So let’s chat. Got your coffee? Good. I’ve already had my 2nd cup and will be going back for my 3rd here in a bit. Coffee. It’s just one way that Jesus reminds me of His love for me in the mornings.
I want to ask you a question. It may sound like a weird question, but hear me out. Sticking with this Home theme I’ve got going on, I’d like to know, what are the feelings you associate with your home? I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and I think I’ve narrowed it down to the top 3 feelings that I want to be associated with my home.
The first is comfort. I'm not talking about just physical comfort, which I do believe is extremely important as well (I’m a huge fan of decluttering and keeping things in place and may or may not be slightly OCD) but I’m talking mostly about emotional and relational ease. “What does that look like?” you ask. Glad you asked. I strive to make my home a place where everyone feels comfortable and I do that in very practical ways. One way is by telling people that come over, “Make yourself at home” and I mean it. I point them to the kitchen and tell them to not be shy. Not too long ago one of the kids (I call them kids but they are in their 20’s, but whatever, they are kids to me now because I’m old enough to be their mom) went to the kitchen and decided to make himself a peanut butter, jelly and whipped cream sandwich. Okay, I don’t get the whipped cream part but whatever, I’m just glad he felt comfortable enough to do it. And apparently 22 year old boys eat weird things.
The second one is safe. Creating an environment where everyone feels safe takes deliberate time and effort. Jake and I strive to make our home a place where our friends know they can be themselves and are safe to express their thoughts and emotions and ask questions. Nurturing a safe home means no judging, just listening. Open ears and hearts are necessities in a safe home.
And lastly, joy. I’m learning a lot about the pursuit of joy. I’m discovering that a lot of the time, joy is a choice. It needs to be pursued. I desperately want my home to be a place where people come not only to feel comfortable and safe, but also to laugh a lot and feel a deep sense of joy. The world is crazy. We need homes that offer places of refuge and laughter. Sweet moments of delight are best when shared.
Please don’t think I’m batting 1,000 on these every single time. Some days I’m feeling super selfish and I don’t want to share my home. Some days the last thing I’m feeling is joyful and my grumpiness is contagious (I’ll be talking about the ways women control the emotional climate in their home in a future post) and some days I’m emotionally exhausted and feel I have nothing left to give (it’s really important for people to fend for themselves in the kitchen on those days, otherwise they’d starve). But, as I’m learning to keep comfort, safe, and joy in mind, it helps me to refocus when I get all funky.
Remember what I said in the last post? This house isn’t really my home. My home is found in my relationship with Jesus. He is the one that gives me comfort, makes me feel completely safe, and is the source of all my joy. He is the reason I want to offer my home to others in hopes they will know what home is too.
What about you? What’s most important to you about your home? What makes your home home?