Perhaps Your Home’s Walls Really Do Talk!

Have you heard the old saying, “If walls could talk”?  If you listen closely and pay enough attention, I think they do!  OK, yes, I do have a pretty vivid imagination, I know.  Most would look at me and say, “Yeah, right…” as they’re clutching their cell phone prepared to call 911 for when I totally lose it.  My first experience in how I know this was an observation that I made with my own kids.  I can remember when they were in high school.  I could pretty much gauge how their lives were going by opening the door to their rooms.  If they were total chaos, I knew I needed to step up the prayers for them.  If it looked like they had tried to put things away a little and you could see a piece of carpet on the floor, I was hopeful that life was getting back to normal for them.

When we sold our home and were looking for a new one, it was important for me to have a home that welcomed people.  I love to entertain and so we looked for a home with entertainment space.  It’s kind of a fancy house in structure, but when I am done with it, I hope to emit warmth and peace within the walls–approachability so to speak.  Have you ever been to someone’s home where they watched every move you made and you were suddenly aware that if you touched something, you might get your hands smacked?  Did you feel welcome?  I doubt it.  I go into homes often where people are losing their home to foreclosure and immediately their home shouts at me, “depression…out of control…brokenness.”  When visiting a chronically ill patient and their family often the home will scream, “I’m so tired, where do we go from here, does anything matter anymore?”  I remember when I was a single mom and had been ill for some time. My house was definitely out of control.  My friends listened to my house and realized I was in crisis mode. This chaos was not normal for me and they knew it.  They scheduled a time and came in to help me put it back together knowing this would help my emotional state to see it clean again as I was recovering from my illness.  It was a daunting task for even them working together.  All of  these homes tell the story even when pride may not have allowed the words to be expressed.  Now that we’re settling into our new home and we are putting our mark on it, I hope that it will someday say to others, “This is a safe place, it’s OK let’s talk about it, let’s get our friends together and have some fun!”

I believe that there is a strong relationship between what is going on in our physical world as it relates to our emotional and spiritual side.  When one component of our being is struggling, they all struggle.   As Christians, we need to be aware that when one part of our being is under attack, we need to guard against it pulling our entire house down so to speak.  I don’t mean in a physical pulling down of your house; rather, a spiritual or emotional pulling down of your being. Maybe you can relate to a time when you were emotionally and spiritually down and your home showed it.  To me, it is a lift in my spirit to simply get a few things in order in my home.  It seems to pick me up emotionally and even spiritually to organize my little piece of the world for some reason. Have you visited a friend lately whose house is out of control?  Perhaps you’ve known them for years and this is just their normal way of housekeeping.  However, if you’re noticing other changes, look deeper.  What is their home saying to you?  Do you need to roll your sleeves up and lend a hand?  Is something dramatically different that tells you they need to talk?  Perhaps their home is saying, “Pray for this family.”

If you take this all literally, you may come visit me today and think wow, she really needs prayer!  My home is basically a construction zone everywhere you look.  But that’s not where I’m going with this.  The whole point of this today is to say, “Look around.  I know you hear what their words are saying, but have you taken the time to listen to what their world is trying to tell you?”  We live in a busy, chaotic time in today’s world.  Often we wouldn’t even know if our friends’ homes were different because we haven’t taken the time to visit with them to begin with.  If that’s the case, now is the time to invite a friend over for coffee or even dinner.  We need to stop living in a superficial world of Christianity.  It’s time we get involved in each others’ lives so that we will be able to recognize a friend in need or a life in crisis.

I am so excited about our new home for a number of reasons.  One reason is for the story behind it.  It was once owned by a local politician who is now facing a jail term for some bad decisions he made during his time in office.  The home sat empty for more than two years and the neighborhood has been abuzz about all of the drama surrounding this home for years.  For this reason, all of the neighbors are curious about what is inside.  You would have thought it was the president that lived here or something!  They’ve heard the stories of how they trashed the house and took most of the fixtures, knobs, and even the kitchen island and countertops!  Since our move, we are making it a point to use this home for God.  Every time a neighbor comes to talk to me or walks by, I invite them in.  I know they want to see what’s going on in here.  I don’t care if it is still a construction zone.  I have relaxed in my fifty years of life and I know that by allowing people to see my home in this way, I am approachable.  I’m just a normal person living within these walls with horrifically ugly wallpaper!  Seriously though, there is something intimate about having someone in your home.  By taking a tour or coming in for tea, they feel like they’re getting to know me better.  They see my surroundings and what makes me happy.  There is so much greater of a connection that happens inside these walls than anything that goes on in small talk out front.  I love the fact my home has drama surrounding it prior to me moving in.  It is the catalyst for us to get to know the neighbors and see what God’s plan for us here might be.  Construction zone or not, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)

What does your house say about you?  When was the last time a friend came to visit?  Do you have a friend that needs your help with their situation?  Take the time to look around and listen to what God is telling you through your surroundings.  Don’t be so busy you pass by a friend without recognizing their pain or suffering.  Seriously, don’t be afraid…invite someone in.  You’ll be glad you did!  Most importantly, go make a difference in your world!  Have a great week!

