Homemakers are amazing. Stay at home-makers are world-changers. Though we don’t feel like that’s true even on good days, it is true, and I’m reminding you today. I often go through “everything is meaningless” phases and forget the truth that in reality, everything matters.
Our culture is so caught up in what we can achieve through a career, something tangible, something concrete and measurable. But so many times in life, we forget that the things that matter most are the things that we can’t see, can’t measure, and the things that often times go unnoticed.
Growing up was a dream for me when I was at home. My mother had an undeniable conviction to make our home somewhere that her kids and her husband wanted to be. It was to be something beautiful, a special place, a place of refuge. And I can honestly say that she achieved her goal to the fullest (even though she’d never admit it). I had a rough time as a kid; school was not a safe place for me. It was full of teachers who didn’t care, bullies who cared too much, stomach aches, and tears. But when I got off that bus with my brother and sister and we walked down that long country road to our home, I knew I was safe. I knew snack time was coming and that beauty and family would surround me at 3:00, every day. And that matters.
There’s nothing in the world that can replace the strong arms of your dad scooping you up at the end of a long day, the most lovely of mothers singing you to sleep, and siblings who were (and still are) the best co-schemers and adventurers, the truest of friends. Home isn’t about cleanliness or trendiness. It’s the place where family happens; where love, grace, peace, and joy overflow.
My parents made a tough choice (and I’m so glad that they did) partway through my schooling and I changed schools. This is something that I think changed the trajectory of my life forever and for the better. But soon after, my home was no longer just a place for my retreat but also a place where I could offer my friends retreat. I would have parties and sleepovers, but I could also have one-on-one time with my closest friends, and they really became family. My mom set me up for that, and that matters.
Not only did my parents work hard to make my home a haven for me, but they opened it up to others who didn’t have the same privilege that I did. When my brother and sister left for college, we were left with empty rooms. Rather than my mom finally getting the sewing room that she’s always dreamed about, or my dad getting the office that he needed, they sacrificially offered that space to others, to missionaries or those who just needed some time to get back on their feet. It was hard, and sometimes scary, but that matters.
Now that we are all gone, my mom finally got that sewing room, and my dad finally got his office. And you know what? They still have a guest room for anyone who needs it. The influence that these two have created just with their home is undeniable for me. I often wonder if my mom’s hard work— her dedication— is what made me care about my home and about your home so much.
You see, if I can help you make your home a safe place, a refuge or your family, or if you don’t have a family, your friends, or if you don’t have friends, then strangers who will become family and friends—if I can help you make your home a place where they can be welcomed, then this is all worthwhile. Everything you do to show hospitality to others, no matter who they are, matters. So, dear homemakers and stay-at-homers, you matter and what you do matters, you’re changing the world one small life at a time.