The month of May has been devoted to family – the people we’re traveling most closely with through life. We’ve explored various stages of life including: marriage, motherhood, the empty nest, and caring for aging parents. God has equipped us to venture successfully through each of these stages.
Today, it’s my privilege to introduce you to my friend and fellow writer, Shannon Cochran. She’s a godly gal with lots of wisdom on all things family. Grab a hot cup of your favorite beverage and join me in welcoming Shannon.
Embrace “Home”: : the Place Our Hearts Hold Together
One last look. A final pass through each room, down to the last closet and cupboard. Snapping pictures of a few empty rooms and the lonely tire swing hanging catawampus from the tree, I recall . . . It’s time to go now. Key in hand, I pause to peer through the panes of the huge picture window that welcomed me the first time I entered here 11 years ago. My throat tightens. My eyes well. There’s a time for everything, and today it’s Closing Day on the sale of our very first home.
“Lots of memories here.” He speaks from the driver’s seat.
Maybe he noticed my pause. But really I know the answer is this: our hearts are in sync. We don’t rush away, but my husband of almost 18 years and I choose instead, to remember. To relive a decade of marriage and parenthood we experienced here in this house. But I’m not talking about a brick and mortar structure where people eat, sleep, and live between their coming and going.
Today I’m honored to be here with you to consider this: Marriage and motherhood is God’s avenue to nurture family and create “home.” Before you read the poem I wrote below, I want you to picture your husband and child(ren).
Think of the four walls you call “home.” Yes, there are dirty dishes and monstrous messes there. But I want you to focus on this: the life that happens at home with your people in this most intimate place in your world. Home–it’s the core of your uniquely special sphere of influence. Let’s peek inside it now, okay?
Home: the Place Our Hearts Hold Together
Inside the brick and mortar,
Within the window panes,
Husband and wife share,
Discuss, plan, and dream.
Lovers unite and practice making babies.
Siblings giggle, play, and fight.
Hear bedtime prayers and tickling
And midnight comfort from fire fighters,
“Sounds like a cold, not dry drowning.”
Saturday morning breakfast and
Family trivia games ’round the table.
Early mornings and late nights with
School days, sick babies, sports schedules,
and friends and family visiting.
Famous forts and grand ideas like
Dragging the indoors, outdoors.
“We’re going family camping!”
Joy to the World the Lord has come!
Trim the tree and hang the stockings.
“We’re making ‘Christmas house!'”
At last, summer’s long days arrive in time for
Bike rides and long hikes,
Climbing trees and skinned knees,
Road trips and summer vacation.
But even these lead us back.
Back to the gathering place we belong.
Back to the place we know and are known.
Back to the place where babies are made & grown.
Back to the “soft” landing for hard lessons to learn.
Back to the place our hearts long to return.
Back to our core that’s more than brick and mortar,
We return to the place our hearts hold together–home.
Home life is hard. It’s messy. But it can be memorable and blessed if we press in to God and each other. Let’s explore this a bit further. What does God say about this?
Home is a God-gift
We can take comfort knowing home is a gift . . . from God. Home is about the people. Regardless of the home life we experienced given our home of origin, since we have a heartbeat, we can choose now how we will relate to our spouse, our sprout(s), and all who encounter our family. We can choose differently–better, wiser than how we were raised, if our background did not include a warm home. We can choose to see marriage and motherhood as God’s avenue to nurture people and cultivate “home.”
Scripture teaches this about Home:
God determines the places and times we live
yes He ” . . . hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26b).
God gave the good gift of marriage between husband and wife
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).
God designed oneness in marriage
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
A good wife is a blessing
for “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
Children are a blessing from God
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward” (Psalm 127:3).
So what may we take home after studying these verses?
Cherish your moments and make memories with your husband and your children right now.
Here are a dozen (12) practical ideas how to embrace your “home”:
- Change your mind–change your life! View marriage, motherhood, and family as God does–it’s a gift! Ordinary life with your husband can become exciting when you embrace the creative challenge to appreciate #LittleThings & make it extraordinary!
- Commit to grow better with time–as your character grows better, so does the ripple effect of your positive influence.
- Choose to give and forgive consistently.
- Let yourself love and be loved.
- Listen and share–conversation is two-way.
- Know your spouse and be known by him–marital intimacy can deepen from “I do” till death.
- Discover your child(ren) and encourage them to develop their unique God-gifts/talents.
- Show up to dinner, activities, and church.
- Stake traditions and make memories–you’ll need these for future Alzheimer’s days.
- Hope, dream, believe, be present, and pray with your people.
- Care daily and specifically for the needs of your hubby and child(ren).
- Live, laugh, and love the people you know in the place you call “home” ’cause this is where hearts hold together.
In what way did this post challenge or encourage your perspective on “home”? Share one practical way you will apply these thoughts regarding “home” to your husband and child(ren) this week? Do you have a family member or friend who would be blessed by a refreshed perspective on “home”? If so, then share this post with them now.
Mind if I Pray for You?
Dear Father, thank You for allowing me to share with my new friend here on Maria's blog. Please bless her marriage and family! You are good and Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours. I'm grateful for Your Word that clearly teaches us that marriage, motherhood, and home are a gift. Forgive us for often forgetting this truth. Help us apply these gentle reminders in our special sphere of influence. Thank You for encouraging us to press in to You, to each other, and to cherish the people You have united us with in the most intimate place in our world--home. May we reflect and honor You here! In Jesus' name, Amen.Leave a comment on my wall if this post helped you
More About Shannon
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Shannon Lee Cochran is a Jesus-following wife, mom, writer, and life-giver. She makes her home in Austin, TX where she enjoys homeschooling, healthy cooking, family building, adventure seeking, and memory making with her husband and five children. Shannon’s lifelong pursuit is to ever-become a remarkable woman in God’s eyes, this 21st century. She believes in the power of God-good womanhood to bless, better, and benefit people in a sphere of influence.
Her passion burns to help you discover the timeless model of womanhood that will inspire your heart, anchor your hope, guide your roles, and equip you to grow remarkable, so you will mark your “world” marvelously during your lifetime. Shannon invites you to journey with God, her, and other willing women who want more than mediocrity. Together, we can “Reclaim Virtuous Womanhood the Time Tested Way!”