Weekend Reads

Tell Your Story

river rocks

I was blessed to grow up with a very imaginative Mother. While most Moms would lay prostrate by the pool, soaking up the sun, my Mother would be splashing around with me as we re-enacted our version of The Little Mermaid. Whenever we would walk to this little woods near our childhood neighborhood, she would pretend my brother and I were the Billy Goats’ Gruff, while she played the less desirable role of the mean, hungry Troll.

Often before my brother, Jason  and I would go to sleep, she would tell of the tales of J-Bob the detective, solving the latest mystery crime and saving the damsel in distress, Jennifer the Ballerina (that’s me)!  Her creativity, playfulness and stories never grew old and they are still cherished memories I hold dear.

The stories I enjoy from her now are the times she heard the Holy Spirit to receiving miraculous answers to prayer, and chapters in between. Her stories offer wisdom, strength, and peace to my sometimes weary, young wife and mother heart.

We all have a story. We have times in our lives where we have experienced God moving and speaking in our lives. Moments where we witnessed the Faithfulness of His promises, leaving the mark of His Hand. We serve a very creative Author- whose creativity is evident in vastness of nature, the intricacies of the human body, and His purposeful design in our story.

What has the Author of our faith written on your heart? What has He done for you? And what does He want you to do with your story?

As I prayed with my Moms in Prayer group this past week, we reflected on God as being our Rock – the cornerstone – our firm foundation. One of the fellow moms shared how she has a special rock collection. Every time God answered a prayer, she would pick up a river stone, paint the date on it, and put it in a large bowl with the other stones. She went on to say that whenever life reminds her of the sorrow in this fallen world, she can refer to her bowl of stones and recall the many wonders of God – the eternal Rock of our salvation.

Over the years, as people have visited her home, they have inquired about her unique rock collection. Every stone has a story. And every story is a testimony. The stones not only re-read to her like her favorite book, it was an opportunity to share of the greatness of our Father.

After all, what good is a good story if it is left unshared? Our stories are not meant to collect dust on the shelf. The purpose of our story is for the uplifting and edification of others and to give glory back to the Author. Share your story with your children, with your neighbors, with your small group at church. Share the goodness of God and what great things He has done!

It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.”           -Daniel 4:2

Live 4 Him,

Living 31 Homemaking

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Lovers of Home

Mom+and+kids+couch

From the time I was old enough to hold a baby doll, motherhood and homemaking was engrained in me. As I grew, my love for home took root in several areas – from helping my Mother clean the oven to being Daddy’s handy helper with the latest home improvement project.

In the summer, my family and I would set out on a bike riding adventure that would often lead us to developing neighborhoods where houses were being newly constructed. It was dusk and the workers had already left for the day, leaving only remnants of their presence with empty pop cans and cigarette butts.

The houses were nothing but frames of wood and nails – outlining the potential that awaited. We would venture up the wobbly wood board leading to the unlocked front door and make our way through the house. My parents would marvel at the interior layout and square footage, while my brother would explore. Meanwhile, I slowly walked from room to room imagining how the home would look upon completion.

I pictured a grand staircase and a crystal chandelier in the tall, open foyer and a swimming pool-sized Jacuzzi bathtub.  I would leave with high hopes to one day have a home of my very own to decorate and take care of – but having to settle for my Little Tikes dollhouse in the meantime (even though I never envisioned a house with a powder blue roof).

We affectionately called these houses “the broken houses.” I’m not exactly sure as to how we coined the term, but from a simple six-year-old frame of mind, I believe it was because the houses were not yet complete. There were no walls, no paint, no furniture, no appliances. It was void and unlivable.

Little did I know growing up that as I walked away from the broken houses, God was actually preparing me to walk into my calling as a homemaker.

All grown up with a home and family of my own, I still have the homemaking heart of that bright-eyed, big-dreaming six-year old. I still thrive in decorating, taking on my own house projects, and even cleaning my casserole-splattered oven. But while I could YouTube how to remodel a bathroom and Pin a recipe on my Pinterest board, only God could show me how to be a lover of my home.

My coach of a husband always says: “coaches drive the culture.” Coaches set the precedent for the players. That may be true on the football field, but as Wives and Mothers, we are the cultivators of our home.

So let me ask you, friend – what kind of home are you cultivating?

Is your home nurturing, inviting and grace-filled? Or does it strikingly resemble the broken houses – void and unlivable?

As homemakers, we are more than cooks, cleaning ladies, and interior decorators. We are the heart of our home. Speaking words of encouragement and affirmation. Establishing a tone of peacefulness and warmth. Creating a place where our husbands and children look forward to come to after a long day at work and school.

But our homes can only be such the picture of beauty if we are Spirit-led, servant-led, and overflowing with the love and grace of Christ.

titus 2.4

Your translation may read “lovers of home,” but the context of the word chaste here means without unnecessary ornamentation. Simple. No frills. Decorated with love. Paul is admonishing women to be more focused on adorning the relationships in her home rather than the rooms.

We can easily become so entrenched in our business and perhaps even our frustrations within our day that we become careless about cultivating. We neglect to be mindful of our attitude which can lead to a hostile, empty environment.  And if we fail to be intentional about our home, we lose sight of the purpose God has called us as homemakers.

A farmer does not cultivate by accident – it is intentional. Planting, watering, nurturing. As homemakers, we are sowing into our family – reaping an ornate harvest for God’s Kingdom.

This ornate love can only be birthed from an obedient and humble heart. From a quiet and gentle spirit. From an attitude of grace. Love can permeate the sweetest smell and fill each room with real peace and authentic joy. And transforms a “broken house” to a loving home.

May God grant you a passion for your home, your husband, and children!

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker