As most of you know we recently relocated to beautiful Colorado. It has been a huge change for our little family. I say little because this move consisted of my only adolescent child, myself and my husband. This move was full of a lot of stress-induced changes. We both left our children back in Oklahoma and the one who resides in Arkansas. Neither one of us has ever lived so far from our children. Yes, they are grown. Yes, some of them have children of their own. It does not make leaving them and all those tiny humans behind any easier. Which is why I am so thankful for Facebook video chats, and Facebook live. However, this was our closest choice to home with my husband’s employer.

We started this journey by putting our stuff in storage for about two and a half weeks, and living the “gypsy” life and making our way around to see all of our kids before we moved. Well, minus the theft part. We then stayed overnight attending a wedding of some sweet friends of ours in Bentonville, Arkansas. The next morning we headed back to Oklahoma, picked up our 20 foot U-Haul, unlocked our storage and loaded all of our material possessions into that 20-foot truck, hooked up a trailer with my husband’s car on it and headed north towards Kansas. Unfortunately, desolate Kansas is the route from Tulsa we take. We always stay overnight in Hayes, Kansas to rest. Therefore we rested up and the next day we finished our last leg of the journey to Colorado. The drive to Colorado is long but beautiful. Well, we get to Colorado, and of course, my husband and I have always had an issue with altitude sickness. It’s no joke. Seriously, It makes you physically unable to do anything strenuous. So, we hired some guys, reputable guys to help unload. They were unable to come the same day so we scheduled for the following day and headed to a hotel. The next morning we arrived at our new home and there were no movers in sight. When my husband contacted them they informed us they were not coming. They didn’t have the decency to contact us, which was aggravating, to say the least. Ugh, we were exhausted, feeling like poo and not ready for this. But, we unloaded it!! Altitude sickness and a reluctant twelve-year-old we got it done. Yes, it took most of the day. But, hey it was done, And we didn’t die.

We had sold the majority of our bigger stuff before moving and needed to replace it. We had the U-haul for a couple of more days so we took advantage of it and found things at garage sales and on the market place. We drove that stinking, gas-guzzling U-haul all over Colorado Springs. But, hey we found what we needed at great prices and perfect condition. Now we’re back to square one. No movers, and now it is a truckload of heavy furniture. With the same altitude sickness and a reluctant twelve-year-old, we did it. Did I mention we went from about a 1600 sq ft one story home to a 3200 sq ft home including the 821 sq ft of a finished basement that now contains mine and my husband’s offices? So, this is a trilevel home. Yes, three sets of stairs. So, tubby one and tubby two accompanied by the altitude sickness, one bad back and one bad shoulder we DID IT!!! It was all in place. Then to top off the fabulous moving experience our landlord who is actually pretty awesome didn’t finish one thing on the list he was supposed to do. So, no garbage disposal, and no upstairs shower. The two most important things on our list. Then the following Monday, Colorado Springs gave us our first snowfall. Yes, May twentieth we got six inches of beautiful snow. I love snow, it’s beautiful and calming. However, the next morning we found half the branches of the big tree out front had fallen and blocked our driveway. So, still not feeling one hundred percent. The tubs family got out there and moved them. I assure you our new neighbors has had plenty of exciting entertainment from our family since we moved in.

Don’t get me wrong it has not been all bad I am just giving you a glimpse into the well planned, thought out move we experienced. I mean my husband has literally had three weeks paid vacation during this move. Which has been totally nice, right? We, of course, vowed to change our diet once we moved and we did. Along with the diet change and of course the abundance of stairs when doing laundry, headed to the offices or even just up to the living room we have all lost weight. Which is a plus, right? Today’s blog isn’t about the calamities in our move, I assure you I am getting to my point.

So, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks, carefully unpacking, rearranging furniture, hanging pictures, and trying to make our new house into a home. I am just about done. Today, I began thinking. I am spending all this time beautifying our house with stuff, in an attempt to make it a home for our family, No, there is nothing wrong with this, at all. But, I wasn’t thinking deeper, more spiritually. I don’t want just a house full of beautiful things, I want a home. A place where my husband can come home from work and be at peace. A place he can be refreshed and refueled. A place where my daughter feels safe, loved and peaceful. As well as any future guest we have. I want a home where love can be felt without question, without hesitation. So, I began thinking about what does the bible say about our houses. How do we make them a home, past all of the materialistic things? One way, it reminded me of the Watermark song Invade

Jesus, come and walk the halls of this house
Tread this place and turn it inside out
With Your mercy…
Jesus, teach us the prayers that open these doors
Until Your light floods in and illuminates these floors
And let Your truth be on our steps and in these rooms
Jesus invade…

The only way to make our house a home is by allowing God to invade our homes. Invade =
occupy, conquer, capture, seize, take (over), annex, win, gain, secure. This is exactly what I want to ensure my house is the home I envision for my loved ones. How do you ask? Joy, order, grace, service, and spiritual discipline.

  • Joy is characteristic of a truly Christian home. Having said this, it’s important to understand that joy and happiness are not necessarily the same thing. Happiness is a result of what happens to us. Joy has deeper roots. Every marriage and every family will experience trials and hardships of various kinds, but there is no circumstance that can rob us of our joy if we know that the key to our present welfare and future destiny lies in Christ alone.
  • A Christian home is orderly. As the apostle, Paul says, “God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). In an important sense, this home is guided by Thoreau’s famous dictum: “Simplify, simplify, simplify!” It is purposely not in chaos. The tyranny and bedlam of the world are required to stay outside. The members of the household regularly review everything that’s allowed in. Should it stay? Does it build up the family? Does it encourage people to value one another over things?
  • A Christ-centered home should be marked by grace. It should be a safe place to mess up. Family members need the ointment of grace applied to the wounds of their hearts. They need to remember that love, not perfection, is the goal. There’s enough hostility, judgment, sarcasm, biting humor, and antagonism out in the world. Home should be a retreat where the hurting can find comfort, rest and healing.
  • A Christian home is a place of service. Its atmosphere is tempered and flavored with acts of kindness, respect, humility, and love. This is where husbands and wives discover that serving each other in Christ is primary; that service to others in the outside world is built upon an attitude of selflessness at home; and that all of life, including the mundane duties of laundry, housekeeping, and lawn-mowing, can be sacred.
  • A Christ-centered home is a place where the spiritual disciplines are practiced. It provides an environment where every member of the family learns how to live by studying the Scriptures, praying, meditating on God’s Word, and spending time alone in the presence of the Lord.
  • A Christian home is based on God’s purposes for every member of the household. It’s a place where the family’s goals are founded upon His values and where the corporate vision of the future is consistent with His plan. Developing a family “Mission Statement” can be a wonderful place to start crafting a genuinely Christ-centered home. The guiding principles embodied in this document should be flexible but consistent. From beginning to end, they should reflect your eternal focus and express your deep hope of seeing Jesus face to face one day. Borrowed from Building a Christ-centered family (Focus on the Family)

Proverbs 24:3 it says
through wisdom is a house built, and by understanding it is established:

After all the chaos had died down, everything unpacked, furniture placed and everything hung. I want to focus on a deeper meaning of moving into and decorating a house to turn it into a home. I want the people who live in as well as enter my home feeling a peaceful Christ-like love, an ambiance of freedom, grace, and harmony. I want them to have no doubt who is the foundation of our home. So, the most important lesson in my move wasn’t the 101 things that can go wrong. It wasn’t the top 10 symptoms of altitude sickness. It wasn’t 100 ways to have a peaceful transition to a new state. It wasn’t who to hire to move your stuff. It was what is my focus as the foundation of my home.

Be blessed, Hollie McCalip