Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Yesterday evening, I was snuggled up on the sofa with Sasha curled up next to me. The book I was thoroughly engaged with was Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson. Kristi sent it to me as she had an extra copy... a thoroughly wonderful vintage copy at that. I have now found a new author to look for at book sales. :)

As I was reading, I took a break to look around the living room. It is perhaps my favorite place in the entire world, very closely followed by my kitchen. Neither room is all that big but they are both... me. Except for switching out a couple pieces of artwork recently, the living room looks the same as when we moved into the house a few years ago. I wanted the English Country Library feel of it, which I think exists... mixed in with some Americana primitive.

For awhile after Storm died, I couldn't sit in that room and read. Having my feline best friend for nearly seventeen years always with me as I read, it brought grief to surface more than the room comforted me. Even Sasha's presence (her sister), could not ease that pain at the time. Now, more than a year later, Sasha curled next to me and the familiar surroundings can once again bring joy.

I find it interesting how our sense of place defines us and how needful we are of a place that is all us. Whether it is an entire room, a corner of an apartment, or even a soft and comfy bed we can call our own... we all need a Place. Our Lord understands that. He has gone to prepare a Place for us. Of all the promises He left (and there were many), that is one I have held to most often. The One who knows me best... better than I know myself... is preparing a Place for me.

In this uncertain world in which we live, how much more important it is now to have such a place here on earth. I find it interesting that many Depression era and WWII novels written from a woman's perspective had to do with just that... a sense of place... and everyday domestic duties going on as they have since one could remember. Men's movies all have the theme of conquering hero out on the battlefront. Women's (such as Mrs. Miniver) were about home and family and keeping some sense of normalcy in a world gone mad.

I find myself living in such a world today. It is a world I've only read possible in books regarding Bible prophecy or science fiction of a future age. It is a dangerous place where there is no peace. But then again, through history man has known little peace. Does it really matter if it is now on a worldwide scale as opposed to... our own Civil War?

There has always been need of a place of respite and comfort and peace. Some find it in gardens. Others in the woods alongside a river. Still others find peace at the seashore with the sound of waves crashing in against the shore. We all need such a place.

I find it in a rather smallish Midwestern ranch style home, among the trees. As I read a wonderful vintage book surrounded by favorite surroundings... I find peace. It is in this same place that mornings often find me with an open Bible and devotional, perhaps sermon notes at hand or reading a chapter from an inspiring book written by a gifted Bible teacher. It is here that I call out to my Father on behalf of myself, my family, friends, the nation in which we live... and as always... the peace of Jerusalem.

I have lived in many apartments and houses. Some places I hated to be in and was quite happy to leave. Others in which I had to move out of due to financial setbacks... the house of my dreams... not expensive but just what I had wanted.

In all of this I have realized two truths.

First, we can make anyplace a home for ourselves and loved ones by surrounding ourselves with those things that warm our heart and bring us peace... books, pictures, flowers, a favorite quilt or throw, an item made for us by those whom we love, an object brought back from a vacation we enjoyed, our furry best friends. Perhaps the aromas coming from the kitchen and filling the home with the memories of the times family and friends were here with us.

Second, this world is not our home. No matter how wonderful is our present place, in our hearts we know it is not perfect... there will always be that sense that something is missing.

We will see that Place someday, designed by He who knows us Best. Then we will know that we've arrived Home.


Sue said...

Good morning, Brenda.

What a nice, peaceful post. I was thinking thoughts along the same vein yesterday, snuggled in a blanket in "my room" (living/computer/study) watching snow blow around and hearing the wind blustering a little...I thanked God for "my little corner of the world"...for heat, food, creature comforts that so many in the world do not have. Then, I watched as P. Bush and the 20 or so "global leaders" went into a meeting to bring together Bible prophecy..."global economy". HA! Do they think THEY came up with that???

Anyway, yes, in my 55 years I haven't seen times such as this. Whether the Lord comes today or 500years from today: He IS coming and THAT gives me the greatest sense of comfort...except for my daughter and other family and friends who may not be ready...I cry, "Come, Lord Jesus, come"!

Thanks for you post...

Clif said...

I paused a few minutes this morning to read your post before heading out the door to church. I leave now with a warm, peaceful feeling in my heart. Thank you.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Dear Brenda,
I'm so glad you are enjoying Miss Buncle's Book! And I enjoyed your post this morning so much. I first began reading your blog because of that sense of place.......But ultimately, your post this morning reminded me of St. Augustine's quote, "You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee."

Andie said...

Wonderful blog, thank you so much for this! Beautifully and thoughtfully written and just what I needed to hear this morning.

Anonymous said...

