When my husband, John, and I decided it was time to build our forever home on the family farm, we needed to determine its location. Since there are over 240 acres and the only buildings there at that time were his parents’ house and a few barns, we had a little bit of exploring to do. The property is divided in two by a winding road and John, from the time he was very young, knew which side of that road he wanted his home. But we still had a good bit of narrowing down to do.
Toward the end of the property line there are 3 small lakes surrounded by acres of pasture and a grove of trees that lead back to a meadow. On the upper side of these lakes there’s a tree line denoting where the land had been cleared years ago to make way for planting. Except, there was a grand tree out from the wooded area that stood alone in the field. I imagined its magnificence prevented someone from cutting it down all those years ago.
John and I both felt drawn to that beautiful old oak and decided it should anchor the right end of our house, giving plenty of shade against the afternoon southern sun.
So we began construction, excitement growing as each new phase was completed on our home.
Late one afternoon John was at the house wiring in light fixtures when a shotgun of lightening landed right outside our kitchen window—directly in the center of that majestic old tree, splitting it in two. We had no choice but to take it down.
The focal point of our property was gone.
But, of course, we continued on with the house. We were disappointed to know that old tree wouldn’t be greeting us when we returned home each evening. Nevertheless, we knew this was the plot of land that called us to build upon it. The land where my husband’s ancestors took root in this place called America.
The fact still amazes me. Not many Americans can trace their family history back to the late 1600’s. My mother-in-law was entrusted with numerous original Nash family documents by her mother, to whose family the land was originally given. Although most of the property had been sold or parceled out over a period of more than 200 years, my mother-in-law’s dad, Pappy, was determined to acquire as much of the original land grant as he was able to afford.
Pappy used the land where our house sits to cultivate a cotton field. It was a great place for our children to grow up and learn their heritage—entwining their young lives on the very land where part of their history began. My children, especially my son, are fascinated with the relics and stories passed down through generations, understanding they carry on the legacy of those first settlers.
Knowing where we come from provides security and an appreciation of belonging to something much larger than ourselves.
The same is true for us as Christians. When we discover our true identity in Christ, we realize the importance God places on His children and encounter the great love He has for us and the power that’s available through the Holy Spirit. Helping our children understand Who God is and the enormous sacrifice He made for each of us through His Son, Jesus, gives them roots and teaches them they’re a small, but important, part of a greater story.
We, as wives and mothers, are called to love our families and manifest the attributes of God as we serve them in our homes. Knowing the inheritance that awaits should encourage us to cultivate deep roots in our children’s souls so that they can grow into majestic oaks who display God’s splendor—oaks that cannot be destroyed by lightning strikes of insecurity or lack of faith.
When we build our homes on the security of God’s grace, we can be confident that we have an eternal home and family. We belong to something of great importance. And just as my husband’s ancestors were confident that the deed given them by a Lord Proprietor in England guaranteed they would be landowners in their new country, we have an even greater inheritance knowing we are members of God’s family and are assured of our place in His kingdom—as daughters of the King.
1. Do you know much about your own family history or that of your husband?
Make an evening of sharing stories of each family’s past history, even if it’s from not that long ago. It’s fun for children to learn about their heritage and nationality.
2. Are you familiar with scriptures that teach our identity in Christ? Read the following and others you might find on your own. This will help to encourage you as you rest in the assurance of belonging. 1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 16:5-6, Deuteronomy 31:6
3. Do you have pictures of special family members displayed in your home? It’s a good reminder for us to share about those we love. I have a small black and white photo of my grandparents on their wedding day in my foyer. I’ve had numerous people ask me about the photo and feel privileged to share their story and how special they were to me.
Let’s work together to build kingdom homes!