Now first, let me be surface with you. The excitment of building a new house is upon us. Every time we go over there, something new has been started or finished, and it's so fun to see the progress. Every time I wander through the framing I picture where furniture will go and what colors I might paint the walls. But even more exciting to me is the thought of "settling down" there. Finally, we will own a home that we actually get to live in for an indefinite amount of time. When I think of all the memories that will be created there, meals cooked and enjoyed, the laughter that will fill the halls, as well as the tears at times I'm sure. The holidays, the friends, the brothers and sisters in Christ that will come and go leaving the sweet fragrence of their love and life each time. It makes me sigh with an unstopable grin just to think about it. But down a little deeper, will this house really be my home? As the old saying goes, "the home is where the heart is" right? Well, if my heart is wrapped up in this house, this physical place I will call home, then it's in the wrong place. Some of you are probably confused by this statement I'm sure, but let me venture a little deeper. As a woman, and maybe just as a part of the make up of my personality too, I am a "homemaker" by nature. I feel that my house and the feeling it gives off when others are there is an expression of myself. I want to create an environment of peace and warmth, good smells, soft cushons and fabrics, good things for the eyes to look at, all the things that make a person want to be there. Now I don't always succeed at creating this environment, especially these days as I adjust to being the mother of two needy children. But the desire is always there, as well as the feeling of failure when I haven't prepared a creatively tasty hot meal or kept the house as clean and neat as I want it to be. But when I look at this list, I realize there is something missing. I may get to spend a mere 70-80 years on this earth, but there is an eternity after that to be lived in heaven. So all logic tells you, 70 years compared to eternity is not what you would call home. It's like calling a hotel room home. So if I truely want to make my house a home, others need to feel like they are in the presence of the Lord when they are there. They need to feel as I do when I visit with friends who are walking closely with Him, like they have breathed a breath of fresh air that makes the air in the outside world seem suddenly stale. They need to feel challenged and inspired and refreshed and loved beyond measure. So while sweet smells and cleanliness and comfort are all important in the efforts of "homemaking", each of them is worth nothing if I am not living my faith in such a way that those around me are feeling blessed and built up. This is a heavy challenge, one I humbly admidt I fail miserably at all the time. But in my own conviction, I am sharing these thoughts and insights with you so that you may be encouraged and challenged as well. If Jesus is our home, let His love and light be the warmth and flame of our homefires. Let us not get trapped in the Martha Stewart mentality of impressing others while hiding our clutter under the beds. Let's be real with each other, share our struggles, and walk alongside each other as we demonstrate the Body of Christ to the world. This is what I'm learning, please share your insights with me as well. Here are some pictures of the progress of our house.