What does that word stir up in you?

For my husband and me, it was the missional word for our home last year. Yep, you heard right- we had a mission in the first year of marriage.

During the beginning months of marriage, my husband and I realized our mutual desire to serve people through the gift of our home. I am the visionary out of the two of us—others may call this the idealistic dreamer. I had this revelation of a word that could represent the guiding focus of our home; this word was restore. I excitedly spewed out the idea to my husband. He gave me one of those “you are crazy but I love you anyway” stares. Thankfully, we had always been on the same page about the purpose of our home so, restore quickly became our missional word our first year of doing life together.

If you have ever been with a company in its beginning stages you will understand the agony of trying to craft such a statement. It’s hard to wordsmith all the ideas and values you want to encompass into one beautiful little sentence. Having been a leadership major in grad school, I knew the power of a good mission statement: it assists your decision-making when things get foggy; it acts as a benchmark for your progress; and it is a foundation that points you to your original purpose.

Our missional word has served us well in the past year by helping us remember the purpose for our little corner of Denver. We wanted our home to be a place where people felt restored, where they left feeling better than when they came. The food we served, even if it was store-bought cookies, was intended to be used by God to fill parts of our guests’ lives that might feel empty. The game nights we hosted were meant for God to bring about authentic friendship and to provide belonging. The conversations we hosted, we hoped God would use to heal hurting parts of us that needed to be confessed and forgiven.

This last year, we purposed our energy, time, and money to invite people to envision their “restored” nature in Christ.

With a new year of marriage came a new word—cultivate. We are in year three with a toddler at our side and a busy schedule. We have planted the seeds of gospel-centered community and we are beginning to see the buds spring up from the ground. Our prayer for our family and our community has become “…that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV). This year things will look different but cultivating this awe of Christ in our family, will sustain our energy to serve our community.

I encourage you to sit down with your husband, roommates, family, or whomever and discuss the missional word for YOUR home.

What season are you in? In what ways is God leading you to bless others with your resources? What is the word or phrase that will keep you committed to the work God has to do through you right now?