While recently filling out a government form, I had to select a "vocation" box. I winced when I realized the the only box I could check was "homemaker." This was a first. I've had some sort of professional title the past seventeen years. Before that, I was a student. But now? I guess I'm a "homemaker."
With my pen to paper, I hesitated ticking the box. It felt strange. Unfamiliar. I felt like I was being shortchanged or swindled into being something, or someone, else.
I wondered what the creator of the form meant by the term "homemaker"? Did they mean some sort of 1950s stay at home domestic goddess? That I am not. Did they mean some lady who keeps her house tidy and dutifully cooks up a hot dinner every night? Not me.
At first, I was frustrated. I felt stuck. Boxed in.
But then I thought about the word. Homemaker. Home. Maker.
The concept of "home" is something I've given much thought to. Finding a place and people; longing for a tribe and community; aching for an eschatological home even while "pitching a tent" in the here and now; connecting with others deeply and authentically; these are all things I explore and care deeply about.
Then there's the second part: maker.
If I had a single identifying mark, "maker" would suit me well.
DIY is in my DNA. I seek, collect, gather, scrap, paste, tape, glue, or stitch on the daily. I don't specialize in any singular craft. I'm far from an expert. But still I make.
I paint paintings and quilt quilts. I create mini magical houses and off-beat puppet shows. I write, color, mold and tell stories to my children. I make leather cuffs and popsicle stick jewelry. I make salvage art and junk sculptures.
Making is fundamental to my being, my humanity. To make is at the core of my being me.
Created in the image of my Maker, I make. Not always well and never perfectly. Still, I make.
But perhaps most of all, I seek to make a home.
I seek to make sacred spaces; places where I can find genuine connection and the courage to be vulnerable.
I seek to find a home for myself, in part, by (imperfectly but enthusiastically) creating a sense of home for others -- for fellow travelers and explorers.
I seek to create 'home' for strangers and friends. For wayward wanderers and the left out. For freaks and fanatics. For radicals and rebels. For artists and adventurers. For the tired. For sleepless parents and burned out pastors.
I aim to create a sense of home for any and all who will come and find refuge in and among each other's presence.
Over tea or beer. Hunkered at a table or on a bus. At the playground or the theater. I seek to make-home.
All to say, I've decided to embrace my title and contentedly tick my box of "homemaker."
Though I'm surely not the "homemaker" the fancy form-making people had in mind, I'm still a home-maker.
And for now, I'm cool with that.