Living Faithfully Instead of Fancifully in an HGTV World

Someone asked, "Why do you mostly post photos of your house on Instagram?" I'm sure they meant it as a slight, a subtle jab that there's nothing more important to me than the corners of my home. As opposed to, say, selfies in cars and in elevators and chumming with celebrities and new shoes and what we ate for breakfast and whatever hot, exotic place we happen to be now. I'm not opposed to any of those things—the pursuit of joy is good but can come dangerously close to hedonism and not the Christian kind. But that's not why I post photos of my home. 

It's easy to get suckered into HGTV and Pinterest and DIY blogs these days and the temptation is everywhere. And there's something appealing about it all, working hard, changing something from old to new, or old to refinished. I think we humans were made to remake and it's all we've been doing since nearly the beginning of time. I believe in being makers, but it's a perilous close line between being a maker and being a copier, or worse, only ever a daydreamer. I'm not against dreaming, but at some point we have to put our hand to the plow, regardless of how little we have to work with or how little experience we've garnered for ourselves, and we have to make with what we have. 

We don't have to be materialists, or its just as sneaky sister, minimalists. We don't have to have the perfect subway tile or shiplap or whatever design feature is today's thing. We don't need to redecorate with the seasons and fashions. But if we're Christians, we are intended for good work (Eph. 2:10), we are intended for faithfulness (Gal. 5:22), for quiet lives (I Tim. 2:2) and working with our hands (I Thes. 4:11), and we are intended to flourish as we tend and work and keep what God has planted us in (Gen. 2:15). 

Nate counted on his fingers last night. We have lived in five houses since we got married less than two years ago, a grand average of five months in each. Before that, for all my adult years of singleness, I lived in 22 different homes. Some as long as two years, some as short as eight weeks. But I've tried, with all my human skill, to be a homemaker right where God had me with what he gave me in that time. Sometimes it's been plenty. Sometimes it's been lack. Our call is to faithfulness, not fanciness. I have loved all my homes in their own way and that's part of what Instagram is for me, a tool to love what's in front of me and to hopefully teach others to love what's in front of them too. To see the corners. To watch the way the light hits a wall or a floor or a plant. To revel in the beauty of an earthly home knowing it will never completely satisfy because there's a heavenly one ahead, but that it will still satisfy the call on my life to be faithful with little. 

I don't know what that place is for you. Maybe it's not your home, maybe it's your workplace, maybe your co-workers, maybe your children, or maybe their childish mess, maybe your garden, maybe your closet, maybe, even, your breakfast. I say go ahead and delight in it. Prepare the feast of your delight as if the King of glory was coming to share it with you. And then share it with others. They can read or watch or look or judge or not, it's up to them. Just be faithful with your today.

It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money. After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

Matthew 25:14-30 MSG