DAY 21: “Home for the Holidays”

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.

Proverbs 15:13 

When you hear the word “home,” what do you think? What images come to mind?  Is it your current house or apartment? What about your hometown or the house you grew up in?  Do you see pictures of family and friends and the memories attached to them?  Maybe even “home plate” or “home base” as in the games of baseball and tag?

When I was in my twenties, I traveled around the world singing with a band.  I lived out of a suitcase for three long years, which meant I really had a “home” base. We weren’t in one place long enough to have one. We toured the United States and were given an opportunity to audition for a Department of Defense tour, which we won. We had our pick of world regions to tour. When we chose the Caribbean, it meant we got to travel throughout Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, Antigua, and Turks and Caicos. We played concerts for all the servicemen and women — It was such an honor!  “Home” became my fellow band members (of which I was the only female). “Home” became the city or country that we were in and the people we met along the way. At the end of the three-year tour, the band had a meeting to figure out what was next. We all came to the same conclusion… we missed our real homes! We missed having our own place to lay our heads and we missed our families. After returning and staying in Omaha for a while, we eventually parted ways. Our drummer went back to Chicago, our rhythm guitar player moved back to Minnesota, our bass player moved to Florida, and our lead guitarist went back to Chile.  After about three months, I made a new home in Los Angeles. I had some relatives out there, but I made it a point to never miss the holidays back home with my family.

There is something innate about us all that seems to draw us home, especially for the holidays. We all want that warm and fuzzy “Hallmark movie” feeling. The feeling of knowing at the end of the day that everything is going to be ok — to feel part of a family. We were created for relationships. First with God, then with others. Without Him, there is a “God-sized hole” inside us that longs to be filled. We try to fill it with the world, but it can only be filled by knowing Him. When we give our life to Jesus and become His kids, we come home. He fills us with His love, we become whole, and we are forever changed.

As we take on God’s character and His nature, we start to see relatives and people through His eyes.  Maybe crazy Uncle Larry isn’t really crazy… he just needs a little Jesus.  Maybe Aunt Gertrude talks so much because she just needs someone to talk to. As we become more like Him, not only do we come home, but create an atmosphere where others will feel like they are home too.

In the Websters dictionary there are two meanings of the word “home” that really stuck out to me:

  1. “A place where something flourishes.”
  2. “The place where a player is free from attack.”

Our home should be a place where we flourish and feel safe. We should be free from attack as love should be the motivating factor for everything we do.

Jesus said to His disciples: “Make your home in me.” – John 14:23

If we make our home in Jesus, we will flourish. Love, joy, and peace will be the doorposts of our heart.  Our physical home will be a place where people will want to come and stay, and some won’t even know why. It may even open a conversation to talk about Jesus.

This Holiday season, make your home in Jesus. Declare over the doorposts of your house that Love, Joy, and Peace reside there. If the atmosphere starts to change, learn to recognize it and change it back!

Proverbs 15:13 says “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.” Don’t let anything or anyone steal your joy! Fill your heart with so much Jesus that you are changed forever! You will create an atmosphere where everyone will want to come home for the holidays.

Shalom,

Mama Swan