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No Apologies Necessary: Building Your Home With Purpose

 

No Apologies Necessary: Building Your Home With Purpose

by Cathie Rosemann

 

Help Wanted!  A stepmom who strives to create a home where her husband and children hate to leave in the morning and look forward to coming home at the end of the day.

 

In Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman’s High Calling, she states the following, “If our home is a ministry, shouldn’t that ministry become a passion?  Shouldn’t our feelings and emotions be involved when it comes to the people and place we love?  And shouldn’t our work be done passionately?  Shouldn’t our labors be labors of love?”  The scripture says in Proverbs 14:1 that “Every wise woman builds her house.”  Elizabeth George goes on to say, “When we get up every morning with a fresh prayer for our home in our heart, and a burning passion for building our home in our soul, when we acknowledge the priority, and pledge to better the lives of the people at home by bettering the place of home, and then practice the many tasks that such love requires, in time we master the skills of homemaking.”[1]

 

I have found that in most blended families no two moms keep house the same way.  They each have their own mark on it, good or bad, messy or clean, thorough or not.  This is how it should be (i.e. not the same), because God made each of us different.  While I do believe that a mom, biological or step, has a responsibility to train by example her children in the ways of managing a home, it is not my place nor do I have the right to criticize, compete with, or compare myself to their other home.  After all, in Romans 14:12 were told, “Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God.”  Bottom line, I’m responsible for the upkeep and care of my own home.  Because of this I want our kids, as well as their dad, to find it a respite from the worries and cares of life.  What a privilege this is.

 

I’m not talking a “Better Homes and Gardens” type home here.  I’m talking about, as Gloria Gather says, “a place where rooms are made sweet and ready for fresh experiences that will foster growth and bring peace.”  She goes on to say, “it is important to sanctify the place we call home.”[2]

 

In the early years of our marriage I tried desperately to keep our home just perfect (Better Homes and Garden), always wanting the kids to relish the thought of being there.  Truth be told, my motivation was also one of wanting perfection and order in my own life, perhaps because of my need to accept the fact that a necular family would never be my lot in life.  As years have passed and I’ve learned the art of “chilling out” a little bit (well, actually a lot, if you ask me), I strive not so much for perfection anymore, but simply for cleanliness, comfort, and peace for all who enter.  More than anything, I just want my family to enjoy being there and for our kids to love it so much that they want to share it with their friends when they can.

 

Just two years ago my husband’s middle daughter, Randi, made a decision after 16 years in Lubbock, Texas, to come live with her dad and me.  Then a year ago his son, Aaron, made the same decision after 14 years in Lubbock.  I believe a largely influencing factor in each of their decisions, was what they experienced when they visited our home through the years.

 

A part of me felt somewhat guilty that our children made the choice to leave a home with a mom who loved them.  I worried at times that perhaps subconsciously I’d made our home and our life here too enticing to resist.

 

However, as I examined my own heart, and thought more about it, I soon realized that I was achieving, through the Lord’s help, an environment that welcomed its family home.  This I believe should be the goal of every mother.  And how much greater should this goal be for a stepmother who watches her husband’s children live  between two homes.  What mother wouldn’t want to work at making her home the one place her family enjoyed being.

 

As I write this article one of Randi’s friends just called to see if she was home and ready to be picked  up to go out for the evening.  When I said not just yet, but that she was welcome to hang out with me until Randi got home, the doorbell rang within 15 minutes and in walked four teenagers.  We sat around the living room chatting until Randi came in.  When they arrived, I admit I was a little embarrassed because things weren’t “spotless”.  But the house was straightened, comfortable, and inviting.  That’s all I’m after.  And so I say, “no apologies necessary” that our home is where the children want to come live and bring their friends.  It’s not about me.  It’s simply and profoundly a testimony of the fruit of a stepmom’s labors to build her home.

 

In Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart,” she states the following:

“As God’s women, you and I are blessed with the God-given assignment to weave a tapestry of beauty in our home.  One devotional writer of old saw the noble roles as ‘making home first of all a center of attraction by its order and cleanliness and comfort; then by its harmonies of peace and love, so that no discordant notes may mar the music of it’s joy; and then by … securing the safety of economy and the honor of a wife who ‘weaves’ all into beauty and order at home.’  This is exactly what a woman after God’s own heart would gladly spend her life trying to achieve!  But, as always, we must first adapt His attitude in our heart if we are to act in a way that glorifies Him.” [3]

 


Cathie Rosemann lives in N. Richland Hills, TX with her husband, Matt, and 2 of her 3 stepchildren.  She works full-time in the Marketing Dept. of Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine.  Cathie is also writing the first of several books aimed toward encouraging women in the honor of stepmothering, and facilitates a support group for stepmoms in the mid-cities area of the Metroplex.

 

 



[1] Elizabeth George, A Woman’s High Calling (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2001) pp. 234.

[2] Gloria Gather, excerpted from October 8 of First Light Devotional and Journal for Women

[3] Elizabeth George, A Woman After God’s Own Heart (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1997) pp. 161.

 


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