Luke 10:38 (NKJV)  Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.

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God’s Timing is Always Perfect!

I apologize for the tardiness of my post today.  In the weeks ahead, I may be off schedule a little as we prepare for our move.  Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Well, we got through our inspections on the home we are buying this past weekend and we are still moving full-speed ahead.  Some people would have run when they saw what we saw, but feeling that God has led us to this point; if we are to be obedient we feel we cannot turn back now.  We’ve spent the last couple of years preparing and praying for God to sell our home and then give us the perfect home for us—whatever that might be.  We have had contracts on other homes or at least had our eye on others and the second we were ready to move forward on them, the process was stopped for one reason or another.

Jim and I had a big list of things we wanted in a home but every house up until this one has been lacking in one or two of the things on our list.  We were OK with that though realizing that short of building the perfect house for us, we were not very likely to find everything we wanted.  Keeping this in mind, if it only had a two car garage and not three, we were OK with that.  If the office wasn’t as big as liked, we would make due.  Or, if the location was OK, we could always renovate and make the new home be what we needed it to be.

When Jim and I were both single, we signed up for e-Harmony—an Internet dating site—to help us find the perfect mate.  That is where we actually met.  e-Harmony’s system matches individuals on 29 important qualities of their personality, beliefs, etc.  When you sign-up, you are to make a list of “Must Haves” and “Can’t Stands.”  Their computer supposedly uses your personality test along with those lists to match you up to the perfect person.  Before we met each other, we both dated others on that site and although we had a lot of things in common, they weren’t the perfect match for us.  Had we moved forward with those relationships, we would have been settling for less than what God actually had in store for us.

Well, it appears that the same is happening now in our home purchase.  We have begged God to speed up the process and help us move forward as we desperately wanted to at least get our living space on one floor in case I should begin having my breathing problems again that I was having last year.   Two things we weren’t willing to bend on were the size of our dining room or at least space in which to extend a table at holidays and Jim wanted a walk-in shower big enough that he wasn’t knocking his elbows as he bathed.  Just as the people we dated previously and may have settled for, there were also houses that we could’ve settled for and been OK.

However, I have learned over the years that God is Sovereign.  If I am willing to wait on His timing, He will give me the desires of my heart.   God has had a plan for the last two years for us and while we were getting to where we are today, our future house sat empty waiting on our arrival.  Others have tried to purchase it to no avail as God had a plan for the Kemptons to live there.  Just as Jim highly exceeded my expectations with my e-Harmony experiences, I suspect our new home will do the same.  It not only has a huge dining room for my entire family to sit in one room together at the holidays; but it also has Jim’s walk-in shower–one on the first floor and one in the basement!  Isn’t that how God is?  He doesn’t expect us to pray in faith and patiently wait for Him to answer only to give us something to settle for.  When God is involved and we are willing to wait on His timing and not ours, He blesses us beyond what our minds can conceive.

Does our new home have problems?  Yes.  When we turned the water on during the inspection, water came pouring out from many areas of the plumbing all over the house since it had been empty for the last two years.  However, I consider that a mere distraction from Satan.  In fact, at that point of discovery, we could have chosen to either stay focused on the problems or we could choose to stay focused on where God was at work in our lives.  Truth be known, those are easy fixes and once they are done, we will have a wonderful home.

Many of us pray and pray for something and when we get it, we think oh, it leaks, God couldn’t want this for us.  Or perhaps they think, this answer is too big or too nice.  I really don’t need that or deserve it.  But just as when our loved ones here on earth give us nice gifts, so does our heavenly Father.  In fact, it gives Him great joy when He does.  So if your spouse gave you a wonderful gift and you knew they had all the money in the world to give it to you, would you tell them to take it back?  I doubt it.  So why do we question God?  He wants to richly bless you in all areas of your life.  When have you told God, “I really don’t need that, or I had something much smaller in mind.”  Or when have you been willing to settle for second best because you felt unworthy or didn’t have the faith that God could give you everything on your must have list?

The Bible says, “If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move a mountain.”  Most of us will never understand that concept as we tend to depend more on ourselves than on God most of the time.  Our society tells us to be independent, just make it happen, and find one’s inner strength.  My experience has been that when I am more dependent on God, wait for His timing and pray for the Holy Spirit to be my strength in times of trouble, my socks are blessed right off my feet and I end up with way more than I ever imagined possible.

Yes, my house isn’t perfect.  In fact it is far from perfect with leaking plumbing and other things.  However, I know in my heart that God has put us in this place for this time so whatever lies ahead will be just fine.  I would much rather be in God’s will with the husband and home that He chose for me than to have settled for less and do it my way.

What have you been praying for lately?  Do you have the faith that believes that in God’s time, your prayer will be answered perfectly and according to His will?  Are you prepared for a long wait if need be?  We haven’t closed on the house yet and until we do, I don’t know what tomorrow brings.  However, if this is the gift God has planned for Jim and I, we are moving forward in faith that He will take care of the details.  I pray that whatever is on your mind and heart, God will give you the peace to wait on Him and the grace to accept the answers He gives when He does.

Matthew 17:20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

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