Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gratitude through pictures: this weekend

Gratitude is the sun, setting our world aglow.
The world is made of beauty, but covered in a dark pall.
We can say "thank you" with our eyes and our hearts. Only you can light up the world.

driving up to Idaho

at my brother's house
the cottonwoods "snowing"

Children express gratitude to their mothers through a happy laugh or a smile, though we often do not qualify their actions in that way. Gratitude is not contained within a card, a gift, or an audible "thank you." As we explore other ways of expressing gratitude, we can be filled and happy. What other ways can you think of to show those you love that you appreciate them?

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Best Gift You Can Give to Your Home

Home. The word feels like firelight and warm blankets. The word itself is safe and inviting, asking you to embrace it. I find it strange that we worry a lot about what our home looks like, but little about what it feels like. A feeling encompasses all of the home: not simply what is on the walls, but the habits of those who live there, and the way those people regard each other.

Home can be a sanctuary. It can be a refuge from the storms of life. As stewards of our homes, we are each creating a culture, a feeling, whether we think about it or not. How often do we ponder what feelings we want to exist in our home? How often do we try to be a home-maker, not simply a resident, a consumer of a culture imposed upon us, a maid, or the decorator of the home?

In my home I'm trying to cultivate feelings of togetherness. I want imagination, I want magic. I want it active and light-filled. I want the peace and calm that lives in my heart to consume this vessel, my  home that I live in. I want the spirit of God to dwell here.

Now I understand why I've felt drawn to tweak our home life in significant ways. One habit began as simply a way to honor a memory I've always held dear. It's grown to allow our family to create that culture we were looking for. We don't have a t.v. in our home. While that might feel extreme to some, it's given us, specifically, freedom. The feelings of togetherness, imagination, and activity have blossomed as we've sought to be home-makers. Computers can act as t.v.'s sometimes, but I've still felt drawn to keep movie-watching at a minimum at our house. The Lord gently prods me, your home is to be different, and in this way. I believe the Lord wants all of our homes to be holy, and we individually know best how to create that holiness. What is right for me may not be right for you.

As a mother, a home-maker I can make deliberate choices. I can make hard choices. I am not a consumer, but a leader. God speaks to our souls, and he knows our deepest desires and what it will take to get there.

What feeling do you want to exist in your home? Are the habits of your home adding to or taking away from that feeling? What can you change to make home more of a refuge, and less of a place you simply inhabit?