If you’re new to mercyINK or the Home Stories series, I’m so glad you’ve stopped in today to take a peek. The Home Stories are interviews with real women and their stories of making home. It’s a little bit about where they physically dwell, but so much more about what’s beneath the surface, the heart of their home. You can read all the past home stories here.
Today’s home story comes from my amazing, real-life friend and mentor, Tami. Tami teaches me so much about homemaking, for those in our family by blood, but also, even more so, for those outside our family, for the ones on the fringes, the weary wanders.
I hope, no, I know, that her story of home will encourage you. Thank you for welcoming her to mercyink.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family. I grew up in Ohio and moved to the Shenandoah Valley in September 1992. I’m a homemaker and that gives me the freedom to help family members when needed. I will be married 15 years in November to my best friend Derek. I enjoy cooking for family and friends; I also enjoy being a children’s leader through BSF (Bible Study Fellowship, International). It helps me to grow in my relationship with Christ and to see Jesus through the eyes of a child.
What does the word “home” mean to you? Home is a place where you feel most comfortable and safe.
Tell us about some of the places you’ve lived in the past. I grew up in a small town in Ohio and lived in a small house with my mom and sister; my dad’s family lived beside us, my great-grandmother two doors down, and my grandparents one block away. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized the blessing to be able to grow up around so many family members.
Where do you call home now? The Shenandoah Valley is home now and I enjoy being able to see mountains in all directions!
I know you and Derek built your home. If you want, tell us a little about that decision/process. Derek had a lot of land before we married so we knew we would build at some point. We went from an apartment to a duplex and then our house. When talking about building and looking through house plans we always had having children on our mind. We weren’t able to have children; however, God had a bigger plan. If we would have had our own children I don’t believe we would have taken in a young man from Kenya for 3 years, my brother-in-law and his three children for a year, foster children for three years, and a family of 5* and another young man that just needed a roof over their heads for a short time.
What are some things you do to create a home for your family? Stability and love (unconditional I hope).
If walls could talk yours would say… It’s a good thing they don’t talk.. ;-)
What or who inspires you? Godly people who fight the good fight for themselves, family, and strangers.
What is your favorite space in your home and why? The kitchen when the house is full of people and my chair during the morning having coffee and spending quiet time with God.
What are some of your favorite things in your home? The outside of my refrigerator full of pictures of family and friends and my nice soft bed.
If money were no object, what one purchase would you make for your house? Would remodeling be considered a “one purchase?” :) If so, I would like to add two more bedrooms and a bath so when God does send people to us they would have their own space and hopefully feel comfortable.
What do you value most about your home? How God has used this home as a shelter for many.
How would you describe your style in regards to decorating? I went to BHG‘s website and did their style test. I’m a “New” Old World style (comfortable I guess).
Any verse that is particularly meaningful to you in homemaking? When my husband and I were going through infertility my verse became Isaiah 55:8-9:
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways,” declares the Lord. “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”
It took a while to grab a hold of this verse because it hurt deeply not to have children naturally. It has also taken until now to look back and understand this verse. This helps me to understand that homemaking isn’t always “traditional.”
*Editors note: That family of 5? Oh, that would be us, the Mills clan. When it looked like all of a sudden things had fallen through on buying our home back in 2011, Tami called and invited us to stay with her and Derek, as long as we needed. While we knew who Tami was from church, we didn’t know know her, ya know? Really, she was inviting strangers (and a big, loud group of them, at that) to live with her, until… whenever.
That, my friends, is a picture of the body of Christ.
And it’s why really, we were not strangers at all, but sisters, bound by Jesus’ blood.
See? I told you she was fantastic.
Would you like to have your Home Story published here? We’d love to join in your story. View the guest post page for info.
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