Pretty much everything.
But it wasn't until tonight that I really understood what I'd been working so hard at realizing.
My wife and I have come together on many, many issues trying to co-discover what we want "our home" to be.
"I want our bathroom to always be clean."
"I want to have just enough mess people feel comfortable."
"There should always be food -- we should always offer people food."
"And booze. Lots of it."
"JAMES. No. We aren't going to be that couple."
"But Jessa, we could reach out to people through liquor, you know, like a reverse-alcoholic thing."
"No. Absolutely not."
"Okay. Then cookies. We always have cookies."
"No to that too."
"Why no to that too?"
"Because I don't want to make cookies that often."
"Well then what can we do? If you say no to cookies, really you're saying no to everything."
"The food idea. I like that. That one was nice."
As we've been slowly working through the countless minuscule, tiny issues that crop up as we determine what type of home we want to be, we are beginnings the foundation of what will be (for lack of a more descriptive term) us.
Wherever we live in whatever home around whoever's close for however long, we'll always be "us". James and Jessa.
That's the most exciting part.
Tonight I found a much better term than just "us" to describe what Jessa and I are creating.
We're creating our own culture.
More than what people see when they first come in our door, what do they feel?
What is a consistent response that they receive from both her and I at any point in time when we're asked certain questions?
Do we sometimes just have popcorn to offer, but our guests know they'll be fed?
Are we embarrassed about a mess or do we simply excuse it as less important to the relationships we're building?
What music plays?
Are we sit-and-talk-all-night type people, or do we proffer a game to keep things moving?
Where does our faith come in?
I would encourage you to find immense joy in and take on the challenge of creating your own culture for who you are.
Maybe you're not an "us" yet -- that's totally fine, hang in there -- so then you're a "you." Who are "you"?
It's pretty awesome to discover what you find important and realize that since it's your home or your life you can totally do things like put up a sign above the toilet that says "Get Naked."
Culture is always changing.
It's mold, it's growing, spreading, adapting to it's surrounding environment and reproducing rapidly.
It's also a part of society that mimics mold in lots of ways.
Instead of being a part of those vile-tasting cold-Christian comments that involve the words "that's what' s wrong with our culture today" or "a big problem with our culture is..." how about you make your own culture?
Create it from scratch.
And if it tastes anything like cookies, I'm in.