I’m a product of the 70s. I grew up hearing from Marlo Thomas that I was free to be me and from Gloria Steinem that I could do whatever I wanted and from women’s magazines everywhere that I could have it all.

So I decided, around 2nd or 3rd grade, that I wanted to be a combination teacher/lawyer/ballet dancer. I liked the organization of the teaching world, loved checking boxes off in my real teacher’s gradebook that I would buy from the teacher supply store. I liked the idea of carrying a briefcase as all lawyers do, and I guess my overblown sense of justice had already kicked in and I loved the thought of getting the bad guy. And well, I loved pink, and tutus, and ballet shoes, and the image of me being a dancer (though, in harsh reality, I had two left feet and was about as graceful and coordinated as an elephant).

But then I grew up a bit. And my path took me to wanting to major in business, move to California, and join my Dad and Stepmom in the family business, where I worked every summer as a teenager.

But then I decided I wanted to go into journalism and work for a magazine.

But then I decided I wanted to go into psychology and become a counselor.

But then I decided I wanted to go into social work and save the world.

But then I realized I didn’t like people enough to be in social work, so I ended up in ministry. (I kid. {Sort of.})

And though I have used all of my education and all of my majors, and though I have written books (a dream come true) and built a speaking career (something I never saw coming that I love doing with my whole heart) and traveled to a few third-world countries (a prayer that I had prayed the opposite of…”do whatever you want with my life, Lord, but please don’t send me to Africa…”) and started and led the women’s ministry at my church (despite my introversion) and ended up on staff over adult ministries and small groups and first impressions and whatever else the pastor needed to no longer be in charge of (a job I relished and threw myself into that ended up slowly burning me into the ground {my fault}), I have had one true love the past twenty years and it has been and is this:

Being a homemaker.

Seriously.

I am saying this in 2015. I am saying this while some people I know are cringing.  I am saying this knowing that I sound like I’m an anti-feminist. I am saying this knowing I don’t cook very well and that part makes me feel less-than.  I am saying this knowing I had years where I watched the dishwasher get rearranged because I hadn’t done it “correctly”. I am saying this remembering the clothes dryer was once unplugged with the caveat that it would be turned on again when I agreed to learn to use it “properly”. I am saying this after two decades of thinking I was bad, bad, bad at keeping a home.

Because I don’t care.

I don’t care what anyone thinks.  I will always write, because I’m compelled. I will always speak, because I love it.  I will always, I’m sure, be doing something that takes me outside my home in some way.

But my home is where my heart is.

My husband said to me recently, “You are a really good housewife.”  I thought he was being sarcastic, but he wasn’t. He meant it.  And that filled me with a deep, quiet joy and relief. (And I don’t think he realizes how much healing he brings to me when he says things like that.)

It’s not that I love doing laundry (though I really don’t mind it at all). And it’s not that I love vacuuming (okay, I weirdly kinda do). And it’s not that I plan three-course meals every day of the week (I so totally don’t).

But I think what I love about it is this.

I love choosing new pictures to put into frames. I love lighting a candle almost every morning in my kitchen. I love on chilly days, even in the spring or summer if the A/C is on, having a fire going in the fireplace. I love music playing in the kitchen, worship in the morning, country if I’m cleaning or cooking or putting groceries away. I love opening up all the windows so a gentle breeze rushes straight through the house. I love picking up things that I know my kids and husband like to eat, even putting in my vows that I promised to keep our fridge stocked with sweet tea and our pantry stocked with beef jerky. I love cutting some flowers from my yard (that I didn’t plant; thank you, previous owner) even if they’re only daylilies and close up that same night. I love touching up in the afternoon on the days Richard is coming home for the evening.

But it’s even more than all that.

I love that this is my little place on earth that’s mine to tend to, that I’m in charge of. I love that the people who live in my home would say that this is a place of peace, something I had always yearned to provide but haven’t been able to until the past few years. I love that the people who visit my home have said that it feels like a refuge. I love that I can look around and see me, my handiwork, my choices, words and pictures. I love that I have created a true home, a safe place.

And if this ends up being my greatest work during the last half of my life, taking care of this sweet gift of a place and making my sweet husband’s life a bit better and being the launching pad for my sweet children, than I will be a blessed, blessed, grateful girl.  And if you love your home and tending to it like I do, don’t let anyone make you feel badly about that choice, that love. God made you that way. Embrace it.

What is one way you can make your home more your home? More peaceful? More safe?