Saturday, January 4, 2014

Heart & Home

Heart & Home

"...that the way you experience life in your home is determined by how you do your housekeeping."
"...little domestic habits are what give everybody's home the special qualities that make it their own and let them feel at home there."

I just love these quotes from the beginning part of the Home Comforts book (by Cheryl Mendelson) - It is so, so important to me for our home to be a place that not only others feel appreciated, embraced, and welcomed but those of us living here feel ever and always at home.

"It includes familiarity, warmth, affection, and a conviction of security.
Being at home feels safe; you have a sense of relief whenever you come home and close the door behind you, reduced fear of social and emotional dangers as well as of physical ones."

As Christians, we can be secure at an even deeper level.

Psalm 122:7 (NASB)
7 "May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces."

Deuteronomy 33:12 - [And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

On top of feeling secure and like a sigh of relief in our homes is a need to keep our homes, as in be a keeper of them.
Even those who don't invest much into their homekeeping - it is an undercurrent, an ever flowing need.
Yet another snippet to share that I really liked and underlined it when I first got the book:

"What really does work to increase the feeling of having a home and its comforts is housekeeping. Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your home.
Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can anywhere else."

How much more are these things true when CHRIST is the light and love flowing from our hearts and into our homes?

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Is He welcome where we live?
Luke 10:38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.

What about when the Lord isn't our top priority? What about hurting hearts, torn emotions and confused paths that tangle everything all up?

Psalm 42:5
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

Maybe you, them, her, him... maybe any in this state just need to know there is hope beyond what the world has pushed into their paths.

As far as hope in homekeeping... it must be revived if it is weak.

"It is not in goods that the contemporary household is poor, but in comfort and care."

That sounds sad but we have all either been there before, seen others in it or are there now.

Proverbs 7:11
She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home;

Isaiah 27:10
For the fortified city is isolated, A homestead forlorn and forsaken like the desert; There the calf will graze, And there it will lie down and feed on its branches.

The author of Home Comforts really hits the subject at the heart of it when she shares a few paragraphs on page 8 about the results happening from neglecting housekeeping. The effects are negative ones in so many ways.

She ends this section with these words:

"The result is far too many people who long for home even though they seem to have one."

I believe the longing for home originates from a longing for God. Either longing to know Him or longing to experience Him again.

Psalms 63:1
Verse Concepts
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalms 143:6
Verse Concepts
I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land.

When that longing is met, I believe it breathes life like never before into the home.

Thoughtful questions:

*What does your home feel like when you walk in the door?
*What atmosphere do you sense over all?
*Do you sense a power greater than yourself keeping you present in the motions of your daily tasks?
*Is the light in your eyes gone and do you feel a lack of hope in your home care? If not, do you know someone who seems to be in this place?

*Is your home flowing with milk and honey or more like a parched land today?

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