New Series for April: Home Improvement

"She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."--Proverbs 31:27

If you've been following along in the blog, you will probably already know that our family is in the midst of a home renovation project. We have moved from our home to a temporary residence and are hopefully halfway through our time here. If you've done one of these remodels before, you know how hectic these times can be. Thankfully, the Lord has been very good to us in providing for our needs during this waiting period. We are, however, looking forward to being back in our own space.

One of the upsides of being out of the home and seeing it completely messy is the (somewhat) exciting thought that when I get back, I'll have a "new" house to start with. I will pretty much have to re-configure my kitchen, pantry, laundry area, master bedroom and bath, spare room (we will have one now!), dining area, play room, living room and girls' bedroom. In fact, when I think about it, every room is going to need to be worked on in some way. There are only two rooms in the house that were completely untouched, but they have become storage for us, so they're a mess too.

As it is spring as well, and after a couple of months of "heavy-duty" series, I thought I would take a look at getting ready for my home again. Think of it as spring cleaning meets home makeover.

As moms, whether we work in the marketplace or in a small homegrown business out of our home office, one of our biggest responsibilities is keeping the home. Even if you hire out help, it is still our responsibility to oversee the work and to make sure it is done well (not necessarily perfect, especially if your "hired help" is 4 years old!).

But homemaking is more than just a clean house. It is about making a house a home. Through the cleaning, the decorating, the organizing, we have the opportunity to create a haven for those we love. For us, when we were showing our house, we wanted that to come through first (but of course, we wanted it to look neat too!).

When we take care of our homes, we manage the affairs of our household and look well to its ways, God can then take our house and turn it into a home. My prayer for our home is that it will not be my idol, but my servant. I pray that it will be a forum for learning, dreaming, creating, laughing. I desire it to be a place of rest and joy for my family and for all who come through our doors. My deepest dream is that no matter where we live, the Lord is Lord and that those who live here and those who visit will know His presence.

This will take time. The writer of Proverbs 31 wasn't kidding when he wrote that she "does not eat the bread of idleness." Even if I don't do the work myself, I need to equip, train, and help my children to care for our home. It takes time to think through the goals and purposes of each living space. It takes time to arrange furniture within the confines of your space so that it enhances your goals. It takes thought to organize your belongings so that they are available for use. But most of all it takes a heart fixed on God to not let these things become our reason for living.

Lest you think that I know the secrets on how to do this, I'll let you in on a bigger secret. I don't. I am not an expert. I didn't go to school for this. I don't even think I'm particularly a neat person. My daughter is much, much neater than me. But I am excited about learning and discovering and trying new things. I like to organize and set up systems, but I am terrible at keeping them up. I am disciplined in so many other areas, but keeping house is not something that comes naturally for me. So if you're in the same boat, I hope we can learn together.

Whenever I start these series, I have a general idea of what I'm envisioning, but with each one, I always leave room for God to direct its final destination. We'll see where He leads us this time. I'm along for the ride too. I am seeing how this blog is becoming a place for me to record my discoveries and thoughts. This series is going to be my journey towards the home that I dream of, the things that I hope to implement, the ideas that I would like to try. I hope it will help you as well as you seek to create a home that is a haven of rest and a place of peace.

I'd love to hear your comments! What are some of your dreams for your home?