Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemaking Dreams

My boys and I go on a walk almost every morning we are home from April to about October. It's gorgeous out and it helps deplete some of that almost-three-year-old-energy. We walk down our road, around the corner, and back to a cemetery. (We've lived by cemeteries since we've been married. Glad I'm not superstitious.) On the way back to the cemetery we pass a gorgeous old white house. I love houses, especially old ones, and I've always been intrigued by this one. 

This week an older woman was there when we went by. She stopped us so that she could look at Kevin- who was sound asleep in the baby wrap- and we started talking about the house. She said that at one point it was a bed and breakfast. Now I've always loved the idea of a bed and breakfast; I think it would be thrilling to own one someday. When we got back home I was daydreaming about creating a beautiful space for others to relax and recharge and cooking them delicious food. And I realized something.

I already do that. 

People go to a bed and breakfast for a home away from home. You are essentially a homemaker for other people on a short basis. Now with a business you are recognized as a business owner. You get rewards and accolades (and some bad reviews).  But in essence it would be the same thing I am doing now with my family.

Photo Courtesy of Matt Banks/ 

I may not have paying customers but there's nobody in the world that I love like my family. It might not bring in income but hopefully it will show results in our children's lives for years to come. I get to live my dream every day and I want to approach my work with the same enthusiasm that I was picturing pouring into a bed and breakfast. Make it beautiful, comfortable, comforting. 

Of course there is much more to it than the simple work. There's no intrinsic value of homemaking above anything else. We could have someone else cook, clean, change diapers, run errands, do laundry, etc. The spiritual aspect of homemaking is what elevates it to God's call on my life. Homemaking is nothing unless my husband and children are pointed to Christ by my work. Unless they serve Him more because I'm here.

The goal is that my presence in my home frees up my husband's time and energy to complete his work and serve at church. My presence in our home allows me the opportunity to teach and train our children. My management should save my husband's money so that we have more to give to church and missions. Our home should be a place where my family can recharge and be pointed to Jesus. 

If we have an atmosphere in our home that points to Jesus I will have to set it. That means my most important priority is my relationship with God. To properly serve God at home I must draw close to Him every day. I am nothing without Jesus and I cannot fulfill my purpose without Jesus. 

This means that the relationships in my home are more important than task lists. Being a cheerful wife is more important than ironed shirts. Consistent discipline of my children is more important than daily chores. Creating memories and managing our home atmosphere is more important than grocery shopping and running errands. Teaching toddlers is more important than doing laundry. Obviously, I believe those other things are important. We love a clean house to live in, clean clothes to wear. We have to cook and go grocery shopping. But I have to remember that those are just means to an end to what I'm really trying to accomplish. 

So when I get discouraged I'm going to remember my bed and breakfast dream. And then I'm going to remember that I'm living it right now. 

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