On my day-off from work, I look ahead at the day… the sticky messes, tall laundry piles, empty pantry, and long to-do lists to make home for my family. It is a day that is mundane and yet it is one of the most important I have all week. My resume says I am a Minister to Youth. My paycheck and our daycare bills tell that I am a working mom. And yet, at the heart of it, I am first and foremost a HOMEmaker.
For some, my calling as a HOMEmaker will be perceived as traditional and predictable. Some might assume it to be old school or even a role of gender discrimination. My previous-self would judge my current-self. I would reject this calling for I am a supporter of women’s rights and daughter of the modern age.
Life has a way of changing you. Parenthood has a way of changing you.
My twenties have been spent recognizing the way philosophies, theories, and hypotheticals have held a grip on my mind. I am a child of our culture where a woman’s first instinct is always to judge another woman’s choices regarding career and parenthood. I confess I was one who assumed the role of HOMEmaker to be way of “giving up” of your skills and education.
Once I saw from the outside. Now I see from the inside.
Outside of the home, I saw the actions of laundry, cooking, and cleaning as menial tasks or even oppressive tools. Now, from the inside, I understand these actions for me are merely ways that I help make a HOME for those for whom I have been called to be a good steward. It is not about my gender or what my husband expects of me. These are the spiritual practices I choose to practice.
As Brian McLaren once said in a lecture years ago, we are called to a ministry wider and deeper and grander than what we are paid to do. Or as Barbara Brown Taylor writes in An Altar in the World…
“While my chosen vocation gave me a really good job in the divine work of creation, it remained a subset of a larger vocation, which was the job of loving God and neighbor as myself. Over the years, I have come to think of this as the vocation of becoming fully human.”
Six years later, as the demands at home have increased dramatically, I am embracing my calling as a HOMEmaker. Making a HOME is nothing about mimicking Pinterest or the piles of “Better Homes and Gardens” and “House Beautiful” on my coffee table. It is about Hospitality. It is about Welcome. It is is about Grace. It is about Open Doors in a world full of locked ones.
With fruit snacks, monster trucks, pacies, and stuffed lions,
I am making a HOME for my boys.
With cook-books, grocery runs, and time creating in the kitchen,
I am making a HOME for my friends.
With comfy couches, cookie-dough, and cups of milk,
I am making a HOME for the youth mentor groups who meet every other week.
With fresh sheets, clean floors, and extra coffee mugs,
I am making a HOME for all who visit.
God’s Love is so much bigger than just my vocational calling. God’s Love spills out of the church doors and gets in the car with me. It follows me as I pick up my kids from daycare and I enter into my house. As I create dinner and eat with my family, it fills the room and beckons me to embody the same patience and compassion with those at the table as I do those at church.
When the doorbell rings and we greet our new guest, may my actions and practices become the instruments through which God makes a HOME for whoever God might bring to my doorstep.
And may I be ever mindful of the ways that I am tempted to judge another when looking from the outside. Life has a way of humbling us and God has a way of surprising us.
For this, I pause and I give thanks.