“It was the policy of the good old gentleman to make his children feel that home was the happiest place in the world; and I value this delicious home feeling as one of the choicest gifts a parent can bestow.” – Washington Irving, The Sketch Book

My mom has the spiritual gift of hospitality: the God-given ability to provide food, shelter and fellowship graciously so that people are put at ease and feel cared for, welcomed and comfortable even if the setting or situation is unfamiliar. As noted by Irving, she bestowed the choicest gift to her family.

My dad was her homemaking partner, albeit in a different way. He didn’t prepare fine foods — I don’t recall him ever preparing food for us — nor did he help feather our nest by adding lovely decor. Yet he did create the feeling of home by building team work within the construct of our family farm, providing instruction for life, modeling faith and enjoying time with the people in our home.

My grandparents’ homes were the same: welcoming, comfortable. We were blessed.

It’s in gratitude to these dear people that I share my endeavors of making a home.

You see, the process is never complete. Yes, the housework is never ending, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Homes change. Not simply addresses, but also who lives there … additions and subtractions. Roommates come and go. Marriage. Children. Empty Nest. Boomerang adult children. That’s my story so far; I know it will change again.

What does home mean to you?

Jolene Bouchon’s blog post for Good Houskeeping listed “13 Things That Make a House a Home,” and many of her picks resonated with my own ideas of home:

People you love
Pets
Sounds of togetherness, silence, music
Traditions
Fragrant food baking in the oven
Dings, scratches and flaws
Comfy corners
Collections (books, movies, quirky things)
Family heirlooms
Memories

Home is the place where we hope to find security and significance.

Have you ever been homesick? As a child did you ever happily venture off to stay overnight with a friend and as time passed became lonesome for home, so lonesome that you decided to bail out of the slumber party, called your mom and asked her to bring you back home to sleep?

A friend told me that when we long for home, we actually are feeling a desire God put in our hearts for heaven. That’s where we will experience God’s presence, unconditional love, peace and harmony. We will feel comfortable and safe with the people around us.

So a big part of home for me is taking time to nurture my relationship with God and adding touches that draw me to him: a comfy chair and lamp for reading the Bible and praying. A Bible verse hand-written and propped up by my kitchen sink. An art print with a Bible verse or inspirational quote displayed on the mantle. A cross hung on the wall.

As I continue making my house a home, God is preparing me to be at home with him. You see, homemaking isn’t “woman’s work.” It’s God’s work, too.

Please join me in making a home for ourselves by creating and saving memories, preparing food that blesses others, acknowledging the dings/scratches/flaws of life, reading books to share ideas, cultivating a grateful heart, and celebrating the lover of our souls.

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