Purpose-Driven Goals for Our Home

Purpose-Driven Goals for Our Home
This time last year I was on my knees regularly praying for a larger home. We were already tight on space with our family of four in a two bedroom apartment. With the kids growing and baby 3 on the way, we decided we needed to move but couldn't afford much more than we were already paying for rent.

So, I got on my knees and prayed about it. Pretty specifically, I might add. I wanted some sort of porch (for me) and yard space (for the kids), Daniel wanted a garage, and we needed three bedrooms to accommodate our soon-to-be family of five. I even tapped into my inner Katie Davis (author of Kisses from Katie) praying with conviction that as God provided for her, He would do the same for me.

Her experience isn't as fresh in my mind anymore, so don't hold me to the details. Katie had been in Uganda and needed a new place to stay. Originally she wasn't looking for much. Anything with low rent and room to eat and sleep would do. God led her to a space much larger than she needed. Running water, multiple rooms, and even a deal with the landlord for affordable rent.

God blessed her so she could be a blessing to others. Beyond the work she was doing in the community to feed the hungry and help children go to school, over time that home was filled with girls, 13 of whom were adopted as her own daughters.

She is doing an amazing work in Uganda and it's pretty ridiculous that I'd compare my life with hers.

But however different our lives seem, I believe in God's working and presence in America, too. Part of me has longed to abandon all and serve elsewhere where the need is more dire, but that doesn't seem to be my story. My story is one of courageousness at home. Sometimes reluctant and laced with pity-parties, but God is patient.

And in that story God is writing in my life and in our home, I believe He also has a way to bless us that we might be a blessing to others. In a way that brings Him glory.

The start of that was answering my prayers and giving us every last detail on that home wish list. Jesus said "ask and you shall receive." I asked, and we received.

We got everything: garage, front porch and back patio, a little yard space (more than if we ended up with an interior unit), three bedrooms, even a basement, for only $85/month more than our smaller, more limited apartment.

One day I will laugh about how much I mention our tight budget. God has proven it doesn't limit Him. Boy has God blessed us!

Now that the season of moving and having a baby has settled a bit, I'm back on my knees again. This time asking God how He might lead us to be a blessing. To bring Him glory as we live courageously at home. To not be selfish with His love, but recognize our mission in this season.

That's where our home goals come in.

Usually I dream about the white space I want to create by getting rid of stuff, and I think about the simple decor that will help me feel at peace. Nesting in my home is usually all about me. Daniel and the kids don't really seem to care what things look like.

(Okay, I have to give them a little credit. Daniel and Brylee are pretty good at noticing and complimenting when I hang pictures, and they all seem to like when I keep things clean.)

Point is: It's time to not be so selfish with these blessings. If I'm really going to be courageous at home and for my family, then it's time I get prayerful and purposeful about that.

The Spirit is moving. I still don't know all of the details, but it's better that way, isn't it? I think so. It leaves room for the wonder of faith and the glory that is God's when He writes the story.

The pieces that I see come out as goals for our home. Not what to get rid of or what to hang where. But the real purpose of these spaces for our family and for our mission.

Purpose-Driven Home Goals

Ultimately it's about opening our doors to use this home to love others and closing our doors to pursue the meticulous work of training our arrows all for God's glory.

Following are a few ways I see that playing out.

Opening Our Doors...

...for Girls Nights

Some seasons we have lots of these close together, and other seasons they get really spread out. Starting next month I'll be hosting one each month. Hopefully other girls will still host too, but at a minimum I'll be opening our home to the girls monthly. I plan to spend the beginning little bit in a more intentional sharing and praying together, then go into our usual catching up and girl talk.

...for Small Groups

Hosting a small group has been on my mind and actual lists since childhood. Well, the current form has been impressing my conscience at least since Daniel and I got married. And I have yet to act on it. I hesitate knowing who, how, and what. But this seems to be the year to stop hesitating.

...for Feeding Friends and Family

We've got the extended family part kind of figured out. It's so wonderful to live in the same town and for our kids to play with cousins and be close to grandparents. Just like childhood, these happen to be the people always there even if we go a couple weeks between seeing each other. We could get more intentional with our meals (i.e., in our homes rather than at restaurants). And we could also improve on our planning ahead to make space for our friends.

...for Our Neighbors

This one makes me Gulp with a capital g. If girls nights and time with family and friends has its hang-ups, then neighbors are a challenge all their own. These are people who I don't know or barely see or may not have any common interests with. It may not happen this year, but I'm still praying over it. Praying over them. I long to love my literal neighbors no matter how much that downright scares me.

Closing Our Doors...

...for Family Rhythms

Those family dinners where we talk about highs and lows and where we see Jesus working and those bedtime reading times and evening prayers and everything in between. These are the times that are really molding our kids and who they will become. These rhythms are important and are easy to overlook with how routine they become. But they're perfect opportunities for the important conversations and the life-giving words we can speak into their lives. Even the little things about personal hygiene and feeding our bodies well happens in the rhythms.

...for Tough Conversations

It's starting to sink in that what I don't tell my kids, others will. I always wanted to be that mom that stayed on top of "the talks" to the point that it was an ongoing conversation that happened from toddler years until young adulthood and covered all of the important things. Then, my daughter turned 7--when did that happen?! We still try to have the important talks. Having time at home just our family makes room to safely and comfortably have these tough conversations.

...for Rejuvenation

I'm an introvert and need need need quality time at home alone or at least with a little quiet. Even if my kids aren't the same level of introvert, I still want them to know home is always a place to let down, relax, and recoup for whatever is facing them out in the world.

When I focus on these goals and pray about God's leading in and through our home, it really puts the more trivial stuff into perspective. It's no longer such a big deal that I don't love the collage I put over the sofa. It doesn't matter much if things are a little more eclectic than I'd like or if pictures of our home are share-worthy on Pinterest.

What matters is the people being ministered to. Is our kitchen being used to nourish our family daily as well as feed others? Is our living room providing space to rest from a stressful week as well as foster life-giving conversations? Are we holding our home loosely allowing God to use it for His purposes?

That's where I really want to be. At home in God's purpose.


also read:
simplifying home checklist
this world is not my home
courageous at home