Gratitude Day 526
Fri., Oct. 23, 2020
Psalm 26:8 – Lord, I love your home, this place of dazzling glory, bathed in the splendor and light of your presence!
Home. I’m spending a lot of time at home these days.
Have been for months.
Don’t see this changing ANY time soon.
Home. It’s my place of refuge. Safety. Calm.
Often, we are conditioned to “think” that we need to go someplace else to find time to take a break. Relax. Enjoy. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, I said to Hubby Rick, “Can we just run away for the weekend.”
But we didn’t. We stayed home.
I’m already contemplating how much time I’m going to be at home this winter. Lots and lots of time. Rather than thinking of this as a “I’m so over being home all the time,” I’m shifting my perspective.
I’m celebrating that I GET to spend all this time at home.
We know the saying, “Home is where your heart is.” Honestly, I LOVE our home. With all the hours I spend at home, I celebrate that our home is a place that I LOVE. All the old woodwork. The gorgeous (if sometimes mismatched) hardwood floors. The “50 shades of grey” as Hubby Rick calls the various wall colors throughout our home. The little pieces from Rick’s family and my family. The items Hubby Rick and I have curated over 20 years of marriage. Things that mean absolutely nothing to anyone but him and I.
In the last five years, we’ve torn apart, rebuild and remodeled almost every square inch of our home. We’re rounding the corner on finishing the last room. (Hubby Rick painted the ceiling yesterday!) It’s just an old house that we’ve poured some love into. But it’s our house. Our home.
In this world where everything is ultimately temporary, I try to be careful about putting too much stock into the material things of this world rather than the ultimate rewards that are far more important. Rather than cultivating a blog and focusing only on decorating and the best deal at Target, I challenge myself to see my home as one more tool in my toolbox to find peace and contentment in my life. Yes, I want a home that I love. But I don’t want my home to be more important than my faith and relationship with God.
Yet, as we spend SO. MUCH. time at home these days, does it not beg that we create a sanctuary that we love? Enjoy? And brings us peace?
Yes. Definitely. Without a doubt.
From this perspective, I’ve been thinking about home and the looming long winter and our choice to limit being in groups. To keep my heart and soul fed and filled this winter, I know this involves having a home that makes my heart happy. Sing. Breathe.
That’s why I’m thinking a bit more about how to curate my home which will allow those things to happen. How can I create space that makes every day feel like I’m on vacation … even if it’s right at my normal address?
Here’s how I’m thinking about this right now:
- As much as I love a beautiful looking space, creating a sanctuary is more than nicely placed furniture or cool lighting. It’s layering in those things that draws us back to memories that we love and cherish. Smells. Tastes. Sounds. Textures. I LOVE the smell of coffee ALMOST as much as I love the taste. How can I create this smell beyond the time the coffee pot is warming today’s brew? What music or other sounds take me to the spots that mean the most to me? What foods that I make will make me close my eyes as they melt in my mouth … and make the whole house smell like that spot that you don’t want to leave?
- Making sure there’s lots of light in the spaces where I spend more time. Yep, the days are getting shorter. The dreary, wet days like we had yesterday can be depressing. So, when there is light, I want it to flood over every surface around me. It is AMAZING what a bit of sunshine can do for the soul. How can we capture this as much as possible? Along with this, having greens and/or living plants in space helps me feel like the outdoors has come inside as well.
- Rethink the spaces we have and determine if maybe something should be shifted. A few years ago, I put a chair in my office where I do daily devotions and reading. It’s a chair that I love having. Are there other spaces in our house that should be shifted to accommodate more of the things we do as we spend so much time at home? I’m thinking where’s a place to have a puzzle out. A space where I can actually do a hobby. Maybe our bedroom isn’t the best place to do the online workout videos that I do daily. This weekend, I’m going to walk through the house, think about how we use the space and challenge myself to wonder if there’s other ways we could utilize them.
- Use the things that I love the most regularly. So often, we put something away we treasure because we don’t want it to get broke or damaged. Years ago, I determined that if something is special to me, I want it out where I can see it, enjoy it and use it. I use the dishes my grandmother bought when she was first married. My father-in-law’s favorite fishing pole is part of our décor. You can probably find a milk can on our porch twelve months of the year.
- Which leads me also to my next idea: if I don’t love something, I get rid of it. It’s easy to keep those things that have been given to us or that we’ve moved from house to house to house. There ARE things that I moved many, many times that I want to keep. And there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I no longer enjoyed and got rid of so someone else could love and enjoy. Over time, I developed a style of less is more and the less must be things I want to pack up and move to the next house we live in. Otherwise, it’s time to get rid of it. Now.
Whether your home is 800 square feet or a few thousand, does your home bring you a sense of peace and joy? No matter how many other people you might share this space with, do you have a little spot (even if it is terribly tiny) where you can go, close your eyes and know your heart is happy? What smells, sounds, tastes and different textures can you layer in that truly make your home “feel” like you and the memories most special to you and your family?
Hubby Rick and I love spending time outside in God’s great big creation that is ultimately God’s home. Yet, we can also create the same awe and admiration within the space where we live much of our daily lives. This IS pleasing to our hearts and souls. It’s a way we can prepare for the upcoming winter. It’s creating a home that feels safe and like we’re at a happy spot every single day.
For a home that makes my heart sing, I am grateful.
Dear God – when we look at your creation and all that You call home, it inspires us. It often speaks to us. I pray that having a home and space that reflects Your glory will bring us peace. May we see having a home that is a respite for our hearts and minds is part of the tools that allows for joy and contentment in our lives. Amen.
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