Warm Fuzzies

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner | 07.13.09
Twitter: @KimberlyWagner7

16 comments

Few comforts compare to the pleasure of slipping between freshly laundered sheets after a long trip. A room prepared with simple touches of beauty—a vase of wildflowers, a snuggly bed throw, a bedside lamp for late-night reading—communicates love. In the great scheme of eternal pursuits, do niceties like these really matter? Yes.front porch light

Giving attention to your home is close to the heart of God. Some of the most comforting words in Scripture, quoted often as the closing word at funeral services, are found in Jesus' upper-room discourse in John 14:1–4. The promise of a home that He is preparing for us consoles us with thoughts of safety, a place of rest, beauty, and order. The personal word "home" provides us with a more tangible reality as we consider leaving this earth for the eternal realm. For many, the word "home" ushers in warm and familiar memories that convey security and comfort.

Just as Jesus' promise of preparing a home conveys loving care to us, so will our earthly "home preparation" communicate love to our families. Just as His home preparation conveys a sense of security, expectancy of good things, care, and consideration for us, so our loved ones will know they are valued by our devotion to home life.

The porch light left burning for the last family member to arrive home communicates that you were thinking about him and cared enough to light his way to the front door. Rising early to prepare your family's breakfast conveys concern for their well-being. Late-night vigils at the bedside of a sick child assures him that he is loved. Fresh flowers and a pretty place setting on the dinner table adds beauty and lets your guests know they are special. This kind of "home preparation" isn't financially expensive, but it does require time, thought, and planning.

Evaluate your devotion to the care of your home. Do family members fear bringing unexpected guests to your home because they never know what its condition will be? How does your level of commitment to your home convey love and security for your family?

Please share some examples of things you do to bless family members or visitors to your home.

Topics: Homefront

Comments

  1. Something I do throughout the day is to just keep the house picked up rather than letting things pile up. It isn't spic and span but comfortable. If unexpected guests come to the door, and they do, we have four older children who always bring their friends home, I don't fret over what the house looks like because it is in order.
    A funny thing happened several years ago. Our son, who invited two of his friends over. I had just pulled a pot roast out of the oven for the next day's meal, left the kitchen for 5 minutes, and when I came back it was gone! Did I fret? No, because I knew these boys rarely got a home cooked meal. God had prepared my heart to welcome my son's friends, and was able to laugh. It really does come down to your heart, and giving as Christ always gives to us. I think of a book on this subject I read many years ago, open heart open home.
    When my mom-in-love comes to visit, I have fresh towels, a nice body soap, and her favorite cookies waiting on her bed for her when she comes. Nothing expensive but want to let her know how glad I am she is visiting. Sometimes a small vase of flowers on her table too. I could go on forever. :)
    www.jodylynne.blogspot.com
    posted by Jody
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 10:47 am
  2. My teenage son usually calls me a half-hour before bringing a group of friends home. It gives me time to do a quick pick-up and then I am ready to greet his friends as they come in.
    I let them have their space but also let them know that I am available to them.
    posted by Carol Van Der Woude
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm
  3. Lately, I taught myself to make turkey scrapple, a traditional recipe from Pennsylvania that has always reminded me of home and family since my grandparents always fixed it for us. (Grandpa still does, at age 96.) I'm still on my learning curve after making 3 batches, but it's getting better, thanks to lots of advice from one of my mom's cousins. My kids really appreciate the effort. This morning one of my sons, who is often resistant to me, kept patting me on the back and hugging me and telling me I was a good mommy and thanking me for making scrapple. One of my teen daughters smelled it cooking and said, "YAY!" I think heritage cooking is not just about the taste, but about the emotional nurture. I wrote about some of this here: http://virginiaknowles.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-scrapple-experiment-its-more-than.html

    I sent my blog post to some of my relatives from this edge of the family tree. It stirred up a lot of friendly conversation about warm memories of fixing and/or eating scrapple. I would encourage you to ask your extended family members about special recipes. This kind of conversation might warm them up to talking about spiritual things as well.
    http://www.virginiaknowles.blogspot.com
    posted by Virginia Knowles
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 1:47 pm
  4. I try to keep the house picked up. We eat dinner with classical music in the background. During the evening, we don't use the overhead lights unless we need them. Instead we have lamps on, which gives a cozier feel. I also keep a basket of comfy throws in the living room, so we can wrap up any time. We also make an effort to eat Sunday dinners on our good china.

