I am particularly excited about our Part Two discussion on the home! I truly enjoy my home! I enjoy being home and I enjoy making my home comfortable for my family and guests. In this post, I want to share my growing pains and lessons learned, in hopes that it will help you to enjoy your home as well.
If you weren't able to join me for Part One - "The Heart" I encourage you to take some time to read that post before proceeding with this post. The matters of our heart affect so many areas in our lives!
God has blessed my husband and I with our dream home as first-homebuyers. Prior to purchasing our home, we lived in an apartment as a married couple and "apartment-hopped" individually for years when we were single. For me, whether I had a room, apartment or house, I knew that I could make any space my home. It's not about the location or type of dwelling you have -- it's about you!
Looking back, God definitely broke me and built me up into the daughter He destined for me to be in my home, this day. I am not a homemaker, nor do I work a job from my home. I thought it important to state this because so many women read my post and think that they cannot work outside of the home and care for their homes. Well, I'm living proof that you can and I have a significant role outside of my home.
Stepping On The Scale - What's in your home?
Is your home weighed down with stuff?? If I visited your home, could you tell me what was in each room or would you have boxes of stuff to sort through to determine its contents? We can become overwhelmed by overloading ourselves with a large list of to-do's and similarly, can be subconsciously overwhelmed when we overload our homes with stuff. If you don't need "it", "it" becomes clutter. We cannot function properly in clutter. Now, my husband would tell you that I was the queen of keeping stuff -- but not anymore! What I thought I couldn't live without, I'm enjoying not having in my home! My home can breathe! As important as it is to not hold onto what you don't need, it's also just as important to take inventory of your home to make certain that your home isn't filled things that are hindering you and your family. These could be items from past relationships (cards, pictures, clothes, notes, gifts, etc.), movies, books, music, etc. I didn't realize the weight that was in my home until I started clearing out what I didn't need. Not only do I have more space, but my home feels so much better. I was also able to be a blessing by giving away clothing that I hadn't worn in years and dishes that I had an abundance of. I made it a point to go room-to-room to visually inventory the contents of my home. If I hadn't used something in six months, I trashed it or placed it in a pile to give away. As I grow deeper in Christ, I find that I'm living a much more simple life and don't require much. It's really a win-win situation. I don't bring much stuff into my home, therefore I'm saving money and have a clutter-free home. If you have a difficult time getting rid of stuff, invite a friend over to help you. Someones blessing could be collecting dust in your home!
Taking Your Temperature - How does your home feel?
Did you know that your home has a feel? Have you ever walked into a room and felt peace, heaviness or tension? I have! It happens all the time and our homes are no different! Your home reflects you. Its feel is a reflection of what's going on with you. I am a firm believer in that what we hide in our hearts comes to pass in our speech [and actions] -- Matthew 5:18. The matters of our heart can defile us and our homes! Don't know the temperature of your home? Ask the occupants of your home to provide you with their honest, gentle feedback about you. Ask them if they feel at peace in your home. Ask them if they feel welcomed in your home. If you live by yourself, ask your friends and family when they come to visit. If you are married, this doesn't all fall on your shoulders as a wife. It's up to the husband and wife to work together as a unit to set the tone for their home. If your husband is dealing with anger issues, doesn't care about the affairs of his home, or works many hours on his job, your job as a wife will be more challenging, but not impossible. Take the stance of the warrior God placed in each of us to fight. Use one of the greatest tools to bring peace to your home -- that is, your tongue. The Word of God says that life and death lie in the POWER of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). God has given each of His children the POWER to speak life or death into any situation. Choosing to speak life takes maturity and will cost you your pride and feelings, but it's so worth it for the sake of your family and your home! I've seen God move in my home when I decided to take a step back from my personal feelings about how I thought my husband should be helping; and focused on 1) what God has called me to do and 2) fighting biblically. When I became intentional about fighting God's way, through prayer and my actions, I saw God move tremendously within my home. I felt better and my home felt better!! Knowing God is on our side and has given us the power to shift the atmosphere wherever we are is so amazing! Take advantage of everything that God has laid before you! I purpose to speak and pray for peace over my home, my husband and guests. Though I'm far from perfect, I try not to allow my selfish ways or attitude to interfere with what I speak and pray for. If I want peace, I have to be a peacemaker! I also invite the holy Spirit to dwell in my home. This is simply because I can do nothing without Him. I need His wisdom and unctioning to help me control the temperature of my home.
Checking Your Blood Pressure - Are you on level 10 at all times?
My husband has been a tremendous blessing to me in this area. I was the wife who had to clean every spec of dust from every corner all the time and make certain that the laundry was always done. I was always working!! My husband didn't require this of me -- I put this pressure on myself. That's not to say that my husband was fine with me not keeping the house clean, but that he wanted me to be able to enjoy our home. What value is it if we receive a blessing from God and don't take the time to enjoy it? God wants us to be excellent stewards over what He gives us and also wants us to enjoy what He gives us. While I thought I was doing a good thing by keeping my home spotless, I was actually causing harm to myself and to my husband. I never took a break and therefore was irritable without even knowing it. Also, my constant running around created anxiety within my husband. Oddly enough, my husband and I share the same temperaments and we are both introverts. If you know anything about introverts, a lot of activity can be very overwhelming. If you have children, you can create anxiety within them if you're always on level 10. As crazy as it may sound, I had to learn that it's ok to have a home that's lived in. There may be staining on the stove or dishes in the sink. It's your home! In fact, if you're active in your home, there should be some sign of life! Now, I'm not saying that you can't keep a spotless home. What I am saying, is that you should take time to enjoy your home and the occupants of your home -- they are far more important that the home itself. I missed many moments with constant cleaning and cooking -- I'm getting those moments back. I'd say I'm on level 5 now :-).
I hope that this post was encouragement for you. Whether you are a homemaker, work outside of the home, work from home, run several businesses, etc., you can maintain your home.
We live in a day and age with so many power women. This is great, but being a power woman doesn't relive you of your duty to take care of your home, however it is that you care for your home (maid service, weekend cleaning, etc.). Look for God's grace to handle everything on your plate and ask Him for wisdom in planning out your days. He is here to help you!
Don't forget that your home is a reflection of you! Share with a sister!