelled to return to time and again? It’s the content and joyful spirit of the person within the home! Strive to be the kind of person who is so content and so delighted in the company of others that everything else is insignificant.

Finally, what if we viewed our homes belonging more to God than us? Would our possessiveness lessen? Would we be less likely to use it as our hole to hide in? I believe God has a plan for each of us and will provide us with means to achieve that purpose. It’s about Him and His glory! That perspective has really influenced my desires for the meaning of my home and the means by which to achieve it. So as I continue unpack boxes and then decorate our space, I know that even if everything doesn’t come together as I have envisioned God does have it all together still! 



  1. Beautiful reminder of what our homes should be. I wrote a post during my 31 days series about the potential of our homes. I think you might like it:

  2. Great thoughts!

  3. Beautifully spoken. Thank you for reminding me of what true hospitality is.
    God Bless!

  4. Love the idea of our home being a welcoming place to others. That's my goal, too--a place where people find refreshement (physical, spiritual, emotional). I can't believe the home God has given us to use for Him!

    I'm visiting through Living Well Wednesdays.

  5. featured ya today!

  6. I loved reading this post and it made perfect sense. A home is not a home unless it is lived in and filled with laughter, tears, disputes and fantastic memories. Thanks for sharing and I am following you now. I would love for you to follow along.


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