Building Your Home

Right up there with coffee, chocolate, and new baby smell is the scent of freshly cut wood as my favorite. I just love walking into new construction or a project, seeing what isn’t yet complete, but imagining the finished work.

Proverbs 14:1 says,

Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

My house, my home and family, is my domain, my place of influence from where all else flows. Even though I desire to be wise in the building, many times I find myself tearing it down brick by painful brick.

How do I, desiring to be that woman of wisdom, build my house?

I build when I take time to spend with the Lord in worship and prayer. I read His word and study it for living a life out of a security that rests in His unfailing love for me. This is my FOUNDATION for all else.

I build when I set boundaries and make margin in my life, taking the time I need with my husband and family. I use this margin to rest and focus on the most important things in my life. These are my WALLS that protect me from burning out and turning into a stressed out nightmare for my family. This keeps a peaceful tone in my home.

I build when I make the effort in relationships with other women, allowing myself to be real and vulnerable. These are the WINDOWS that allow others to see me and keeps me from feeling isolated and alone in my motherhood journey.

I build when I receive counsel, letting people into our lives, letting go of misconceived ideals of perfection. I build when I get rid of negative influences that harm my family. These are the DOORS to my life, doors that open my family up to good things and doors that close, protecting us when necessary.

I build when I cry out to God in prayer, praising Him, and entering into thanksgiving for all I have. This is my ROOF, my covering, my atmosphere changer. It keeps me from complaining, comparing, and despairing. It opens up my life to the power of God and an atmosphere of joy and gratefulness in my home and family.

I build when I invest my time in things that matter, when I am present with my family. I am truly listening and seeing the heart needs of my husband and children, loving them the way I want because I have built my house on the correct foundation. I build when I teach them to be present in things that really matter as well, taking the atmosphere in our home to the world outside us. This is the INSIDE of my house, the features and beautiful touches I build into our lives for my family, treasuring them and my calling as a wife and mother for all that it is.

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A Charge to Christians After This Election

As I scrolled through social media today, I saw people grieving, gloating, blaming, praising, all based on their take on this presidential election. Some were saying, “if you voted for (or against) ______, that makes you a ______.”  I kept telling myself to take the day and log off, but I found myself getting on over and over.

What I saw made me feel shocked, offended, and at times, in agreement with certain statuses. I felt shocked when I saw some people who I really thought would have voted one way say they voted the other. I was offended and struck with emotion when I saw anger, gloating, name calling, and other strong opinions expressed that I don’t agree with. Then some expressed themselves in a way that was seasoned with love, even for those who didn’t get their way last night.

Then I came across the best status: this verse.

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Today I have held my tongue and not responded when I didn’t agree with what I read. However, these verses encourage us to go a step further. We have to make room for people’s opinions when we see fault in them and forgive those who are offensive when they express their thoughts. The beginning of these verses remind us to be patient, gentle, kind, tenderhearted, and show mercy and humility. People have many emotions after last night’s results. Many are airing out their laundry on Facebook for all to see. Let’s give them room to say what they want to say, even if they say it in ugly, unloving ways. Much mercy has been given to us, and we are to extend that to those who express opinions that are different than ours.

So today and over the next few months, will you join me and stop to check your own heart when you read something you don’t agree with? Then offer a prayer of blessing for that person. Ask God to give you a heart of love for them. Only then will we show the world we are truly Christ followers who’s hearts are set toward the kingdom of heaven.