Thursday, October 27, 2016

Holy Ground

Your home is holy ground. The place where your kids see and learn about God.

Your home is holy ground. The place where your actions and words reflect his love.

Your home is holy ground. The place where you are present and available to your kids.

Your home is holy ground. The place where your kids feel treasured and accepted.

Your home is holy ground. The place where the Word of God is honored and valued.

Your home is holy ground. The place where mistakes are forgiven and mercy is shown.

Your home is holy ground. The place where guests are welcomed and cherished.

Your house can be just a house or it can be holy ground. The choice is yours. The effort and commitment come from you. God promises to be by your side, to give you wisdom and help you start over when you make mistakes... Would you do what it takes?

I'd like to introduce you to a beautiful woman of God. A wife and a mom who takes every effort to make her home holy ground. I hope her interview encourages you and challenges you today as it does to me!

Hi! I am Stephanie Beams and Angelica invited me to share a little about our home and family.
My husband and I, along with our 4 children, live on the island of Okinawa, Japan, serving as missionaries to the US military and Japanese locals here. My husband is the Worship Pastor and I am over our pastoral care and counseling ministries at Koza Baptist Church. We have 4 awesome kids from ages 5 to 14. When we watch the Olympics we get to cheer for 3 countries, because our second daughter is adopted from Russia and our youngest son is adopted from here in Japan! Adoption has been a beautiful gift to our family and we can't imagine our family any other way!

1. What makes your house a home?

Since we have moved often and rent while living in Japan, we certainly know that a house doesn't make a home. We have been able to make wherever we are feel like a home because of who lives in our home and the shared experiences and memories that we have together. Of course, I love to decorate and make our home feel cozy with things that we love. We live on an island in Japan, but we are from Texas, and we've also been on mission trips to places all over the world, so we have all of those things represented in our home. I love antiques and unique pieces that still fit into my current style. The main thing that makes our house a home, is that it is a place comfortable for everyone... for our kids to play and have friends over, but also a place that is organized and not cluttered or chaotic. We want it to be a place where we can welcome friends and do ministry. It is not perfect, but it represents who we are as a family. 

2. What are some of your favorite decorative accessories that speak about you and your family in your home? How do you reflect God in your home? 

Some of my favorite accessories for decorating are those things that have deep meaning for us. We have a tea set that we purchased in Russia when we adopted our daughter that we will eventually pass on to her.

We have some great Japanese art from a family trip to Kyoto that is a daily reminder to pray for people we serve in Japan.

I use scriptures all over my house that have a deep meaning to us. When we were moving to Japan, this Texas girl was having a hard time letting go and God spoke Psalm 139:10 to me... assuring me that even on the far side of the sea He would be with me. We have it in vinyl in our entryway as a reminder as we go and come from our home that He is always with us!

We also walked through a very long and difficult adoption with our son and the promise that we prayed and clung to was James 1:17 " Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Such a beautiful promise as we were waiting for our son in the midst of so much struggle. We could trust that God was the one giving us our son and we were not dependent on man to make it happen. We keep that spiritual marker up right outside the door of our kids bathroom as a reminder!

3. In what specific ways do you teach your kids about God at home?

Our goal for teaching our kids about God is first and foremost to live out our faith at home, in an authentic way so that it becomes natural for our kids to do the same. We want them to see us loving people, serving in the church and giving generously, though many days we fail in this! We strive to admit when we are wrong, that we are all sinners in need of Jesus everyday. We want to teach them the disciples of a relationship with Christ by modeling those disciplines in front of them, very imperfectly I might add. We do have some very intentional things that we do with the kids to develop those habits. We strive to have morning devotionals before we leave for school each day and pray as a family each night before we go to bed. We trade off girls night and boys night on who prays each night.  We also have a memory verse board in our house that we keep up for about a month (or more when I forget to change it!) and we focus on memorizing it and applying it to everyday situations. Some other great resources that we have utilized have been Passport to Purity from Family Life and It Starts at for family night activities. We know that one day our kids will leave our home and that it's so important for their faith to become personal to them. We work hard to make it as personal as possible by having open conversations about individual struggles and successes. God speaks to us all in different ways and has different purposes for us. Our heart for our home is to grow our children to know Christ, have a personal relationship with Him and walk in His purposes for them as they are in our home and long after they grow up and move away. We want to, as our family motto says," Live Fully, Praise Loudly, Love Generously" all of our days!!

Thanks so much for letting me share a little about us! We pray the same for you as you each endeavor to make God the center of your home.



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