“Home is where the heart is” 

Home. The word and the place evoke strong images and feelings. Songs and sonnets were written about it; songs of longing and anticipation. 

Home. The one place we can truly be ourselves & accepted as such (or at least that’s what it should be). A place of love, forgiveness and safety.  

Home. Pictures of clean, tidy homes that are decorated straight out of a magazine fly straight from our mind’s eye.  

I’ll be the first to admit that my house is a far cry from this. No matter how hard I try things never stay tidy and in fact look more like a hurricane had hit and we had never truly recovered from it.

 Perhaps because of this, I feel that I have failed my family in a way. My counters once tidy rarely stay that way. My living room has been turned upside down between the dogs, the Xbox gaming and the eating that goes on. I am painfully aware of the state of my home and so very rarely do I have anyone over. It also makes me extremely reluctant for my kids to have friends over after school.

 It’s not that I don’t know how to clean house, believe me, with a Dutch upbringing there was no way that cleaning would not be part of my growing up. I find though, that for me, there is very little time to do any of it. Working full time, and a house full of teenagers almost guarantees me little to no time at home and by the time I am home for the evening it’s almost time to go to bed. How on earth anyone can have a well maintained house with this type of schedule is beyond me.

 Oh, I know I can delegate tasks to the kids,but how do you reinforce it when you work in another city and don’t get home til dinner time and still try to maintain a cool, calm demeanor? How?

 I’ve struggled with all if this. I’m not ‘Suzie Homemaker’; I get that, but part of me longs for the clean, tastefully decorated house. I just don’t know how to get there without completely alienating my kids & hubby.

 As I was thinking about all this, it came to mind that Jesus calls our body His temple. We are asked to invite Him into our hearts. It’s a good thing He doesn’t mind a bit, or a

lot, of mess, if He did there would be a whole lot of work that would have to be done before we could ask Him to move in. 

As it is, He moves in despite our messes. He first clears spot just for Him and then slowly but surely He’ll start to paint, replace carpet, throw stuff out, and perhaps knock out a wall or two. He is, after all, a carpenter, and is very adept at that sort of thing.

It’s a process and, like a lot of them, takes time, practice, a willingness to go along with the change and a bit of ingenuity to make it all work.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

 What a promise! What hope that brings. Knowing that our messes don’t define us anymore. That we have a brand new start, a new line in the sand, and from there the new creature, the new home can begin to take shape, and become more than we could ever imagine. All we need to do is say ‘Yes’ to the Master Carpenter and the renovations are not only paid for, but are free for the asking. They won’t happen all at once, but step by step they will happen if you’re willing to allow Him in to do the work.

 Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some dishes to wash and another load of laundry to fold and put away.



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