In the home of the wise are fine treasures … (Proverbs 21:20)
I don’t think I’ll ever be rich. Not in the way our culture perceives it.
I don’t have tons of stuff. I don’t even have a nice van. It’s pretty crummy, but that’s okay; I try to keep the bar relatively low in that regard.
But, I am rich.
My house is filled beyond my wildest imagination.
I am exceedingly, abundantly blessed. Because Life lives in my home and heart and soul.
He fills each corner with grace and draws my eyes unto Himself when the road is rough. He reminds me of the bounty He’s placed around my table. He equips me with tools to teach and train. He’s armed me with the Sword of the Spirit.
One day, when my anchor’s forever cast, we’ll sit and look upon the collected treasures of my heart. And, there, I’ll see exquisite Love poured out on me and these children of mine.
My fine treasures.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! (Psalm 103:1)
Author: Melissa Bronson
You can’t do this.
Your job is pathetic.
Look around. This place is a dump.
Your kids don’t listen to you; they’re out of control.
The sink’s full again, or haven’t you noticed? And the little brats just dumped the clothes out of their drawers. On purpose. Yeah, that’s right. You’re really mad right now. Those little jerks. Go yell at them. Let them know how annoying they are. Go ahead—tell them.
Good. Slam the door, too, just for effect.
Where’s your husband? Oh, he’s working late again. Right. And here you are, doing all the work around here. Do you know what he’s working on? Oh, I see. Have you seen the new woman at the office? You haven’t? Wow. Size 2. No, she’s not married. She works out a lot. And she is so smart. It’s unbelievable. Witty. Funny. She’s a riot.
He doesn’t give her a second glance, I’m sure. Why would he?
Oh, don’t worry about that. He respects you for bearing his children. He loves you for who you are. And he knows you’re tired. Exhausted.
It’s fine, I’m sure.
He didn’t text you back? Well, he’s busy.
It would be nice if he helped a little more around here, though, wouldn’t it? I mean, it actually smells in here. Disgusting. You can’t invite anyone over. They’d be grossed out. No, I definitely wouldn’t call her. It’s best to keep these things to yourself. She’ll think you can’t handle it, and that would be embarrassing. Most women find tremendous fulfillment in mothering. They love to decorate, too, but you don’t really have a knack for it. Plus, you don’t have extra money to waste on stuff like that.
If he had a better job, you could at least go shopping. He’s kind of a loser, isn’t he? Yeah, he is. And, he’s kind of fat, too. Don’t you hate it when he throws his T-shirts on the floor? So stupid. Good grief, the basket’s right there. You’d think he could respect you enough, but I guess he just doesn’t get it.
And your kids are so annoying. You’re responsible for them, right?
You’re a terrible mother. A terrible homemaker. A terrible wife.
Why do you even try?
Oh, the lies he feeds us. He’s a sneaky one, that devil. A sneak and a liar. He comes in and sows seed of anger, rebellion, discontent, insecurity. And he comes at just the right time–when we’re beat down enough to believe him. When we’re tired and stretched too thin.
What a jerk.
You know why he does this, right? Because he knows how important our work is. He knows if he can take us down, he takes our family down, too.
I’ve fallen for his lies so many times. And it always happens the same way: Something sets me off, and all of a sudden, I’m yelling at the children, snapping at my husband, and wishing I was anyone else but me and anywhere else but here.
But, grace and mercy and hope and Holy Spirit come and flood my heart and home. And yours, too. Our fulfillment comes from the cross. Our contentment is rooted in Christ Jesus. Our value in Father Whose daughters we are and Whose work we’re doing. Our peace found and filled in knowing He has placed us intentionally in our homes with children and husbands to love and nurture.
Nothing, sisters, is more important. We are doing holy work for the Kingdom. Let’s claim this God-given territory as His and—every day—pray for His protection that we might resist the devil’s wily attacks and command that he flee at once.
This and these are Christ’s. Satan has no business here.
Author: Melissa Bronson
I cleaned my kitchen floor this week for the first time.
We've lived here for two years.
I've swept, run the Wet-Jet, and done a little spot polish, but this was the real deal. On the knees, scrubbing until my wrist went numb. I don't have to tell you about the chocolate milk or maple syrup or the under oven catch-all. It wasn't pretty, but it was real.
As I scrubbed, I thought about the life that's happened in that little room.
I'm glad the floors can't talk. If they could, they'd remind me of the times we let the devil in.
How we've torn one another down in front of the sink. Or the tears I've dropped next to the oven. If the floors could talk, they’d remind me of my failures.
How I've never tried hard enough. Never kept them clean enough. Which, then, naturally leads into a conversation about what kind of mother I am. Not quite good enough.
If they could talk, my floors might speak of the passage of time. How already two years of my life are over. And what, they'd ask, have you accomplished in these two years of life. If we’re any indication, it’s been pretty pathetic.
But, my floors can't talk. And, I'm glad. Because while there were a lot of tough stains, none were too sticky for my Savior. He's washed these two years clean and given shine to a once dull heart. One that's failed. One who let the milk spill and didn’t have the strength to mop it up. My willing Savior whispers joy and points me to the grace that's fallen over these two years. Expensive and expansive, constant grace and mercy that's overflowed and covered. And it's what makes this small room and its floor His territory.
