As I write this, I am looking out the window of my new home office at the perfect lawn and beautiful stonework of our new neighbors. Our grass hasn’t come yet (yes, we live in a world where grass is installed on a timeline). We have been in our new build and first home for 48 hours. We are homeowners. Do.not.panic.
I’ve had plenty of feelings about building a home. Mostly excitement and gratitude, but sometimes fear.
I grew up on a farm—am I really the kind of person who lives in a neighborhood-y neighborhood? This is a pretty big house—do we need this much space? This is a pretty nice house—do we deserve it?
While on some level I’m still answering these questions for myself, I’ve been encouraged by these words from my sweet friends at Apse. They describe the symbolism of the Threshold ear jackets (pictured above) like this:
“The Threshold ear jackets resemble the architectural and metaphorical step into another’s home or sanctuary. They are a reminder of the security you offer those whom you encounter and love, and an elegant symbol of your graciousness and power in your warm nature.”
Blessed to be a blessing
If guilt starts to set in, as it sometimes does when you make a big life change, I remember that we are blessed in order to be a blessing. Not for appearances or for status, but to serve others. When God blesses us abundantly, it’s our privilege to let that overflow onto our neighbors. I am reminded of 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
(The word “rich” makes me a little squirmy. And it should. Keep in mind that “the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants.” So even if you are a “broke” college kid eating ramen every night, you are, in fact, rich. If you have the leisure time to read this blog post, you are probably rich. Stop saying you are “poor” because you can’t go shopping for the third time this month and still afford your Barre3 membership. sorrynotsorry.)
Learning to say yes
Throughout our build process, I often imagined how we might be able to open our home to others. Because I am ridiculously selfish, I often struggle to treat or see others the way I believe God might. I’m going out on a limb and guessing I’m not the only one who struggles with this. But I am looking forward to being stretched and saying yes more.
Yes, we’ll host dinner.
Yes, we have a place you can stay.
Yes, we have room.
I’m turning to Romans 15:7 as my inspiration here: “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” And Mark 12:31: “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Whether it’s having a new coworker for dinner or something as life-changing as adoption, welcoming someone in sends a message of love.
As excited as I am to explore our new neighborhood and make our new house a home, I’m just as excited to show others love when they cross our threshold.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
More on Apse
Apse puts their words to work by donating 10% of profits from each sale to one of three non-profits of your choice. Each is working to end sex slavery and violence against women.
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