Unless the Lord Builds the House
Several years ago I attended the Global Leadership Summit with Pastor Bill Hybels from Willow Creek Church. His opening session was on how leaders sustain themselves over long days and many years of leading. He shared that in his office he has signs, pictures, and memorabilia to keep him focused. When he looks at the pictures of his family he is reminded every day that his activities must be in alignment with the value he has placed in building his most precious relationships. He has leadership quotes, and other things that are intentionally placed in his sight so he will not forget what God has gifted and called him to give his life to.
I love what Marcus Buckingham says, “To thrive in this world will require a new skill. Not drive, not sheer intelligence, not creativity, but FOCUS. You must excel in filtering the world. You must be able to cut through the clutter and zero in on the emotions or facts or events that really matter. You must learn to distinguish between what is merely important and what is imperative. You must learn to place less value on all that you can remember, and more on those few things that you must never forget.” Marcus Buckingham, The One Thing You Need to Know
This past weekend Jim and I had the incredible pleasure to visit Sarah and Brian’s new home that is under construction. If there was ever an intentional project that requires full attention and engagement it is building a new home. You would never allow randomness to rule. Every detail is fit together to bring about a beautiful structure and end product. Every day there are new conversations that are required in order for the builder and the homeowner to be on the same page. To see a home come up from the ground is quite inspiring, but that is not what was inspiring to us…what was inspiring was to see the passages and verses that were written on the doorposts of every room in their house.
Brian and Sarah and their daughters took time to write God’s Word on the framing of their home as a reminder that everything they will enjoy in that home belongs to God. As we walked around the home and read the Word we were deeply moved.
At the front door, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” Deuteronomy 11:18-21
At the window in the living room overlooking the lake, “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.” Matthew 13:1
In the guest room, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:1, 2
As Jim and I left the construction site we were overwhelmed with God’s peace and a deep sense of gratitude to the Lord for our children, their story, and our rich legacy. There is no greater joy than watching your children walk out the truths that they have learned from us and are now teaching their children.
Today you may not be able to write on the door frames of your home as Sarah and Brian have done, but there are ways that you can post on your walls reminders of what you want to focus on and build in your life, in your marriage and in your children.
Take time this month to intentionally bring your thoughts in focus. Replace old pictures with beautiful life giving words. Put a family gallery of pictures together in a prominent place and tell the stories of each one. Here is an easy suggestion, go to Hobby Lobby and look for words that capture your heart and place them around your home.
As Elisabeth is preparing to move to Louisville on June 10, she too is beginning to look for truths that she can intentionally place in her home. Here are some of the pictures she has found and printed to place in her view.
Check out links where you can obtain images: