Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home by: Jen Pollock Michel

Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of HomeKeeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home by Jen Pollock Michel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Inklings were, one and all, guilty of the heresy of the Happy Ending. They rejected the modernist aesthetic of dissonance and estrangement, and instead longed to reclaim a world of beauty and goodness-a world of enchantment. In their stories of hobbits and orcs, fauns and beavers and Father Christmas, Tolkien and Lewis told the story of home as the Scriptures tell it: the world has fallen from its original perfection, but it will one day be restored. The enduring legacy of these stories testify to the resonance of their hope. Humans long for the thaw of winter and the return of the King. They want to go home.

Do you long for home? A place of peace, acceptance, purpose and calling. Jen Pollock Michel speaks in a narration that is profoundly poetic on what home really is and how we long for it. It made me think of my own short comings and disappointments that all point to my longing of home and how I fall short of being home. I have come to find out that I need a better understanding of what home is. With that understanding, I can focus on what is important and leave behind what hinders me.

The text is done in two parts. The welcome of home – speaks to our longing, the history , the maker of home, moving from home to home, and the imperishable home.

The 2nd part refers to the work of home that speaks to our labor of home done in love, the church, the marriage and how we continually say I do., feasting together, a place of rest and how we finally make it “home”. Each of these expresses the gospel in sound ways that you are living the gospel out.

Some of the quotes that I found encouraging that speaks of home.

Are we engaged in efforts that are relevant to the groans of creation and the cries of the poor? Are we producing disciples whose work is contributing to profound transformation that set people dancing in the streets. Have we joined King Jesus on his grand, sweeping mission of restoration. These are the questions for the church related to housekeeping. They remind us that we make a home for the wandering lost in our cities not simply by throwing open our church doors but by identifying and attending to their most desperate need.

Marriage isn’t everything. It isn’t our home or final hope. Nevertheless, it is worth the routine work of “I do”. After all, marriage is its own kind of stability.

This study is upside down when it comes to our culture as it should be. It is community minded, not individualized. We were created to not be alone but to be home. One of the AHA moments for me was the discussion of the Sabbath. God created Sabbath for our good to meet our spiritual needs and our physical needs. Sabbath is shown in creation as well. Without the rest of land, we have the danger of creating what happened in the 1930’s. The land requires rest just as we do. But the aha moment for me was Sabbath reflects the character of God and his goodness. When I truly practice the Sabbath, I truly experience the presence of God. Another insightful was the work of keeping house. We need housekeeping and we need to embrace it for our good. The stats that Jen shared are staggering and it made me think that any depression that I may suffer is my lack of good housekeeping. Housekeeping is not just a woman’s job but as a family unit, housekeeping is living out the gospel.

Jen also shares insightful bible study as she goes through each chapter along with her own personal journey of home. I highly recommend this book for both men and women in their desire to come home.

A Special Thank You to Intervarsity Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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