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Rooms in My Father’s House

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©Heidi Bratton Photography

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. ~ John 14:2a

When I was a young parent (well not so young but let’s say a new parent) I scoured books searching for parenting tips and techniques. I can remember once reading something to the effect that “by now you should recognize your baby’s cry” and thinking, “Oh no! I have no idea what he’s crying for when he cries. I must be a terrible mother.” As time went by, however, I gained my own sense of mothering and by the birth of my third son had made enough decisions to be comfortable in my own “mothering” skin.

Nonetheless, as my boys grew older I would still, on occasion, find myself in the middle of a situation where my gut said one thing, my heart said another, and the books all had their own diverse opinions. One of these issues was the space my children called their “bedrooms.” Specifically I wondered to whom did the space justly belong. Was it mine because I cleaned it and helped earn the family income that both furnished it and kept it warm in the winter and cool in the summer? Was it theirs because they were special creatures who needed their own “space” as an affirmation of their special-ness? And if it was mine, could I rightfully impose my rules of cleanliness and hygiene upon said space or was I supposed to allow them their “freedom?” If it was theirs could I still impose my rules of cleanliness and hygiene at the risk of causing them permanent damage because they had nothing to call “their own?”

Truthfully, I wanted to know that regardless of whose room it was, I could impose my rules of cleanliness and hygiene. Once the boys were all teenagers this became a paramount concern of mine. Ultimately I decided, all on my own, that the room was mine in all connotations the word could take on as if barked from the mouth of a toddler. I owned it, I imposed rules upon it, and yet I was still a loving and caring mother to allow my children to occupy its space.

When Christ tells us that he is preparing a room for us in His Father’s house he is, in a heavenly sense, providing that same thing we loving provide our own children: shelter against the elements, protection from the world, comfort in times of distress, and peace for our souls. When we reside in His home, in the rooms prepared for us, we will know that they are His and only by His graces are they offered to us and do we occupy them. Indeed, it is His house, His rooms, and in His generosity that we will have a space to spend eternity. And somehow I am sure that all the rooms will be spotless!


Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic wife, mother, author and speaker. Cheryl’s newest book is Miriam: Repentance and Redemption in Rome. It is the sequel to her first fiction book Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage. Both are available in paperback, Kindle, or Nook format. Her company is Bezalel Books where her goal is to publish great Catholic books for families and classrooms that entertain while uplifting the Catholic faith and is located at www.BezalelBooks.com. To invite Cheryl to speak at your event, write her at Cheryl@BezalelBooks.com or phone her at 248.917.3865.

 


  • I once asked Jesus if I got my own bedroom in Heaven. I mean, where do you go after a hard day of running, swimming, and making friends? I tend to have a very kids-eye view of the Hereafter, and I’m sure my understanding is simplistic, but there it is.

    Heaven to me is a very physical place, it’s more real than the most demanding marathon race here on Earth, and it most certainly is not gauzy angels playing harps on fluffy white clouds. Heaven is to be looked forward to like our favorite vacation spot or a return to the best place we’ve ever lived.

    Having said that, I still haven’t heard whether I get my own bedroom.

  • noelfitz

    Cheryl,

    you are a great parent.

    When one of our sons was at home he was unbelievably untidy. His room was a complete mess and he would not even pick up a sock.
    But as soon as he married and moved to his own house my wife is not let in until she takes off her shoes.

    “The apple does not fall far from the tree”. Now this son has turned out exactly like his mother. Thank God.