As we drove past a cemetery recently, my five-year-old chirped from the back seat, “The fanciest stones are on dead people.”
Too easily we can trundle along the calendar moments, preoccupied with our agendas, difficulties and daily life rituals, and miss the bigger picture. If we don’t have the ultimate view in mind, then we will waste or misdirect our efforts at life because we’re busy obsessing over minutiae when there’s a world to change.
Too many souls walk solemnly resigned toward fancy tombstones, rather than take up the mantle of risk and start living for something more today. When we get outside of the boxes and brainwashing that shame us into peer-pressured paralysis, we find wide open spaces of freedom and hope and beauty. The Spirit opens up to us creative options we never before imagined, because now we are free, whereas before we were too blinded by the crowd, not recognizing that we were slaves to fear.
None of us were designed to be slaves or cogs in a machine; this is not our destiny. If we’ve been excusing the lack of adventure or fruit in our lives, it may be that we have not fully grasped the marvelous reality that we have yet to taste the heart of God, and that we are here for a unique purpose, something that only we were designed to fulfill.
No grid, method, or curriculum will take us to our destiny. God alone can take us there; yet He leads us along narrow paths, though ever under the safe shadow of His wings. Listening to God, trusting in His creative leadership, and applying our own creativity to the journey of family life and homemaking is a part of our destiny! Sterile, un-adaptable approaches to life are a dead end. However, when we are open to the Spirit’s leading, available to try new things, and willing be set apart from the crowd, we open the door to a life filled with vibrancy, joy, freedom and beauty. The creative, God-filled life sets people free from arbitrary limits and narrow thinking.
Following the Call
Interestingly, though many charities, NGOs and churches are working to change the world, I suggest that the primary place to begin changing the world is our own hearts with the immediate overflow of that heart change trickling into our homes. Whether we are raising and investing in physical children, grandchildren, or spiritual children, our work is essential in bringing to fruition the hope of the future.
Here, we will focus specifically on the raising of young children in our homes. This is a topic that can easily be overlooked, in the same way young children are often overlooked. They are small and noisy and awkward, and we sometimes forget that these little ones are actually real people-in-the-bud. That is why it is time to focus in on the children that are abiding in our homes and under our wings at this very moment, and take stock of where we are and where we are going.
It is radical business to be about the work of hope, love, and kindness in an environment steeped in fear and death. It is gutsy, glory-work to be the hands and feet of God in a world that disregards, or at best, misunderstands Him. Yet, by changing the thinking and beliefs of our hearts, we affect change in our homes, and by extension, the world.
We all live in a home, and we all dwell in a physical place on this earth that is familiar, almost so ordinary as to escape our notice. Yet, it is worth reflecting on the state of our homes because they are the nurseries of the nation; today they are the greenhouses, laboratories and equipping centres that impact the future. God told Abraham that,
“Through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have heard and obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:18).
I hope to encourage you to consider the value of a Spirit-filled, creative home, as well as the very practical aspects of your physical space, and the spiritual atmosphere of the place where you live. As homes and families are being mocked, disregarded, ignored and diminished, it is time for a new generation of parents to rise up and take back this sacred trust, cultivating homes for burning hearts. Families are in a fight to survive and thrive, and we are part of the called who will restore what has been lost.
The good news is, that we have already won. The Bible makes it clear that God’s goodness has already conquered fear and darkness and evil. As believers we can rest in God’s finished work, even as we participate in the unfolding story here, within the constraints of time.
Here, I aim to offer a practical reflection of the vision that God’s Word has awakened in my heart over the years as I have washed 10,000 dishes and changed (it seems) as many diapers. I hope to light within you a vision for the profundity of the calling that you are engaged in. Home is paramount, it is both a gift and a stewardship. I want to encourage you to claim your amazing destiny in a realm so remarkable and yet so familiar that we’re almost in danger of missing its magnificence: the place where you dwell.