Embracing imperfection (and calling it “home”)

Missional Mothering

Home is a place where life happens, and life is messy. Fights ensue. Messes splatter across fresh cleaned floors. Laundry piles behind closed doors. And meals are consumed as quickly as possible before the next thing needs to be done. In the disillusioning reality of it all, it’s easy to become discontent and look for solutions in the wrong places: if the house were bigger, if the kitchen were newer, if the furniture weren’t so old, if the kids had less junk. In the midst of doing and living, sometimes it’s even easy to forget what our homes are.

How can I be a keeper of my home if I’ve totally lost the vision for what it is?

I’ll tell you what my home is NOT. It’s not a House Beautiful or Better Homes and Gardens magazine home, where the decor is perfect, the toys have all been contained in cute little hampers, and the children are cleaned up and happy—at least for however long the photo shoot lasts. It’s not a sitcom home where the problems and solutions all wrap up neatly within a half hour drama. It’s not even the picture-perfect blog home, with peaceful smiles and sunlight streaming in. And if any of these were my vision for my home, I’m afraid I would live in utter defeat and hopelessness because these images are not reality.

My home is a place of messy mistakes, sinful people, and dusty furniture. But I do have a vision for my home that embraces all of its imperfection.

  • I want my home to be a place of grace—where we sin and learn forgiveness, where we spill and learn responsibility, where we succeed and learn humility, where we live and learn the purpose of life, where we discover what we cannot do and learn of the One who can.
  • I want my home to be a place for life, a greenhouse of living—a place of nurturing and encouragement, a place of redemption and creating, a place of equipping.
  • I want my home to be a place of sustaining—where we learn to give when we are all spent, where we learn to love when there is nothing left, where we learn we have needs and Who can meet those needs.

It’s a lofty vision, one that could be as impossible to attain as House Beautiful. But here’s the key: it will not be accomplished by what I do as much as by who I am.

My home will not be a place of grace, if I’m not living in the grace I’ve been given. My home will not bring life if my heart and words are not reflecting the Life. My home will not sustain anyone if I am serving out of the limitations of myself instead of out of the abundance of the I Am.

So if the choice comes down to new decor, a cleaning frenzy, or some quiet time alone with God, it’s going to be my vision for what my home is that determines the choices I make. And those choices will define me as much as the home I live in.

2 thoughts on “Embracing imperfection (and calling it “home”)

  1. Thank you. I really needed to hear that message this morning. Since we finished school on May 24th, it has been my goal to get the house deep-cleaned, reorganized……all those things that I seem to get so behind on. It has been busy the past several months…homeschooling, new baby in November, the newborn months :), taking care of 4 little people, church ministry, business, etc….
    Remembering to stay focused on the ONE who gives us strength to do what He has called us to do. I pray for you as well to be encouraged as you care for your little ones and your family.
    I really appreciate your heart and the message you share on here.
    It is encouraging to me to read your posts and know that there are others out there who are doing their best, and although there are struggles, we keep going forward.
    Real life. Real people. Real messes. Thankful for God’s Strength and His grace!
    –Gayla

    • Post Author Tracy

      Yes, Gayla! I’m right there with you, trying to catch up on all that hasn’t gotten done. And of course, the cleaning is important; it’s hard to have a peaceful home with tons of clutter and mess. But on the other hand, the peace in my home has to begin in my own heart. Thanks so much for your encouragement, friend. I will be praying for you, too.

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