Gratitude Day 663
1 Corinthians 3:16 – Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary and that the Spirit of God makes his permanent home in you?
Believe it or not, we do not have central air in our house.
Yes, even in 2021.
Built in 1906, our house uses hot water heat, which means it has these lovely old radiators throughout the house. We can tell that at one point, coal was used to heat the broiler that provided hot water to the radiators. Since we live in town, we’re hooked up to public services and so now natural gas heats the boiler. The boiler is just a small unit mounted right on a basement wall and might be missed if you did not know what you were looking for.
Hubby Rick loves warm weather and reminds anyone within earshot of this multiple times a day during the summer. He professes that air conditioning is not something we “need.” In fact, the air conditioner in the vehicle he drives back and forth to work is not working this summer. And he does not mind at all. “That’s what windows are made for,” he declares.
During warmer days, we have worked out a system of opening the windows in the evening and letting the cool air into the house at night. When it is warm during the day, we close the shades. This helps keep the downstairs of our house cooler and does provide relief from the heat.
During the early weeks of June this summer, we had a stretch of very warm weather. After a few days of this, we put in a window air conditioner unit in our upstairs bedroom, simply so I could get better sleep. We close off our bedroom and cool this section of the upstairs. When it is very warm, I cool the bedroom off before I go to bed, so the air conditioner does not keep me awake when I am trying to sleep.
We had days of very warm weather this week. Even Hubby Rick mentioned it was “so hot.” However, as I walked downstairs this morning to make my habitual pot of coffee, the air felt crisp. Bright. Almost fall-like. Such a difference from earlier in the week when the air in the house began the day warm. The air is noticeably different this morning. The windows are open, and I almost wanted to close them. But I refrained, letting the cool air pour into the downstairs space of our house.
Could we put air conditioning in our house? Of course. There are ductless options available these days. My parents had hot water heat in the last house they lived in. As my Dad’s health declined, air conditioning became absolutely necessary, and a unit was installed. I am confident there are additional options available today. But with a summer-loving husband, he has not entertained the idea of investing the funds to cool our house.
And so, we get by. I think of the people who lived in this house when it was first built. We have so many more conveniences today than they did. Running water was added after the house was built. When we remodeled the kitchen after we moved in, we added a dishwasher. We have upgraded the bathrooms, and well, the rest of the entire house.
I often would love to hear the stories the walls of this house could tell. The people who used to live here and how life was during various decades over the years. How the floor plan of the house has changed, and the way various rooms have been used. How the house became a home.
What is the difference between a house and a home? We each can have our own understanding of this. For me, a house is a building. A home has a different spirit. A home feels well-loved and welcoming. It’s a place where you want to go and stay for a while. It feels a like a warm and well-loved blanket wrapped around you that is comfortable as the day is long.
A few years ago, some of our grandkids were at our house. Waylan was about 10- or 11-years-old at the time. He came up to me and said, “You REALLY have a beautiful home. Seriously. I just love your home. It feels so safe here.”
The comment struck me as a bit interesting. A boy, a pre-tween boy, is giving me such a great compliment about our home. Whenever someone walks into our house, I pray that they feel like this is a comfortable and homey place. Not because our house is beautiful, but because of the spirit within the home. It’s a feeling not created because it is perfectly cooled by central air or has just the right décor. It happens because of the slight breeze that wafts through the house. There’s a feeling that something is “different,” just like the change in the air in our house this morning.
The most important spirit I hope that is a part of our house? The Spirit of God. The feeling that this house is rooted with God. It’s becomes the foundation of our hearts and lives. When our soul needs refreshing and a breath of fresh air, we turn not to a dial that can lower the temperature but to the One who wants to refresh us every day. It’s the confidence that we do not have to struggle through daily and weekly and monthly challenges on our own because we have a God that knows where we feel vulnerable.
I yearn for God to be the inner sanctuary in my heart; a place where God’s Spirit is at “home” with me. God taking up residence in our hearts has less to do with where you live and more about where your heart is. The Spirit is right here with us. We just must choose to notice it, open our hearts to it and provide it a place to lay its foundation. God doesn’t want your heart to be a house. God wants your heart to be a home. A beautiful place where something is different; for you. And one that is noticed by others because it is beautiful and finds peace.
I pray we open our hearts to God this day. This weekend. This time in our lives. So the spirit can waft through our lives and assure us that we have an inner place in God’s heart.
For a cool morning that reminds me of God’s desire to be my inner home sanctuary, I am grateful.
Holy God – I pause this morning and am thankful for the cool air that wafts through the house. I pray that I seek and find Your Spirit. May it create within me a foundation that is always rooted in You. Amen.
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