Several years ago I met my future daughter-in -law. My son told me about her as soon as he got home from summer camp that year. He had taken a group of students to camp as a youth pastor at his church. There was something so endearing about my son when he described this young woman. My mom antenna immediately went up to catch all the details. This meeting was not by chance-it was two hearts opening wide to embrace a new beginning.
When I met Kayla for the first time, I immediately sensed a tenderness about her as well as a deep sense of who she was. Her family dynamics had changed dramatically due to life circumstances, but peace still reigned. She taught me right away that even though home had changed for her a number of times in recent years she knew what it meant. She showed me that home is who you carry in your heart.
As I searched for Scriptures to support and provide a tangible background to this series on home, I came across these words from Ephesians.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT.
My experience of home is who you carry in your heart stems from the loss of both my parents. But when you hear these words about home, I pray that you do not always think of those people who you have lost. Let’s gain some perspective on those people you carry in your heart.
As I first mentioned, both of my parents take up a prominent place in my heart. But think about those loved ones, who perhaps are in your life, but not geographically in the same location. Home looks like my four brothers who live scattered in different parts of the country. It looks like my sons who are both married – one who lives nearby and the other who moved a bit farther away. Home is also all my dear friends who know me and love me but I don’t see on a regular basis. Home is who you carry in your heart because you first opened your heart to accepting the invitation of allowing Christ in your life.
[Tweet “Home is who you carry in your heart when you accepted Jesus’ invitation to enter your life. “]
If you believe the words in Ephesians, than your idea of home will grow exponentially as you trust in God. I get goosebumps when I read, “your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” My simple, little heart has the capacity to grow roots of God’s love and righteousness as I lay down who I am and trust in who God is.
If home is the place where you feel most like yourself, than these words from Ephesians take it one step further. It is in Christ that we become most fully who He created us to be. When our hearts remain open to receiving His love we are made complete in Him. I’m dancing a little jig right now as I absorb these words. Home is who I carry in my heart because Christ loved me first. He gives us the capacity to grow this love and share it with friends, family and anyone we meet.
Home takes on so many meanings. Today I pray you make room in your heart to carry Christ and your loved ones with you wherever you go.
Whom do you carry in your heart? How has God changed your idea of home?
Thank you for being my people whom I carry in my heart!
Click here and here to catch up any posts you may have missed in my Reimagining Home series.
The beautiful picture graces my daughter-in-law’s home and was created especially for her by Jennifer from StudioJRU.
Kayla and DanielSaveSave
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Such a wonderful way to describe home. It is a place of peace and contentment. I think we will always feel a little restless for home in this world, yet thankfully we have a pointer to our real identity in Christ to experience love while here.
This post brings tears to my eyes, Mary. I love this truth your daughter-in-law learned in the midst of difficulties. Also her beautiful wall hanging. And those verses in Ephesians? Thank you for reminding me of them. We are so blessedly privileged that Christ chooses to make a home in our hearts! His love is beyond measure! I am honored that we are some of the people you carry in your heart. You are in mine as well! Love and hugs!
All of my beautiful readers hold a special place in my heart. Without all of you, my words would just be sitting here on the page. Now they have a place to be set free in other people’s lives.
When I think of all Kayla has learned in her short life and all she is willing to teach others, I too get tears in my eyes. We are indeed blessed to be loved so dearly by Christ. Blessings and hugs to you my special friend!
Hi Mary! Isn’t so true about that ‘Mom radar’? You just have a feeling that this woman is not just another date, or casual friendship. And now she’s your DIL? Wonderful!
As you know, my parents are gone now too, and my family wonders what will become of our closeness. Many out of towner sibs would come in to visit Dad after my Mom died. Now? Well, I guess that remains to be seen. But in the meantime, I like the idea of them living in my heart, and that is their home…and mine too.
May God bless us both in our journey to home, and to the memories in our hearts too.
Yes, with all we do and face as mom’s I am glad God saw fit to give us this radar to help us through. 🙂 My brothers and I are also facing the dilemma of how to keep the family together. We live all over geographically which doesn’t make the situation easier. It sounds like my brothers did the same as your siblings when they visited your dad after your mom was gone. The same thing happened here.
While home can be a physical place, it is a gift to know how God created our hearts for the capacity of loving others even when they are not nearby or physically present. I pray we both keep reaching for and recreating our idea of home so we never lose our sense of family.
What a tender example of how “home” works when we are in Christ, Mary! I love what He is revealing through you in this study. Blessings on your Sabbath, friend.
Thank you June! Learning from special people in my life has always been such a blessing. The fact that my daughter-in-law took me to a new perspective on home is even better.
God is always good to keep restructuring and reforming what I know about Him and my place in the journey. I pray I keep learning until I go to my final home.
Mary, this post is a gift for those of us with lots of loss. I feel God sifting through me, making sure all the junk is cleared out so there’s room for my home. May God bless you and your family today, Julie
Thank you for sharing this piece of you. Loss has hit me hard in the last few years too. But I know that God still calls me to live for Him. Sometimes it’s hard when your heart feels so broken. The beautiful thing is that God makes us whole and shows us we have room for the here and now too. I pray God shows you deep love and leads you into His beautiful wholeness. Thank you for being here.
Love this! “My simple, little heart has the capacity to grow roots of God’s love and righteousness as I lay down who I am and trust in who God is.” Beautiful post.?
Thank you Julie! I am blessed you joined me here today. I really sat in awe thinking how much God loves me as I was writing this post. I pray you feel the strength of God’s love in your own life.
Daughters-in-law are the special gift God gives to boy-mums!
And there’s a resiliency that comes with finding people to love who do not qualify as family in the technical sense, but who function as family and fulfill that role of mutual support and encouragement. Until I got married, “family” for me was mainly a cobbled together assortment of wonderful and much-loved people, so it was a glorious surprise to me when God put me in a family. I love how He works in different ways to accomplish His purposes in our lives, and I’m always blessed by your story, Mary.
Yay for daughters-in-law. They are the daughters I never had. Family looks different for each of us but I love that as rag-tag as yours or my family looks we find that sense of belonging, welcome and home.
I love sharing my story and on some level you always understand as a boy mom and a friend.