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    From House to Home

    January 13, 2006 by Brandy Vencel
    If you’re a stay-at-home mom, then stay at home!

    This was one of the pieces of instruction given during our Keepers at Home time on Tuesday night. The young wives giggled. The context was keeping the family budget, and staying at home (literally staying there) was being considered as a way to save money on gas, plus removing the temptation to spend that one suffers while out visiting the mall or, my personal favorite, Target.

    I’ve been mulling this sentence around a bit in my head {as is a tendency of mine}, and I can’t get away from its wisdom. During the two weeks leading up to our trip to Florida, I was an errand maniac, and poor E. was being dragged about daily. There was so much I had to do to prepare for “Christmas” with local family before we left, the “Christmas” we were sending some of Si’s family in the mail, the “Christmas” we were taking with us to Florida, plus all the odds and ends we needed for the trip.

    This flurry of activity took its toll on our home. Sure, we were able to pull it all together before we left, including leaving clean toilets and sinks behind to greet us upon our return, but I still shudder at the picture of our kitchen island etched in my memory. Clutter everywhere upon it; no room to prepare a meal!

    This was a season and, like all seasons, it came to its end in due time. But I must consider that staying home regularly really is part of the key, not just to saving on gas, but to saving our home from disarray. Like any job one wants to do well, keeping a home requires a significant investment of time. For me, being there helps me see it in the first place. I’m not much of a detail person, and so if I fly past a mess on my way to the garage, it’s unlikely I’d even notice it.

    But more than this, being physically at home helps me ground myself and the children. Filling our days with time at home reinforces to all of us that home is where we belong. If the average waking hour for a child is spent outside the home, they may be tempted to believe that the world out there is where they want to be. As a parent, I must guard their hearts from being wooed by the world.

    Moreover, I am a firm believer that what greets a man at the end of the day communicates to him where he belongs. If I am out all day, and exhausted upon my return, I will not have the energy to give my husband the warm welcome he deserves.

    There really is a difference between the concepts of house and home. My first thought is that a house is something standing empty that a person buys with the intent to make a home. But some people never make a home. They decide to live in a house. So now, I define a house as a drop-off place for all the junk of our lives, kind of like a big, overgrown locker where we toss “stuff” on our way to the next activity. A home is where a family {of 2 or 10–it makes no difference!}, finds a haven from the outside world.

    When one becomes a wife, even before one becomes a mother, whether working or not, one would be wise to stay at home more. Becoming a good wife necessarily requires a pushing aside of any and all feminism in order to build not a career, but rather a life that honors the Lord.

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  • Reply Brandy January 13, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    I think we homebodies really do have it easier when it comes to finding contentment at home. Of course, there are other sins that manage to find us, aren’t there? =)

  • Reply Kristie January 13, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    On that note, I think I’d like to go home now. 5:00 can’t come soon enough. =)

    Thanks for the thought Bran. I definitely have found that I spend less money when I stay at home. But I’ve always loved being home.

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