Coming home. It's what I find myself needing to do. I wonder if it might apply to you, too?
A strange thought, isn't it? I mean, considering that you’ve never really left the house. Every day you’re there to make breakfast and clean up breakfast and then lunch and dinner. And of course, don’t forget snack time. Then there's always the laundry and lessons and bills, and well, all of the other everythings.
Life is not a correspondence course and all those life things can’t be done from afar. I'm doing them all right here, in these walls.
So how did I get so far away?
We all know some version of the hopeful motivational expression, “Every journey begins with a single step.” That’s how it happens. A step at a time over time, and there you go, and there you are. You wind up in that place: where the house is not home, but merely a place where chores pile up because we're organizing the field trips for the co-ops or the fundraisers for uniforms; the place where we look sadly at the spot on the couch where we'd held and snuggled our babies, now disguised as Mt. Washmore; the spot where we just know the closets (all of them!) could be featured on Extreme Makeover--Cram Your Stuff Edition.
It’s become that bizarre place where the kiddos are eating cereal out of coffee cups in the van because you're all out delivering a wonderful homemade meal to your daughter’s soccer coach’s cousin’s sister-in-law who just had toe surgery but you didn’t have time to make enough for your own family or wash any dishes in the meantime.
I step over huge cracks in the old, broken-in floor to kiss hubby goodnight, only to close the door with him on the other side, heading off to do ... something. Keeping busy, occupied with anything to quiet our thoughts and minds, to divert our eyes from the worn places where we work so hard at living. So much work, but where is the reward? Getting up to do it all over again only feels like a booby prize, but we still do it. And we do it because we love our families, and that’s what we’re supposed to do, right?
But this thing we do called homemaking? It is so much more than that. It's what we're called to do... We were blessed to be given these people that fill the boundaries of our walls and hearts. They are not just a task, they are our reward:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Psalm 127:3-4
As mothers, we are given the stewardship of people--eternal souls, who will have eternal significance. And we are given that stewardship by the only One who loves them more than we do. We honor Him by serving them. We can repair the foundations, we can scale the mountain and we can make our house back into a home with a single word in a single breath.
Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES!
“Yes!” to my home, that will bring love and courage and belonging to my children and my husband and the guests that I will be honored to bless here.
“Yes!” to pancakes and crispy bacon for dinner, and to lessons on washing and drying and folding (and putting away!) set to the soundtrack of the stories of our days.
“Yes!” to those I have been given the honor and charge of training up in the way that they should go.
“Yes!” to preparing and keeping my home and rejecting the bread of idleness, “Yes!” to rising in the dark to prepare food for my family. “Yes!” to the Proverb that shows me that I am honoring my King by blessing my family.
Your "Yes" is a life-giving word that, with beautiful irony, also contains a "No."
“No” to anything that encourages me to be too busy to hear my children tell me their stories, or to teach them to seek the Lord, or to train them up in the way that they should go, or to serve those that need it, or to make memories and to love truth and beauty and justice. “No” to anything that encourages me to be too busy to be the helpmeet, confidant, best friend, and partner that I promised my husband I would be.
No is a hard word, but it's so worth it. "No" means a sacrifice for so many of us... "No" to doing those things that make us feel accomplished and vibrant. After all, who will organize that Valentine party with all of the perfect little homemade valentines and iced sugar cookies if not us?!
But I know that no one needs you more than they do, mama, and they are at home.
Discipleship always, always starts at home.
If we seek our reward in what is eternal, what is in His plan for us as wives and mothers, we can be radiant with the light that is His and find our worth from His appointments. He gives us all we need to meet our precious charges in the rooms of home.
Will you come home with the yes and the no?
It’s not always easy, and sometimes the road to home looks too grown over, maybe there are some dark places, and maybe the way is hard to find. But it’s there. Every journey starts with a single step, right? Maybe that first step is cookies and snuggles under the covers for story time, or a drive together with a sing along to their music, or just a date to the coffee shop to talk.
The possibilities are endless, really.
So, what will your “Yes!” be? Today, mine is cookies.
And, if you wondered about the cookies, thanks to Misty, you'll some right HERE , and I hear they are perfectly puffy!