homstead happenings,  Musings

a refuge

So much has happened in our home-circle recently, that we are still reeling from it all. The chaos and the turbulence are still present, and we are all paddling hard to keep afloat.

But as I sit here, I realize something.

Our home is a place of healing and peace and rest. It’s a place where hurting hearts come to find comfort; lonely hearts come to find camaraderie; and tender hearts come to find joy. It’s a place where healing can take place and love and laughter will creep into your soul until you, too, are smiling and laughing and talking.

If you are normally a quiet person, well . . . you’d better think again around us. Our family of 12 is hard to be quiet around for long. If you feel awkward, you can be assured that little ones — specifically siblings under the age of 10 — are great at breaking the ice. They introduce the oddest subjects, but it normally works to make a person laugh and smile and relax against the couch cushions.

If you are in our home for any length of time, you will come to know and love and appreciate the little children who will welcome you with joy and draw you in with ease. You will see our family loving and interupting and laughing and disagreeing and squabbling and making up and saying “I’m sorry” and hugging and working through things . . . ’cause that’s what we do.

You need to stay awhile? You just dropped by for a minute? In any case, there will be food. Cookies, brownies, pizza, a fish fry. We’ll offer you a drink: water, sweet tea, homemade kombucha. Down here in the South, there’s always enough for just one more. It’s a tradition — you always fix enough and then some. Because you never know who will drop by.

We love it when people just drop in because they are driving past and want to be here. One guy, after a tough situation, asked to come to our home because it felt like home to him.

We’ve invited many people into our home, and made many memories. There’ve been many impromptu water fights in the dusky evening. There’ve been many debates. The porch has seen many evenings of silent contemplation and thinking deep thoughts aloud. Our driveway has seen many evenings of spur-of-the-moment dances. We’ve played many games, eaten many meals, and even had a campout one New Year’s Eve.

We’ve had friends drop in and ask to borrow our car when their tire went flat, and they were on their way to visit their mother and new baby brother. That’s the kind of hospitality we like: you need it, you can have it. A car? Sure — take ours! :D But better than that is the fact that they were comfortable enough to ask.

But our home is more than that. Much more.

It’s a place where you can come over and just talk, and we’ll listen.
It’s a place where you can forget, for a little while, all the craziness going on in your life.
It’s a place where you can relax and be yourself, without having to keep up appearances.
It’s a place where you can injure us and mock our every belief, yet you come back over and we’ll open the door to you and offer you a place to sit a spell.

You see, my parents have purposed to use our home for God’s glory. They have given the Lord our home, and He continues to use it for His purpose, and it is a beautiful thing.

Our home is a place where it is understood that the truth of God will fill your hearts and His words will be spoken. If you are hurting, my parents will comfort you with scripture. If you need counsel, they will give it directly from God’s word. If you need a place to crash, they’ll soften your landing by encouraging you with Scripture. If you stay for dinner, chances are you’ll be joining us for family Bible study. You stay overnight on a Friday, and you’ll be up at 6:30 with the rest of us to join us in our family book study.

This is the kind of home that I want one day.
This is the kind of atmosphere I want my home to exude.
I want people to be comfortable to walk over to the cabinet and get a drink of water.
I want people to find it easy to ask to talk for a minute.
I want people to love being within the walls of my home.
I want people to feel the presence of Christ within them as they sit down to the dinner table.
I want my home to offer comfort to others, friendship to those who need it, and a listening ear and sympathizing heart, even when unasked for.

This is what my parents have turned our home into. A beacon of light and joy for those tossed about by turbulence.

What brought up these thoughts? the man sitting on our couch, who is going through some difficult times. I’m not sharing anything, but he needs prayer.
Those who have been in our home because they needed something to do, a place to go.
Those people who have been in our home, and stayed for any length of time.
The fellowship we’ve had with like-minded believers around the table.
The many bowls of ice cream we’ve enjoyed while visiting with friends.
The unplanned, unprepared moments of, “let’s invite so-and-so over for dinner . . . ”
The impulsive texts: “Hey, since you’re out this way, why don’t you just stop by . . . “

I love our home. I love the truth that is spoken within these walls, and I love the way the Lord has used it to minister to those who need it.

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I am a 22 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.

2 Comments

  • Jonathan Character

    Kaitlyn, thanks for sharing these thoughts. The power of the Christian family on the world cannot be overstated. Stay faithful and I have faith the Lord will grant your desire.

What are your thoughts?

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