We have spent three whole nights sleeping in our new home. And it’s finally that; home. More than just a building across the street from my parents with a bunch of selections I’ve made (which by the way, can the selection process be over yet? My brain, you guys… it’s good for nothing anymore. I have exactly zero capacity to make another decision regarding this house).


Now the exhausting exciting part really begins. The part where we stay up too late every single night trying to unpack boxes and organize rooms while the kids are asleep because during their waking hours there is literally no way in Hades I can make progress on anything except slicing their bananas and helping them find that super elusive lego piece. I mean, hypothetically.

I recently read Jen Hatmaker’s book, Of Mess and Moxie, and one of the most beautiful passages she wrote was about opening up your home to others. My whole intention with creating this home was to open it up; to friends, neighbors (all 3 of them), bible studies, whiskey clubs, women’s groups, play dates, parties, moments of celebration and moments of gut wrenching crisis when all you need is a friend and a cup of coffee. I want to be here for it all. I want to have an open door and a hot cup of coffee for every dear friend who needs one.

So back to Jen. She so thoughtfully and earnestly laid it out for me, and I’m so grateful for the timeliness of her words. “Making your home pretty is nice, but making it nourishing is holy. Sister, paint that chair or hang that mirror, sure, but for the love, don’t wait until everything is done before putting on a pot of chili and inviting new friends over for football. Your neighbor wants to belong far more than she wants to be impressed.” And all God’s people said AMEN! JEN HATMAKER FOR PRESIDENT!

So my goal and mantra with this house is centered on community and living life with others. Which, I must admit, is a titch out of my comfort zone. Ok, there’s the zinger. I think I’m an introverted extrovert (which I’ve heard is a thing but have spent exactly zero minutes researching). I love being with people, I don’t mind being in front of others, and I even enjoy a crowded room. But I also love me some jammies, Netflix and foregoing a bra every once in a while, and CAN YOU BLAME ME!? The whole jammie/netflix/no bra part of me functions best when I have a little bit of S P A C E to breathe. Even from my own family I need to give myself a timeout every once in a while (like right this second where I begged Stockton to please lock me into my office for 15 uninterrupted minutes or I might lose what’s left of my mind because I CANNOT UNWRAP ANOTHER GRANOLA BAR FOR SOMEBODY WITHOUT SNAPPING). He recognizes that some solitude is good for my sanity every once in a while.

But I want to find a place where I can have my solitude, engage with my family and always keep an open door at the same time. And here’s my firm belief: I don’t have to try to manufacture any of those things, if I’ve invited the will of God to happen in this home. If I’m communing daily with Him, opening myself up to what HIS plans are for my day and foregoing MY plans, I know I will be able to live in peace and that this place will be exactly what it should be for everyone. Every morning, I want to pray that this space will be welcoming, nourishing and safe. For my family, for my friends, and for my family’s friends. He will create the space I need, and He will bring opportunities for community as well. As long as I say “Lord, you know what you have for my today; Holy Spirit, help me accept the plan and fulfill the mission today” (to paraphrase Dr. Bob).

So let’s get down to that nourishing business. I’ll start with re-sharing a favorite recipe (which seems to be about an annual tradition around here) and you can kick off your September with some nourishment for your belly.

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And remember; my door is always open. Come on in. Don’t mind the mess. Stay a while.


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