r.i.p. to my forever home

I was 9 months pregnant and feeling every sweaty step as I approached the front door. When I woke up that morning, I had no idea that an effort to humor my husband in checking out an open house “for fun” would result in us finding it: our forever home!

I fell in love with the house before the home tour was over. It was a fixer upper with good bones, lots of dreamy natural light – and to put icing on the cake – it was a huge bargain in our dream neighborhood! We’d always known that our next house would potentially be our forever home, but we never dreamed we’d find it so soon!

We immediately put an offer on the house, closed on it the day after I gave birth, and moved in two-weeks postpartum. The plan was to begin renovations weeks after moving in, but those weeks turned into months. I grew impatient.

I’d be nursing with nothing better to do than stare at the walls. That’s when the discontent would start to sneak in. I’d criticize and complain over every imperfection of the home. I made an inventory list of every little change I wanted to make – nothing was negotiable. It’d just have to fit into the budget.

When the renovation-monster began rearing it’s ugly head on my family, I realized that I needed to do a heart check. I asked myself:

What if I got everything I wanted?

What if my Pinterest board dreams were executed to a T and my home became the envy of Instagram?

Would that make my family happier? Healthier?

Would I be a better wife/mom/homemaker?

Would my “forever home” satisfy me forever?

Would I somehow be closer with God?

The answer to that last question was an obvious and resounding “NO.” In fact my obsession with  my earthly dwelling was actually driving me from the presence of my Savior.

God’s Word is full of wisdom and exhortation against trusting in wealth and possessions, but the verse that speaks to my heart is actually from a passage about worry:

Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:32

All the temporary things in the world can’t satisfy me like the one person I can never lose – Christ!  His kingdom – his presence, his power, his work – are the only things that matter! One day we might move or lose our house to an unfortunate circumstance. But my eternal home is unshakeable.

When my priorities are properly in submission to Christ, I’m set free from the influence of the renovation-monster. A heavenly perspective also helps me to realize that it’s ok to be excited about the remodel. If used correctly, our home can be an effective tool in kingdom work.

I love this quote from Gloria Furman’s book, Missional Motherhood:

“We leverage our homes for gospel work. For those whose hope is in the coming kingdom, our homes are less like treats and more like a network of foxholes for planning and hosting kingdom advances into this present darkness. Our homes are centers of hospitality to show strangers and neighbors the light of Christ. And they are equipping centers for traveling ambassadors to help them on their way to doing the King’s business”.

When my heart and hopes are set on Christ, I count my material blessings for what they are – gifts given for accomplishing kingdom purposes. And in that proper light I can enjoy my home to the fullest – it won’t own me.

I look forward to raising our family within these walls. I can see gospel-conversations around the kitchen table, teaching our kids to read from their bibles, hosting studies, and helping to mend broken hearts with true comfort from the seats of our comfy couch.

I still have high hopes that we’ll live in this house for many years. But the term “forever home” is hilariously relative in light of eternity.

So I’m officially retiring the phrase until I reach my true Forever Home.

 

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3 Responses to r.i.p. to my forever home

  1. Amy Donnell August 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm #

    Such beautiful and relevant truth Amanda. Thank you for sharing. So many of your words resonated with me.

  2. Judy Dyssegaard August 27, 2018 at 11:07 pm #

    Such revelations! Such truths of human emotions! Who does this???? YOU do Amanda, and I am one of your fans……WOW! You are a writer…..a revealer of reactions to life’s situations…..up and down and even sideways sometimes.

    You also, then, bring the reader “HOME”…..to our real HOME…..our ETERNAL HOME….and to Jesus Christ… to the most impt. place to be in one’s focus…..in order to dwell in His peace and all the good HE provides in our “NOW’S”! (Little Everly ….her innocence and giggles…….the sunshine, birds singing, the heavenly blue of the sky and the cooling color green outside). Too many blessings to count that we tend to take for granted…..like the fact we wake up in the morning (when you are older you will understand-Ha) also the fact that we can walk!!!! So many struggles others go to just to live…….that we don’t even have to think about…….

    Connie, has helped me so much over the years with her patience, love and kindness…….she “CHOOSES JOY” as you know…….she has told me 100X whatever you are “full of” spills out when you get “bumped”……in other words if I am listening to worship music when I drive, I am happier, lighter and focused on what is right……but there are times I am preoccupied or doing “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” and stuff happens……

    We are human, and must “slap the flesh” down or be aware of the warfare of flesh vs. spiritual thoughts…….so staying in HIS WORD, and even memorizing like Connie does…..is there, in us, to think on, or to gain control of what our thoughts are. Capturing our thoughts and words is a tough one…..and the bible instructs us to “capture our thoughts” so as to turn away from the negative……Life itself is the teacher and we are all here to learn…..for sure!!!!

    You, Amanda, are gifted in the way you express your self, your truths and realness. I am sure you help others, along too, cause we all share these feelings…..ups and downs…..etc. One day you may write a book…. for many to read, to understand we are all in the same boat…..life…..but for those of us who believe in a Savior, redemption and eternal life…..WOW how blessed we are. The thing is…..HE IS ALWAYS THERE FOR US…..to call out to or to just be comforted…….and how often we (I) forget that! I still try to figure things out for myself…….since we are still in the flesh, here in our “temporary home”, there has to be a constant struggle……so that we must actively “CHOOSE JOY”! Anyway I could go on and on as I love “realness” and those who express things to share (like you) with others….so, for now I will meditate on what is good……….thank YOU AMANDA!

    • Amanda September 4, 2018 at 11:23 pm #

      Thank you Judy! 😀

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