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.
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.