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Twenty years ago Steve and I were packing up our belongings to begin a new adventure in Barcelona, Spain. We were bright-eyed, excited, and, to be perfectly candid, a little uneasy. Would we hate it? Would we make friends? Would this new country ever feel like home?
I began praying about our new home-to-be. I prayed that God would give us a home that would be our haven, our safe place when the newness of everything else felt too overwhelming. But I also prayed for something else very specific. I asked God to provide a home with a kitchen that opened into the living room and dining room area, rather than a traditional enclosed kitchen.
I stubbornly persisted in my prayers. I believed because I knew that God cares about our homes.
Does that seem a little finicky?
My reasoning for this specific prayer was that I wanted to be able to serve my new friends in my home. (After all, “Laughter is brightest when food is best.”) But in doing so, I didn’t want to be shut away in the kitchen while everyone else sat together and enjoyed their visit without me.
So I prayed. And I fully believed God would answer this prayer.
Steve kindly said, “Kendra, they just don’t make homes that way in Spain.” He was gently trying to prepare me for disappointment, but I stubbornly persisted in my prayers. I believed because I knew that God cares about our homes.
God Cares About Our Homes
In the book The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (absolutely amazing book!) Corrie tells the story of her sister, Betsie, who was very sick in the concentration camp. Betsie had such a sweet spirit and continued to trust God even in the hardest circumstances. Corrie, like most of us would be, I imagine, didn’t accept their circumstances quite as gracefully and learned a lot from her gentle sister. At one point, Betsie shared with Corrie that God had given her a vision of starting a home after the war to help people who’d been in the camps. Betsie was so excited, saying that the home would have “golden floors of inlaid wood, …beautiful manicured gardens, …a gallery around a central hall.” And to Corrie’s amazement, God provided a home that fit that description exactly! It was the home he had designed just for them.
When I read this story in the months before we moved to Barcelona, I was struck by God’s attention to detail. God, in his great love for his people, cares for their homes as well!
Even in the Bible God encouraged the Israelites exiled in Babylon to build homes and plant gardens (Jeremiah 29). Their well-being was his concern, and their homes provided comfort and safety.
God, in his great love for his people, cares for their homes as well!
God cares about our homes because he cares about us!
At Home in Barcelona
When we arrived in Spain we were put in contact with a friend of the ministry who would help us find a home. The first apartment we looked at was gorgeous! It was quintessentially European in its design. Every moment we lived there we would know that we were living in Barcelona. But it wouldn’t have felt like home. And it didn’t have an open kitchen. We passed.
The second apartment we looked at was described as having an “American style kitchen,” which intrigued me. It was a close walking distance to the home of our good friends and ministry partners. I prayed again and held my breath a little and we went to check it out.
Guess what? The second apartment we looked at in Barcelona (where they “don’t make homes that way”) was exactly what I had prayed for! The kitchen was completely open to the living room and dining room and it was perfect for visiting with friends while baking chocolate chip cookies! That apartment was our happy home for four years in Barcelona.
Do you believe me now? God cares about our homes!
Praying in Our Imperfect Homes
Our home in Barcelona was perfectly God’s provision for us, but it wasn’t perfect. It had a tiny master bedroom; I banged my knee on our bed at least once a week. It had hard tile floors; everything I dropped broke into a million pieces, and you can imagine how terrible that was the day I dropped a jar of honey.
Have you ever thought of doing a prayer walk through your home?
After living in your homes full time for the last nine weeks, in quarantine for the Coronavirus, I know your home feels anything but perfect. The drippy faucet is drippier than ever and the floors never look clean. But your home is God’s provision for you and your family. It is your haven and your hub.
Have you ever thought about doing a prayer walk through your home? You may have prayer walked in your neighborhood or around your church building, but I encourage you to try a prayer walk in your home! Enter the master bedroom and pray for your marriage. Sit in your kids’ rooms and pray for them. Pray in the kitchen and in the living room and on the front porch. See how God will work in your family and in your own heart through your prayers.
I am so thankful for our great and mighty God who cares about the small things in our lives – even our kitchens!
Available now! Subscribe to my blog by e-mail and you will receive a link to my devotional ebooklet, “A Prayer Journey Through Your Home.” This guided prayer workbook includes Bible verses, prayer prompts, and space for journaling your prayers as you take a prayer walk through your own home.