When we first moved into our current home, I was less than impressed with the overall architecture and aesthetics of the space. It took me a little while to gather my emotions and settle in to the fact that the only way I’d truly be at peace would be to turn lemons into lemonade and start making this place a home. Our home. I knew what God had already placed in my heart for this home. I knew we wanted it to be a place where people felt welcome and accepted. It would be a place that wasn’t only aesthetically pleasing to those who entered but would speak to their weary souls in more ways than one. Those were the things that were important to me, and, on many occasions, God and I talked about it. It was a sincere and earnest prayer of my heart that became a reality as I trusted Him and not the things I chose to bring into the house.
I’ve also learned the hard way that when I choose to do the opposite, it yields nothing but confusion and chaos. What is the point of that unrest, and what price am I willing to pay for peace? To avoid being distracted in this way, I have often had to remind myself of what is amazing about our home; and the answer is never what we sit on or walk on, but the people who fill it.
Sometimes that peace for me has come in the form of choosing to step away from distractions around me like extra social events (as much as I love a good party), overcommitting to hosting events, or volunteering for too many projects with church or the kids’ schools. Sometimes that peace looks like disconnecting from reading things that don’t help invigorate or revive my creative process.
Try taking a moment to evaluate your level of peace, and edit some things in your life that may be sucking the life right out of you. Chances are, without my mentioning a word, you already know what those things are.
Think about Mary and Martha. Give me a woman alive who hasn’t cringed at that story a little. I bet you know it, and the moral of the story: that our time with God is the most important thing. This is what Mary chose.
Jesus even said to Martha:
Martha, Martha… you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. — Luke 10:41-42
Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and make Him her restful and peaceful place for that time.
But again, cringe. Of course, time with God is most important. We know this, but we also know everyone has to eat, so food has to be prepared, dishes and pots and pans need to be washed, and kids have to be cared for. Choosing God over all of the things we have to do isn’t the easiest feat. It’s not easy to break away from all the e-mails, the overtime, the friends, the piles of laundry, the never-ending meal planning, or the shuttling of kids. Life calls, and most times, depending on the season of life, it screams obnoxiously until we answer.
Mary, however, didn’t consider the time that Jesus was there to be an interruption. Instead, it was a time to reflect, relate, and be still, knowing that she could trust God to ensure that the other things that needed to be taken care of would ultimately be handled.
There’s a lot of discussion around this popular Bible story, especially among many women who tend to lean more toward a Martha mentality. (Don’t worry, girls, I am right there with you.)
I tend to concern myself too much with what’s not done in my home or what needs to be done. And I find that the more and more I choose to do that, the softer the voice of God becomes in my life. It then becomes easier and easier to do instead of just be.
In our homes, we are meant to live — no doubt. But there is so much more to how we live in our homes with the people we love than what we do alone.
A Place for Detox
I’d like to think Mary was doing the most needed type of detox and perhaps the best kind of all — detox for her soul. She found it by sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Sometimes this is just what we need. Well, maybe more than sometimes. We need it all the time, but life is fast-paced. Our schedules are weighted by tasks and our brains overloaded by the incomplete and the yet to begin. I don’t think God is as concerned with those things as we tend to become. He wants us, beckons even, to come and sit at His feet for a while. Somehow when we choose that needed thing, everything else seems to melt away and those lists are the least of our concerns. It frees up our souls to soar and be more productive in our days and more purposeful in the way we live. It’s what we were created for, and there’s no peace in this world like it that any temporary fix can give.
I want to encourage you to create a space in your home for sitting at Jesus’ feet.
This should be a space you can’t wait to get away to — somewhere reserved for communing with God and maybe reading your favorite books or whatever you choose to do at that time. I always think I can have quiet time anywhere (and I can if I try hard enough), but when I’m sitting at the kitchen table my mind wanders to the dishes in the sink or the grocery shopping I need to do later. Ditto with the living room and the basket of kids’ toys that need to be put away and the basket of laundry I need to fold.
It’s easier to take the time we need with God when we are intentional about setting the stage to do so.
This spot should be cozy and beautiful — even if it’s just a comfy chair with a side table to hold your Bible and a pretty houseplant. Place the chair toward a lovely view out the window or facing a piece of art you’ve always loved. Make it the spot in the house you long to be, and you’ll find yourself there often. Remember that you’re not striving for perfection here; this is a place where you come to shed that and all the other weights you carry. But it should be a space that fits you and fits you well.
Excerpted with permission from Restoration House by Kennesha Buycks, copyright Kennesha Buycks.
* * *
Very few people feel like their home is perfectly designed, perfectly decluttered, or perfectly ready for guests at any time. It’s challenging to schedule time to be alone and sit at the feet of Jesus when there is so much to do. What spot do you have in your home to ignore the to-do list and just be with Jesus? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear from you!