There is a saying that is painted on the wall of my old house — the house I just moved out of.
In this house…
We do real.
We do mistakes.
We do I’m sorry.
We do second chances.
We do fun.
My daughter painted those words in the middle of our living room wall a few Christmases ago.
She kept me out of the house for a day and then when I came back, there was wrapping paper taped to the wall.
It took everything in me not to go off on her for putting tape on the wall that was going to later peel off the paint.
On Christmas morning when I pulled off the red and green paper, I teared up.
The saying on the wall was true.
We have not been a perfect family, but I’m so grateful that we can be real with one another.
We have made lots of mistakes and we try not to wait too long before saying “I’m sorry” and give one another a second chance.
And we do fun. Lots and lots of fun.
The days in our house off of the narrow country road have come to a close but I haven’t forgotten the late nights with hot chocolate, the slumber parties in the living room next to the fire place, the races around the circular driveway out front, the summer evenings catching fireflies, the cook outs out back over the fire pit, and the races from one side of the long ranch-style house to the other.
We’ve had fun.
And while I’m sad to leave that house, I thought I’d even be sadder when it was torn down.
That’s right it’s getting torn down.
But I was surprised when I realized that there was now a big hole in the wall of painted words that characterized much of our family personality…
And it didn’t hurt so bad.
Because I was reminded that the house isn’t our home.
Wherever we are together is home.
Wherever we love each other, pray together, and support each other is are home.
Home can be the place where we fail but still be welcomed because we belong, regardless of how we perform.
Home is where we have the gift of time to bear witness to each others lives for years and attest to the fact that we each have grown into who we are.
Home is the place where we cry or where we get angry in the unfiltered-unedited-kind-of-way.
Home is where people see us at our best and also at our worst.
Home is the candles we burn, the foods that we cook and smell, the music that we play.
Home is the blankets we use ’til they are worn with holes, the movies we like to watch, the games we like to play.
Home is the traditions we have, the events we celebrate, and the pain we’ve shared.
Home is us.
Home is where we belong.
And that home is not confined to any house where we might be for a certain period of time.
Seeing the house come apart at the seams also reminds me of something.
I’m reminded that my body is a house.
And that it will not last forever.
I’m reminded that after years have gone by, it will start to break down, have problems, and maybe develop a “hole” or two.
I’m reminded that one day it will be lifeless and empty because my body is just that.
It’s a house.
It is not the home.
Home is me.
It’s my soul.
It’s the crux of who God created me to be when He gave me the gift of life.
And one day, I will change houses.
Because the real me was never designed to stay at this earthly address forever.
So when I look in the mirror and see that my house is not as new as it use to be or that there are few things that need repair, I’m not dismayed.
Because my house is not my home.
Home is the wonderful relationship I have with the God who made me and me learning everyday how to abide in His grace and mercy when I’m at my worst.
It’s knowing that when I’m walking closely with Him I’m at my best.
Home is the prayers I’ve prayed — some that have been answered and other answers for which I’m still awaiting a whisper from heaven.
Home is the peace that I have knowing that God is sovereign. It’s the angst that I feel when I don’t understand what He is doing and why.
Home is how I’ve learned to trust Him even in the middle of discomfort, disappointment, and pain.
Home is me knowing that I’m accepted and even when I screw up big time, He loves me anyway.
Home is me learning that it’s okay to love myself.
It’s me appreciating all that God put in me when He made me “me” and celebrating that creation from an appreciation of the uniqueness of that gift.
Home is learning over time to be comfortable in my own skin because like it or not, it’s the house I own.
Home is knowing that I am more than what I wear, more than what my hair is doing on rainy days, and more than the mistakes I’ve made.
My house — this body I walk around in — it’s not my home.
Home is knowing that where I am…
And wherever He is with me.
But since I’m currently occupying this house…
In this house…
We do real…
because God knows the real me and I’m learning to be more true to the real me each and every day that I live.
We do mistakes….
because I’ve made plenty of them and learned from most of them. God help me to learn from the rest.
We do I’m sorry…
because I’m sorry humbles me, reminds me that I need forgiveness, that I’m not better than anyone else and gives me the ability to live forgiven.
We do second chances…
because without second chances where would I be?
We do fun…
because my God exists in living color. He is creative and brilliant and expressive and extravagant. He gave me a world full of things that bring me joy and it’s my job to look for joy and then to embrace it.
In this house… I am at home.
But it’s not about my house…
I’m home because in Him… I belong.
If you haven’t yet read my devotional over at Proverbs 31 Ministries, you can do so by CLICKING HERE. I pray that it encourages you in your walk with God.
I’ve designed some artwork so that you can have a reminder of the beauty of God’s presence.
In order to receive your free download, simply click on the watermarked image below.