“Five years, tops! Five years and then we’re out of here!”
That’s what I told my husband 13 years ago when we settled into what I now affectionately refer to as our Little House on the Freeway; our little slice of the American Dream in The Big Apple.
When we first arrived, I deplored it. Abhorred it. Out right hated it!
I cried the night before our closing. I tearfully questioned my husband’s decision to buy it.
I seriously tried to talk him down.
Yet, somehow, I believed that God was leading Him in his decision to move forward; but trust me, I didn’t like it one bit.
Well, it’s been 13 years now; 13 years since this home of ours has been living and breathing, expanding and contracting, and giving life to our not-so-little clan.
Can’t see the forest for the trees
When “it” was happening – all the living and breathing, the marriage ups-and-downs, the parenting highs and lows – I did not know “it” was taking place.
I was too busy living for the future and striving for something “better;” desperately trying to believe that something good could come out of Nazareth?
(“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” John 1:46a)
Still, “it” was happening, nonetheless: This amazing thing that is family-life — yes, it was unraveling right under my nose.
The old adage “Can’t see the forest for the trees” definitely applies here.
I was so busy looking forward, onward, upward, downward, and hiding under beds, that I couldn’t see what was right before me: the germination of spiritual seeds sown in children, the sprouting of family intimacy – in spite of the occasional disharmony, a love for our family traditions, and oh, so much more.
Indeed, HOME is this truly amazing place, where amazing things happen!
But the most amazing thing of all is the working of Jesus Christ in the Christian home.
Little becomes much in the Lord’s hands
When my mother learned that my husband and I were moving forward with our plans to foster children, she disbelievingly looked at us with questioning eyes.
When I asked her about her reservation, she said, “Your home is too small, Tiff.” in the sweetest voice that she could muster.
I gently replied, “Is my home too small, mom?” (My implied meaning: Is it really too small to help children in crisis?)
I know my mother’s heart is for children so, of course, she responded, “No.”
My mother is considering our limited square footage, the fact that we all share one bathroom (a miracle that God works out every day on our behalf!), and the fact that we will loose our beloved “homeschooling room” to create additional sleeping quarters.
I am considering purpose and destiny – an opportunity to love the “least of these,” and to influence these precious children with the lifesaving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I really have no time to consider our first-world woes of us all sharing one bathroom. 🙂
Over the years I have learned that as small as my home is, it is God’s ordained place of dwelling for my family.
So, if you’ve ever felt like your home is too small, is situated in the wrong neighborhood, or not fancy enough to make a good life for your family, think again, my sister!
I am here to tell you that no matter what your home looks like, no matter how simple or meager the furnishings, no matter where it is geographically situated, your home is God’s chosen place of dwelling for you.
You are not there by chance or fate because the Bible declares, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord…” (Psalm 27:33).
“Bring them here to me”
Sweet sister, God desires to perform a great work in your home, in and through you, for His glory! It happens as you partner with Him to become a godly agent-of-change in your family.
Matthew 14:13-21 tells the miraculous account of how little becomes much in the Master’s hand.
Jesus had been preaching His heart out! Large crowds had followed him for days to hear His precious words of life and to be healed, delivered and set free!
The disciples finally asked Jesus to send the crowds of people away so that they would not starve on their journey home; but Jesus refused, and then challenged His disciples to feed them.
Shortly thereafter, his disciples discovered that a child among them had food, but they were quick to point out that it seemed insufficient: “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” (v.17)
“Bring them here to me, Jesus said.”
Then Jesus proceeded to use a child’s lunch – a meager offering of five loaves and two fish – to accomplish His divine will: to feed over five thousand people!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
When the child offered everything that he had to the Lord, the Lord took it, blessed it, and miraculously increased it to meet the needs at hand.
**And so the Lord does the same with our homes.**
Borrowing from this same passage of scripture in Matthew 14, here is a wonderful example of what that looks like in our homes . . .
“And he [Jesus] directed the people to sit down on the grass.” (v. 19)
♥ My heart response: Jesus leads me and I follow. He instructs me through His word. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Through His word, He guides me and gives me the wisdom I need to be a godly wife and mom.
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he [Jesus] gave thanks . . .” (v. 19 )
♥ My heart response: I look up to my Father in heaven. I give thanks for who He is and for all that He has done in my family’s life. I offer up to Him all that I have, no matter how insignificant or minuscule it may seem. I am filled with gratitude for His divine provision for my family – my home.
“. . . and [Jesus] broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.” (v. 19)
♥ My heart response: As I am broken before the Lord, He pours His wisdom and strength into me as I pour out my life to others on His behalf. As I serve my husband and my children the bread of earth (physical nourishment) and the bread of heaven (spiritual nourishment) God blesses and strengthens our home. “The Lord . . . blesses the home of the righteous.” (Proverbs 3:33)
“They all ate and were satisfied,” (v. 20)
♥ My heart response: Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35). He feeds me and I am satisfied. He is my sustenance and my strength. “O taste and see that the Lord is good…“ (Psalm 34:8a)
“. . . and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” (v. 20)
♥ My heart response: Jesus Christ is more than enough. He satisfies me with His salvation. He fills me with His peace and joy. It produces a well of thanksgiving in my heart, overflowing into the my home and bringing life to my husband and children.
And about those left overs: Not only does he satisfy my family, my home gives life to visiting friends and extended family; to strangers and pilgrims. “…she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.” (Proverbs 31:15) “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20)
Sister friend, no matter how meager your offering appears to be, offer it up to the Lord! For the little that you have, when placed in the Master’s hand, will become MORE THAN ENOUGH to have a fruitful and life-giving home.
Actions steps for the home-building wise woman…
♥ I will give thanks for my current dwelling, whether it be a house, a homeless shelter, or a mud shack.
♥ I will pray for a heart that loves to be “busy at home.” (Titus 2:5)
♥ I will be intentional about making my home a place of grace and a sanctuary for my family and all who enter. “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27)
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1
Holla Back!: What positive aspects can you focus on in your home right now? Post a comment below to share. I’d love hear your thoughts!
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