So, I'm on my knees on the kitchen floor. Thanking the Savior for the chocolate milk and maple syrup. For the life that's happened in this little room. And for the Life that's made it all redeemable.
Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If you are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Mark 1:40-41)
Author: Melissa Bronson
“What do you remember about your childhood?" I asked.
Even as I said the words, I thought to myself, You do not want to hear this.
Oh, let them remember it differently than I do, I thought. Please.
The yelling. I yelled too much. I was angry and annoyed and so exhausted all the time. Nobody slept. Exhaustion made me crazy. I skipped pages in books. I said, "In a few minutes, okay?" way too much. My mind wandered when they were telling me things. Important things.
Sometimes, I hid from them. And not because we were playing Hide and Seek.
The bar was too high. My peers had it together.That's what I saw, at least. Their kids were always dressed in matching outfits. I was lucky if my kids were dressed. They were always saying "please" and using plural pronouns. I said things like, "Don't pee in the grass!" And I have girls.
I did not show my children the Fruit of the Spirit like I should have. Love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—fail. I was too tired to read my Bible. Prayers came only in moments of desperation. Dishes piled up. I didn't take them to the park enough, do underdogs, or tell enough stories. I told them, “Every other child in the world is sleeping right now!” I didn't play Candyland and never took them to Disney.
Leave the room quickly. They'll never notice. Must do laundry.
"It was awesome!" she said.
"I don't remember anything," said another.
"Really?" Breath released.
The Lord is faithful. Truly and so abundantly.
Stay the course, sisters! Mothering is hard work, but good and holy work. We are training soldiers of the cross, and we fail. Yes. We, every one of us, fail over and over, but He never fails. He loves them perfectly and in ways we could never. We're called to stay the course, to get up and keep trying, and to rely on Him for strength.
There’s a lot we didn’t do, and many things I didn’t do well. But, we made sheet-forts. Looked at clouds. Picked bunches of daffodils. I let them play in mud, dance in rain, climb trees, and run barefoot. We played charades, picked blueberries. I told stories, sang "Jesus Loves Me," and sometimes read just one more. I comforted, smoothed away tears, held. They were loved deeply and really.
Thank you, Jesus.
And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Author: Melissa Bronson
“I just want to go home,” she said.
Something shifted inside me.
She wants to go home.
It’s not fancy. The carpet’s stained. Someone wrote the word gullible on the bathroom ceiling. It’s still there. Lots of stuff everywhere. Cleanliness hadn’t better be next to godliness because I ain’t on that train, sisters.
If I could pinpoint one thing that’s caused me to sin more than anything else —in word, deed, and thought—it’s probably my house.
I’m the “homemaker.” It’s my job to keep our home pleasant, presentable, and placid. When it’s none of these, I take it personally and shoulder the blame.
Many days, especially when the children were younger, my role felt pretty pathetic. Hours of seemingly empty tasks. Efforts poured with little positive feedback or reinforcement. What’s the point? I’ve said that a lot. I’ve also said this: If I weren’t here, the only difference would be a big pile of laundry and a sink full of dishes.
That’s sad, but it’s honest and a too often thought among mothers.
But, now, she wants to go home.
In reality, making a home involves so much more than folding T-shirts and cleaning plates. But we don’t see the import in the daily-ness. The work is draining. It’s exhausting, and for many of us, the process of creating a home pulls and stretches in very uncomfortable ways.
We’re weak and vulnerable, and the devil knows it. He slinks in and gives us messages we’re ripe to fall for: You’re kind of worthless. Your job is super pathetic.
He’s a liar.
My daughter broke her arm this weekend. Bad break. She needed surgery, pins, and me. She really, truly needed me. And, I thought to myself, this is home making. All of the stuff—the house stuff—is fine and good, but my role as mother is realized when my children need me. There’s no one else who can fill that role. No one’s hand she’d rather squeeze, or voice she’d have whisper, or feet she’d hear coming.
The daily stuff is like laying groundwork: folding laundry while talking about rain, letting them paint after I’d just cleaned the table, reading that book again, or playing in the snow when it’s the last thing on earth I want to do. Walking at her little leg pace when all I wanted to do was run. Letting her crack the eggs and flip pancakes and all those other things that she wouldn’t do as efficiently or well as I’d preferred. But, letting her do it all the same because that’s what mothers do.
All of these moments built into something beautiful.
An irreplaceable relationship.
After a night in the hospital, she wanted to go home. It’s more than appearance. Home is her place, our place, and it’s where God has established our family. He’s set claim over these walls.
Praise Jesus—He has redeemed us and our home despite my selfishness.
Praise Jesus—He’s opened my eyes and heart to the critical importance of the role He has carefully, thoughtfully placed me in.
And Praise Jesus‚—He will continue providing for and nourishing our family, creating fine treasures to do His work in love.
Word of the Day:
In the home of the wise are fine treasures …(Proverbs 21:20)
Prayer: Abba Father, you’ve entrusted us. Trusted us with them. Little people with precious souls. Please cover each mother with Your mercy. In the middle of mundane, grace us with vision of our holy calling. Help us see the unequivocal value in the work You’ve set before us. Strengthen the weary and drive each to the cross where we will find unquenchable fulfillment. Thank You for blessing and filling our homes with Your Precious Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Author: Melissa Bronson