For the past twenty-one years, my designated occupation on our tax forms and all official (and unofficial) documents has been “domestic diva.” Given the flashy title, my house should look a lot better than it does, but my fierce and steadfast focus within that job title has been to raise four young men to love God, each other, and the values we cherish as a family. Therefore, I’ve been occupied, primarily, with the who and the why of making a home much more than the how, what and where. And it shows.
In Making It Home, Emily Wierenga asks the question that has played like a steady drum beat in my mind for two decades:
“What if home is more about who you are than what you do?”
She answers her own question with a brilliant road map, leading to a destination where “home is not the house we live in, but the people whose pictures line the walls.” For Emily, home is the place where she “loves people into being,” so in chapters that are measured off with delicious epigraphs like road signs pointing to truth, Emily traces her journey toward that place of peace and identity and purpose.
With two active little boys, a patient husband, and a desperate grasp of the truth that it is God who determines the settings on her compass, Emily chronicles days of doing life and finding Christ to be sufficient in the midst of daily brokenness, generational dysfunction, and an eating disorder that has become so much a part of her story that she mentions it casually, almost like a hairstyle: “I was starving myself when . . .”
Although Emily Wierenga is a published author and founder of a nonprofit, she has not larded her memoir with lists of honors, successes, and the names of famous people she meets for lunch. Making It Home includes vignettes of the train wreck collision between cancer and Christmas, the unflattering admission that mothers have temper tantrums too, and the crushing workload that lands on the open-hearted mum who welcomes foster children into an already full life.
If is from this continual pouring out and the parched desert of dependency that the power of God is most clearly seen.
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” (Isaiah 58:10-12)
These verses from the Old Testament are a timeless reassurance that amidst the Lego obstacle course and the crumbs on the dining room table, in spite of the imperfectly executed birthday parties and the missing library books, mothers are building something important and something that lasts — a path toward home.
This book was provided by BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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