What makes a home


It was the first time my new friend Michelle came over to my house. I opened the door to the three bedroom apartment and she took a deep breath in and smiled. “Wow, it smells like Downy in your house,” she said with a laugh. I felt embarrassed at first, but then I thought of how homey the smell of Downy is. I smiled and thanked her for the compliment. It started with that smell that set the tone of the visit. She was automatically comfortable and with her feet on the couch. Next was my father’s greeting, he smiled and shook her hand; she loved my family instantly.

I shared family photos and funny stories of old friends. It was a short visit, and now I don’t know what she’s up to, but the visit made an impression on me and what my home is for others.

A home is a safe place. A place where you want to kick off your shoes, pick up your feet, and wrap yourself in a cozy blanket. That’s the ideal stance for anyone who’s home. A home is where you feel most relaxed, where you can be yourself and do whatever you want; there’s freedom in that place.

To make a home doesn’t mean to decorate it up to Pinterest standards, but to make it feel warm on the inside. My current home is with my family: parents and three sisters. It’s a crowded place but we do respect each other’s space. Our guests like to sink into our recliner couches (that’s a sense of home to them). We have probably went through three couch sets in our current apartment. Granted, we have moved four times in my lifetime. How many times we’ve moved, however, never really took away the feeling of home to us. We were all together, we were the home.

Even during my four years away from college, I had my own “home away from home” but I could never really call it home. It was a temporary place and it wasn’t always comfortable. It was during those weekend visits home that I was totally relaxed and unafraid. I could actually sleep in and wake up to that warm feeling.

Now, I have my feet placed in two places at once: my current home with my family and my new home with my fiancĂ©. I feel like my heart is split in two, but not in a bad way. I already feel that warm feeling in our new home. I can feel the shifting happening, and so can my family. They’re already missing me even though the wedding day hasn’t happened yet!

I know that I carry that sense of home. Home is not restricted in a building, in a room, or on a street. It’s in us. It is God inside us. It’s the peace we carry and the love we call out.

On the other hand, there are some homes that don’t feel like a home at all. When you walk into that home you can feel the tension and negativity in the air. Either the people who live there are always on the go or don’t treat their home with care; they leave off this scent of discomfort, and guests can feel that. 

Your home is a place of influence.

Whatever you’re welcoming into your home sets the tone of the place. Do you welcome in insecurities, doubt, anxiety, anger, or depression? What is covering your home? What is your tent made of?

I’m the type of person that says hello to you based on your mood. I'm not going to be perky if I see that you have a bad attitude because of something that just happened. Instead I’m going to keep my guard up and quickly leave you alone. Luke 6:38 says “Give, and it will be given to you … For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” What you put out people will give back. 

Set the tone in your home by changing your attitude once you come in. Appreciate every part of it, don’t curse it.

The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish.
— Proverbs 14:1

By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
— Proverbs 24:3-4


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