As I read your post I could feel exactly what you were trying to convey..we all could, as we know that feeling of deep down comfort and belonging we feel in our special place. You said it SO well. Matching it to our future home in Christ made it all come full circle. Reading your post was a beautiful start to our Sunday. Could you give us a glimpse of what the book is about? You have my curosity peeked!! :) Jody

Nita in South Carolina said...

Oh my goodness! I read Miss Buncle's Book yesterday too!! Our county library had it combined with another volume, "Miss Buncle Married." Haven't started that one yet. The first one was so cute!

debbie bailey said...

I love D.E. Stevenson's books. I read them all about twenty years ago. Miss Buncle and Mrs. Tim were my favorites.

Great post; very comforting and soothing.

moreofhim said...

Again, you've made me think and comforted and blessed me at the same time! You made me realize that even though I'm not in my dream home, I can still make it my home and be comforted by those around me and the things that bring me peace and tranquility. And yes, this is not our home. We do have something to look forward to in our future with our Father!

Have a blessed Sunday! God bless you- Julie

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

I just wanted to let you know how very much this post meant to me. I have not seen my Dad in about 11 years or so. And this morning my step mom sent a photo of her and my father and as soon as I saw it I cried. I was very surprised at myself cause I had not thought that it would be a big deal to me. And I was talking to God about how I wish I had a Father that had the ability to show his love for me. So that I would KNOW that he loved me. And I was reminded that I need to seek that love from God. And not too long after this - I read your post and it meant so much to me to read that God cares so much about us that he is preparing a place for ME. Everytime that I have read this passage before I have always thought of like whole bunch of mansions, all the same for us all. But I sure like this new and better way to look at this passage. Thanks so much for sharing this with us today! I was really blessed!
Lisa in Texas = )

gail said...

Hello Brenda,

Monday morning here in Sydney Australia. Just had to say that your message was lovely and just what I need to reflect on as I move through my day. I really do believe we need these times of unrest to help us focus on the things of our Lord more fully. He wants us to rely on Him completely for everything. We live in an apartment but would love to be back in a little home growing our own veges, but we have to wait on God's timing. Hard to do at times but thats His way for us.
Thankyou and God Bless

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are enjoying Miss Buncle. D.E Stevenson is one of my favorite authors. when I read your post I felt I understood exactly what you meant. I lost my beloved Satin a few years ago and it's only recently I can speak of her with out tears.
I think so many folks are not content with what they have and it robs them of the joy and peace they could otherwise experience.

Elizabeth said...

Great thoughts.

Angela said...

"We will see that Place someday, designed by He who knows us Best. Then we will know that we've arrived Home."

amen amen amen..this brought tears to my eyes, and a wonderful sense of expectation and peace. Thank you precious one!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comforting words, Brenda. May the Lord continue to bless you, and open new doors for you and your family!

Marianna said...

Wonderful post. This is a topic of fascination for me as well. Not only how much we all need "place", but also how our place choices reveal our true selves.

Your place sounds perfectly wonderful, by the way.


Susan B said...

A beautiful post, Brenda. In my home, the family room is my favorite place to be (followed also by my kitchen). I always find comfort snuggled up on the sofa, reading, drinking tea, watching a movie. I am so thankful I have a Father that is building my final home for me. As much as I love my earthly home, I am longing for my Heavanly one. Thank you and God bless.

Shelley said...

Hello Brenda,I have found this post to be very comforting and I am sure to visit you often. I have never had a lot in this world as far as material things and wealth,but I am blessed beyond all measure with a home(a 1969 12X65 Mobile home,which we continue to work on to keep it livable),and a wonderful family,which I give God all praise for. You are so right to say,that one can make any place a home for themselves,and their loved ones by surrounding themselves with things that bring them peace and comfort. Just as I have tried to do here in our humble home. This world is not our true home,we are just passing through,but it's wonderful God has blessed us with so many comforts in his marvelous creation.


Heather L. said...

I'm so excited that you found DE Stevenson. A friend introduced me several years ago when we were still in Scotland. Of course I love them -- I love reading about WWII and Scotland/England. Fortunately, our library system has a number of them... I need to order one. :)

Letters From Midlife said...

What a joy to find your blog. I love all things tea and coffe as well as books so I'm thinking we must be kindred spirits. I've written at my blog as well about keeping our focus on the Lord through these uncertain times.

carla said...

Nice to know there are lots of readers who still enjoy D.E. Stevenson.

I'm awfully sorry about your cat. Two weeks ago one of ours, Martha Washington, was hit by a car out in front of our place. We'd had her for 10 years and she was the softest tuxedo cat I've ever known. We've had many cats over the years, but she was really unique and I miss her, I believe the Lord prepared an orphan kitten to be here to give me some companionship. We've named her Gracie, but I also refer to her as Princess Gracie. How comforting to read a good, gentle book while sitting next to a purring cat.