Inspired by Beautiful Things

I am inspired by beautiful things… I love design, fashion, nature, art, beauty – it’s a big part of who I am. When I first became a Christian, I thought that meant I was shallow and that it was unimportant in God’s kingdom, but God has shown me that beauty comes from Him, it is a part of Him, and as His child, this is part of what I have inherited from Him – a love for the beautiful. God didn’t just do functional – God creates beautifully. Looking at the natural world, from landscapes to bugs, beauty is intentional in His creation.

I look for, appreciate, and am inspired by intentional beauty in the little and the big things, particularly in the home. I do not have an insta-worthy perfect home with the latest fashions and trends. I have a home that is crafted by love – love of the people who live there, love of beauty and all under the love of Jesus.

The Fashion of Homemaking

I am a homemaker. It’s not really a term used very often in the UK. Women are stay-at-home mothers, working mothers, career women, but I rarely hear the term homemaker or housewife to describe a woman’s role or identity positively. The term housewife or homemaker isn’t really seen as an occupation anymore. It has fallen out of fashion from today’s culture in terms of value and worth. It’s either grouped under stay-at-home mother or household chores to be divided and shared amongst the home dwellers.

To me, a homemaker can be working or not, married or not, children of any age or none at all. A Homemaker is the person in charge – the manager of the household and everything connected to the running of the household – whether their home is owned or rented. The homemaker loves and cares for the home – the homemaker sets the tone of the home – it’s a powerful role. I prefer homemaker to housewife as I’m married to my husband, not the house, and I create/make the life at home. If homemaking is approached as a chore, begrudgingly, or a burden, the home will reflect this. If it’s seen as ‘just’ cleaning and tidying up, then the beauty and the heart will be missing whilst functional. When homemaking is seen as creating the heart of your home, it opens such possibilities…

How do you and your family want to feel when they come home? How do you want your guests to feel when they enter and leave your home? What does your home say about you and your family? Most importantly, does it reflect your relationship with God?

Creating a home – a sanctuary from the outside world, workplaces, or educational places. A home is where you can relax, be yourself, be accepted, fill up your tank, create happy memories, share the ups and downs of life, have fun, welcome guests, a place of peace…This doesn’t happen by chance; this happens by being intentional; it happens by working in the home.

As a homemaker I can create opportunities to celebrate, create memories, to go the extra mile – it’s a case of viewing it as my work, my mission, my opportunity to show Jesus in my every day, serving my family with thanksgiving, as I am working for God. This work can at times feel bleurgh, whilst I’m passionate about homemaking, it’s not because I love chores – endless washing, tidying, mundane cleaning, all manner of thankless tasks, so I find it helps to remember your why – your calling, your mission statement on the home.

A heart for the home - Guest blog at The Hope table, a UK based blog for Christian women
A heart for the home - Guest blog at The Hope table, a UK based blog for Christian women

Motivation for a Home of Order

In Titus 2:5, women are instructed (among other things) to be busy at home – Our homes require work. It’s important work – more than it’s given credit for. My husband has a demanding job. We have 2 children with autism, and life can be tough for them and their 2 neurotypical siblings, and for us, parenting them. Its important that our home is functional, restful and peace-filled. We all have different needs and ways of how this looks.

Homemaking lends itself to many different personalities. I like using my creative gifts to decorate my home. I love choosing colour schemes and pieces. I love sitting in the garden in summer, looking at the plants and flowers. I like to have friends and wider family over to visit. We have 4 children, so I like things to be organised and efficient. I like my home to be ordered. This doesn’t just happen – to enjoy the rewards, the work must be done.

The Calling of Creating a Home

The repetitive chores all have purpose. They are important in creating a home. All jobs have tasks we enjoy more than others. This is true of homemaking too. When I find motivation lacking, I enjoy watching Instagram stories of others cleaning – it motivates me, and I can learn about new methods/products. I have read many articles, magazines, books to improve my skills. A new cleaning product motivates me to clean, as I try it out. Discover what excites you, try out new things as you find out what works best for you. There are lots of ways to improve your skills around the home from courses at a local college to online resources. It’s only dull and unfulfilling if you view it without purpose, if you look at it as empty mundane tasks, it can be as interesting and fun as you want it to be.

The secular world may translate the heart of the home into being the latest home trends to create the perfect home we all crave. There are so many home accounts and articles on trying to create a perfect looking home, but that totally misses the point of what homemaking is – it’s the heart and purpose that makes it a home, rather than a building design or showroom. Also, for you, your husband, and family it maybe more important to spend your efforts in the kitchen, or the garden, instead of décor, tidiness or maintaining top hygiene level cleanliness. Maybe money-saving or being eco-friendly is your priority. I love how each home can reflect different personalities, choices, and visions.

A heart for the home - Guest blog at The Hope table, a UK based blog for Christian women

A homemaker doesn’t have to do all the tasks. The woman of Proverbs 31 didn’t take on all the household roles; she managed them. A manager doesn’t do all the tasks, some are delegated, outsourced, and the manager will focus on the needs of the business they are running – so focus on the needs of your household, know your priorities. Different seasons will require different priorities, and your home will look/operate differently, that’s fine. You do not serve the home – it’s there to serve you and your family’s needs.

As I am wired to beauty, it would be easy for me to compare my home to others and be left found wanting, wanting more, wanting bigger, wanting whatever… so I feel it’s important to accept this is a weakness I have, know your own areas of weaknesses, and seek accountability so that it does not breed discontentment within you. When I feel myself heading this way, I must remember that I prayed for our current home and God answered, to be thankful for the provision of our home, to remember why I love the building of our home but that the heart of our home, is not the décor, it’s God. I have an important part to play in making our home, I could complain about all I don’t have and create that negative atmosphere, or I can choose to be thankful for what I do have, to cherish those who live here, to show love and service in my every day – that is more important than wanting all the stuff that eventually perishes – to honour God and my family, in my calling of creating a home.

Written by Dani James,

wife and mother of 4 boys – 2 with autism.

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