I'm coming off a third week at Grandma's in the past couple of months, and I've mentioned before how Grandma's is a place where I feel instantly at home.
But it's not home.
It's not home because I don't live at Grandma's the same way I live around my own house. I do things differently because her rules are not my rules (rather, my rules are not her rules).
Around my house, I can walk through the mud and walk right inside the door and head for the bathroom or the kitchen or wherever else I'm going. At Grandma's, I take my shoes off.
It's not uncommon for my floors to go a week or two without vacuuming, depending on what's going on around here. At Grandma's, if there's so much as a spot on the floor, I vacuum. Because I probably did it when I forgot to take my shoes off and there's no reason for Grandma to clean up after me.
My dogs are used to treats after a bath, after a grooming, and after a car ride. Grandma's dogs get treats at least once a day, just for existing. So when we're there, my dogs, too, get a treat at least once a day. And when we get home? They whine so much about it that they get one here, too. For awhile.
Here, my towel hangs on a hook and my hand towel on a ring. At Grandma's, my towel is on the rack and hand towel on the counter, so both get folded. Every time. Laundry comes out of the dryer and is folded and put away. Right away. Trash gets moved from the walmart bag to the small can to the big can before eventually hauled to the dump.
Grandma washes dishes every day. Sometimes, every meal. When I'm at her house, I wash dishes. Every meal. Especially on a week like last week when she was hosting a couple of dozen people in her house and silverware, in particular, was always piling up. And when Grandma washes dishes, it's not like around here. You don't just leave the clean ones in the sink to dry and use as time permits; you wash everything, dry everything, and put everything away all at the same time.
I've never been a dish dryer. At Grandma's, I dry dishes.
Why? Because it's not my house.
And it was during one of these dish-drying extravaganzas that I had the following realization: as different as it is to live by Grandma's rules, I don't mind it one bit. It doesn't bother me to do things her way because I understand that it honors her for me to do so. I understand that what I do, when I do it by her rules, contributes to the place she has created as her home, the place where she lives whether I am there or not. And it's important to me to respect that, honor that, and do what I can to make sure I live by that when I'm in her house.
Which led me to the following question, one I invite you to ask yourself:
How would I live in my Father's house? And what if every day, I realized this was His place with His rules and His preferences and His standards?
And what if I disciplined myself to respect that, even to honor that?
What if I spent every day living like I'm in my Father's house?
It would change things, that's for sure.