    We don't have many guests, but I find that making the effort just for my husband and daughter goes a long way, too. I don't want them to feel that I only make things special for guests...they are the most important people in my life & I want to show that.
    http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com
    posted by Melissa
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm
  5. Ladies,
    I love these practical ideas!!! Very inspiring! Thank you!
    posted by Leslie
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 3:58 pm
  6. I had a friend -- a missionary on furlough whom I haven't seen in two years -- call this afternoon to ask if she could come over within a half hour for a short visit. What a delight! I knew I didn't have time to bake, but I sliced some fresh peaches and nectarines and my daughter served them to us in the living room. This was easy hospitality, and no fuss while we enjoyed our conversation. Later, I sliced more fruit to add to what was left over and made a double batch of quick cobbler for dessert and tomorrow's breakfast. The recipe in our church cookbook is so easy to remember that I won't have to look it up again:

    1 cup self-rising flour
    1 cup milk
    1 cup sugar
    1 stick butter
    1 can of pie filling, or sufficient fresh fruit

    Mix first four ingredients, pour into greased cake pans (I used disposable pie tins) and top with the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

    These are staple ingredients that most of us have on hand all of the time. That's what makes it such a good pick for short-notice guests or for a family dessert that's easy enough for your kids to make.
    www.VirginiaKnowles.blogspot.com
    posted by Virginia Knowles
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm
  7. We just finished a Bible Study called, "A Woman After God's Own Heart," by Elizabeth George. I am the Pastor's wife of our church (one of two) and it was such a wonderful and practical study on howto run our homes and prioritize our lives. I would recommend it to anyone.

    I have two girls, all grown up now, but they love coming up North to our home....always telling me how warm and welcome it is....I try to have their favorite meals when they come, homemade bread, etc.....all food made with all my love in it....and it seems that the love comes right back to me....
    God has been so gracious to us in giving us these wonderful women. Hopefully, as they have children in the future they will follow my example of putting lots of love into whatever they do.

    Thanks for this blog, I enjoy it so very much
    posted by Pati Knappen
    on Monday, July 13, 2009 at 10:01 pm
  8. Dear Jody,

    Thanks for sharing! I loved your roast beef story -- what a testimony of true womanhood! Only a loving mother could laugh at an entire roast being consumed by her son and his friends! Cute story.
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 3:47 pm
  9. Dear Carol,

    Isn't it a blessing to have a teen-age son who loves to hang out with his friends at home? So glad to hear you've provided that kind of welcoming environment. Keeping an open door of hospitality for these teens will provide many opportunities to demonstrate Christ's love.

    Thanks for sharing!
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm
  10. Virginia,

    Thank you so much for giving your blog address, so I could discover what turkey scrapple is. I had never even heard of it before, it sounds delicious!

    I also appreciate your simple recipe for quick cobbler -- how helpful!

    I enjoyed checking out your website. How about including our site on your blog roll of favorite links?

    Thanks for sharing!
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm
  11. Melissa,

    Thanks for sharing so many practical tips for making the home more comfy. I loved your insight on making special effort for those who live in your home, not just company.

    I enjoy visiting your blog site frequently.
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm
  12. Thanks for sharing Pati,

    I agree, Elizabeth George's books and studies are inspiring and helpful. It's encouraging to hear how you've impacted your daughters.

    Thanks for being a living example of a true woman!
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm
  13. I am always so inspired to read what other women are doing in their homes. Thanks everyone for sharing!!

    I am busy doing the 30 day true woman makeover challenge- and CHALLENGE it has been for me. I am suddenly aware that I have not been such a hospitable person, I am realising that I have placed everything and everyone before my family etc. It really has been an enlightening experience for me.

    I also realise that I have a beautiful home, (praise the Lord!)however, I have failed to convey my love to my children and husband through the small touches- throws in the living room to snuggle when it gets cold etc.

    I read the story about the roast that the young boy polished off with his friends and I just love how Jody responded- I hate to think what I would have done a month ago had this happened to me!!! I know now, I would respond differently- thank God for your teachings.

    Thank you for your input ladies, you dont know what an impact you are making in lives thousands of kilometres away from you.

    I have started a women's network where I share with a group of about 10 ladies info that I get from the ROH site. In Africa, in our very small town many still don't have internet access.

    Thank you again for what you are doing to change lives!!
    posted by Caroline D
    on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 10:39 pm
  14. Caroline,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I'm thankful to hear how God is at work in your life and the transformation that's occurring in your life as you practically apply the truths you're learning from God's Word and from the resources on this website.

    How exciting to hear about what you're doing with the ladies in Africa! By sharing with them what you're learning and passing on the lessons from this website -- you are fulfilling the role of a Titus 2 woman in their lives.

    Please give us updates as you can to let us know how that endeavor is going and how we can pray for you. It will be exciting to see how these women respond.

    Although we're sending it from across the world . . . here is a big hug to you for giving of yourself to the women in your village that would otherwise be unable to access these articles! Thanks for being a True Woman in Africa!
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm
  15. Thanks Kim. Let me give you a brief update. One lady shared last week, how she LOATHED having people over. She invited friends of hers over for lunch (they were shocked that she even invited them!!) Anyway to cut a really long, hilarious story short, her friends commented on how warm her home was... all because of the advice shared from all the ladies who write in ... thank you!!

    I could tell you so many stories... I could have you rolling on the floor in laughter, even crying for joy at the things that are happening her- I just dont want to bore you all.

    I would love to put together a DVD and mail it off to you. Let me see if we can get that right.

    Keep us in your prayers. We love you and thnak God for your empowering site.

    A huge hug from us to you!!
    posted by Caroline
    on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 4:38 am
  16. Wow, Caroline how encouraging!

    Please send a DVD!!! I would love to see!

    A huge hug from all of us at TW to all of you in South Africa!
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

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