I love my home! It is the first home we ever built, and planned for it to be our forever home. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. We had it built the way we wanted it and it meets our needs, plus some. When I was a kid, my family’s home was the hang-out house on Sunday nights after church. All our friends came over and we just had fun, lots of fun, just hanging out. I remember we had this second-hand couch that had a broke cushion (the cause of many friend fights). Because it was junk, my mom didn’t care if we abused it. My sister would get on the arm of that thing and do all these crazy moves, “The Surfer”, “The Crane,” and “The Skateboard.” We would laugh until we cried and our sides hurt. Mom would usually order a pizza or we would have some off brand doritos. Anybody remember “Bravos” in the early 90’s! My family didn’t have much money, so the feast was never spectacular, but we had love and that’s all a bunch of teenagers needed. We built our home with my childhood in mind. It’s way too much for the three of us, and I am reminded of that every time I clean. But, we wanted to provide a place for our sweet girl’s friends to come hang out and to be able to entertain our church family as well.
As I grow in this missional walk, I am seeing my home in a new light as well. In the missional world, there are 3 major places in our lives: First Place (Home), Second Place (Work) and Third Place (hang-outs). I have come to realize that we built our home to be a third place for someone else and a first place for us. However, could it be a first place for someone with a different last name than us?
My husband is a counselor and pastor. I work with kids everyday. We are helicopter parents. We really don’t trust anyone with our baby because we have seen how lives are destroyed in an instant by others actions. As she grows older, we are trying our best to loosen our reigns and give her a little freedom, but its hard. At the end of the day, her well-being is our responsibility and we have to make sure she is ok. So, to open my home to be a third place to a stranger is a stretch but to open it up as a first place, you have to be kidding me!
I don’t have any problem with “entertaining!” Quite frankly, I love having friends over. I like it when everyone brings yummy food, we sit around and chat. I like using my home as a third place. But my home could be so much more. It could be a first place for another person, we have the room. It could be a place where I prepare something that will be life changing to another person (I’m hoping that this blog will be that one day). It could be the center of my neighborhood. It could definitely be more than the occasional sleep over or super bowl party. If I view my home the way God views it, I would see it as a tool for His ministry. Am I using it that way or am I just using it for me?
My challenge to you today is pray about your home. My family is doing that right now. If I am honest, this is really scary for me. I like being a third place, I like our privacy, I like just the three of us. I am afraid of getting hurt. I am afraid of what it might cost me. But I am a called woman. My family is called to do more. So, we are asking ourselves these hard questions: What if we dedicated our home to ministry rather than just meeting our need for shelter? What would change in our life? Who would come to know the Lord because of it? Who’s life would be changed? As we ask these questions, I have a hunch, that if we take the steps to stretch ourselves in this area, we might find that our lives are changed dramatically for the better. My family would love for you to pray for us on this journey! Let me know your thoughts. Have you ever thought of your home in this way? Share with me your experiences 🙂