Home Is ... Defining the Living Art of Home-life (Desperate Chapter 13)

Auguste Renoir

"The wise woman builds her home; the foolish woman with her own hands tears it down." Proverbs 14:1

Today we are on Chapter 13 of Desperate - Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.

I think all mamas are artists. Women have such a gift and talent for making "place" warm, inviting, an environment that says "welcome." In a world where fast food is standard; toys are molded from plastic, relationships are virtual; and accountability little, we must all ask God to reinvigorate our imagination to understand and perceive what He designed and crafted life to be like, so that we may bring not just doctrine, but the tangible reality of Him into the life and ways of our home.

The life of Jesus should be electric--infused with excitement, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, love and excellence of character. Jesus calls his creation to be beautiful, a reflection of His own artistry.

And so we become co-creators---creating with him the reality of His life lived through all the moments of home life. This has become one of my most fulfilling tasks--the building of my home into a sanctuary of all that is excellent about the living, breathing God.

And now after so many years, I have seen the fruit of planning and building on my ideals as so many have found Him here, including my children. And so many have come to understand truth and compassion by just celebrating life here.

As I reviewed this chapter in Desperate on the Art of Life, I realized, it is still a love of mine--and now also of my children, who long to come home to the place where life is the most satisfying, pleasing, fun and peaceful--because it is the place where they were shaped and loved.

From time to time, I would craft purpose statements for myself as I would enter into a new year. Sometimes these would become descriptions of what I thought a family should be. Others, I would write about deeply bonding, loving relationships.

These goal-setting, purpose driven statements gave me a pathway to go forward on in crafting as an artist the beauty I wanted to create in my home.

But, even as a great house or an estate would require a vast and detailed plan--the colors, the interior decor, the garden, the toys that would fill the house, --in order to build it, so it is helpful to write down a vision of what it is you are building in order to be able to build it.

If you can't define it, you will not build it. Here is something I wrote about what I wanted my home to be-and the items to showcase and  and habits and values I would build into the life of my home.

Here is a part of what I wrote. What would you change or how would you define the home you are building?


Helen Allingham

Home is the foundation upon which great civilizations are built. It is the sacred dwelling where souls are forged, humans have great value and children are cherished and marriage is regarded  as holy.

Home is the place where virtue is shaped: minds are fed on great ideas, truth, and beauty, the finest of writing, the clearest of thinking, the food of thoughtfulness and insight are intentionally disseminated and  protected every day.

Home is the place where moral excellence is modeled, learned, practiced, upheld and honored daily; where innocence is allowed to grow, where holiness is prized, and cynicism is kept at bay.

Home is the place where faith is practiced, cherished, embraced, and reflected in the very breath of life throughout all the days lived in fellowship with those who abide there.

Home is the haven of inspiration, where the art of life is expressed and taught. Color is strewn into every corner, delectable food is tasted, art, books, and beauty crafted throughout the scenery of its rooms and walls.

Home is the place where the whispers of God's love are heard regularly, the touch of His hands are given intentionally throughout the day, the words of His encouragement and affirmation pointed to lay the foundation of loving relationships.

Home is the place where stories of heroism, sacrifice, love and redemption are celebrated and embraced and heard, so they can shape the dreams of the souls who live there.

Home is a place of ministry and the gifting and giving of redeeming words, thoughts, actions, and love to all who come inside its doors.

Home ties invisible strings to the hearts of children who live there to a history forged together, to a heritage defined and celebrated, to a calling that is shared with the name.

Home is the bedroom of family, that decides the destiny and definition of the life of future generations.

Home, the place designed by God to be the laboratory of righteousness and divine calling for each one whose life was fearfully and wonderfully made.

What a grand and auspicious work a woman is called to, how significant and far reaching her building encompasses when she understands the breadth of  her work of building generations in this place called home.

How do you picture the art of home life?



How about studying Desperate with a group of friends? You can purchase a copy here!

"As a sleep deprived mom of a 4 year old adjusting to a new preschool and a 16 month old that just learned how to climb, I came across this book in what has probably been the most intense season of my life so far!

I started it cautiously. I wouldn't have been able to handle another cliche' devotional, where every chapter lists another way I'm not trying hard enough.

But this book was full of grace, "We've been there"s, "it gets better"s, and "You're going to make it!"s. It's mix of sound theology and practical tips was just what I needed to make me feel like I'm not only going to make it through this next year, but I might even have what it takes to be successful as a mother to my kids!

I'd recommend this to any mom overwhelmed with young children. It's the perfect blend of encouragement and challenge!"

-Amazon Review