Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Home as a sanctuary

I've written about this before but the thought of "home as sanctuary" came back to me yesterday evening when I was waiting for the guys to arrive home amidst a freezing drizzle.

The call came about an hour before hubby had to pick up Christopher from work... my insulin was available.

He left early to drive to the clinic and then back to campus to pick Christopher up from work at the bookstore. I stayed home and prayed for their safety. :)

By the time they arrived home, the lights on the porch had been turned on and the ancient Le Creuset' dutch oven was simmering on the stove... their favorite Midwestern Boiled Dinner. I wanted the sights and aromas to say "come in out of the storm".

Well, it was not really a storm but driving conditions were not so good and country roads in the dark can be "iffy" at best.

I have long thought of the home as sanctuary. When I was growing up, after my father died, I had no sanctuary. Once I married, a couple of weeks after turning twenty, providing a real home was of utmost importance. Even though we moved quite often to follow my husband's career and there was no permanent dwelling, the objects... sights... sounds... aromas... were consistently "home".

I have noticed my husband spending more time this past year in our living room where he likes to read on the sofa. I'm not surprised. Even though the Early American-English Country look may not be his favorite, the colors are all earth tone and soothing. It is a small room filled with books... very cozy. He can relax in this environment.

There is a storm brewing in the world today, it is already affecting many people. For others, they can see the storm clouds in the distance and feel the wind picking up as they stand... looking toward the horizon and waiting. Where I live in the Midwest, there is a phrase used during parts of the year... "it feels like tornado weather". One can sense the approaching storm, long before the sky turns green and the fierce winds arrive.

I have already spent the past couple of days organizing and decluttering... yet again. But last night, as I was thinking of storms and sanctuary, I decided to work at making my home a complete sanctuary for the three of us and one elderly kitty (and anyone else entering our home).

Of course, I will continue decluttering as my husband and I tackle the garage today. If no one hears from us by nightfall... send out the St. Bernard carrying a flask of hot coffee with cream & Splenda.

I also plan to write out more ways I can make our home a sanctuary... deepening the pantry when possible, fixing things that are broken and other needed household maintenance, organizing my recipes... in particular those that are inexpensive, planning special days of celebration for no particular reason... and most of all... letting the peace of God permeate me and the house.

It all gets down to what He whispered in my ear when we were living in Detroit... Live Life On Purpose. Think... ponder... write down... don't let life just pass you by because it goes so quickly. So, my goals this year all fall under the label of "Sanctuary". Just how to accomplish this will be the subject of much pondering.

Added: I thought I should add that I can never expect perfect sanctuary in my home. I live with a teenager who can become quite cranky and moody, a husband who is on Disability for Bipolar symptoms (brought about by severe environmental allergies throughout his life), a cat who seems to cough up more hair balls as she grows older... and I have to live with myself. Sigh... only in Heaven will we find perfection.

Picture: Nostalgia-Mini by Clement Micarelli;


Niki RuralWritings said...

I loved this post Brenda! I have always tried to create a sanctuary for us at home. It is so important to have a corner to call your own! I'm sick with a head cold and enjoying my books, fireplace and laptop! A Sanctuary :)

freetobeme - Anita said...

Good thoughts and some things I need to work decluttering. As we're aging we're spending more and more time at home. It needs to become our sanctuary. Thanks for sharing this today.

Helen said...

Thank you for sharing this Brenda. I think it is so important that our homes are sanctuaries, places of safety that we can return to and be ourselves in, peaceful, comfortable and welcoming nests.
And that bit about living life on purpose. My daily bible reading notes at the moment are about the purpose of our lives being to love God and then to love and care for each other, and you are right, we should try not to let it slip through our fingers, life is very precious and we should do our best not to waste it. Doesn't mean 'doing' all the time though! x

Susan P. said...

Your words spoke right to my heart, Brenda. And yes, our home can be a sanctuary even with our beloved old kitty cats spitting up hairballs:)

Happy hugs, Susan P.

Rain said...

Thanks for a bit of respite. I look forward to your upcoming posts on this subject.

Clif said...

For days I have intended to write and tell you how much I like your header. Every time I see it, I feel peaceful. I like everything about it. Good post today as always.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Oh Brenda,

As a child I dreamed, imagined, read about, and finally (after meeting the Lord at age 10) PRAYED for a sanctuary. Without my own room or a stable address/homelife I carried that sanctuary in my heart until . . . I married and began to really cultivate a TRULY LIVE sanctuary of peace and beauty and joy.

My husband and I have moved five times, but our atmosphere of sanctuary has carried over. Nine years a-piece in the last two places constitute my records for living with roots but the sanctuary is nearly 25 years old. : )

My daughter just returned from college for a respite and has joyfully noted the sanctuary we enjoy that most of the world has no concept of or experience with. What a blessing God has showered on us as we steward, tidy, craft, cook, and so much more in the MAKE-HOME gene of my soul. I'm with you on expressing the joy of the here and now, but not forgetting it is merely earth/dust-ful -- there will be no dust in heaven. Hooray!

I shall long for Heaven as I brew a pot of tea with Him in my sanctuary (and share it with any and all who happen by) : D
Tkae care, stay warm, stay safe, and PRAISE the LORD for your insulin receipt. XO!

Mrs. Rabe said...

I agree with you about making home a sanctuary! I need to get busy decluttering and deep cleaning as well, now that the holidays are over.

Anonymous said...

I really liked your illustration and premise for this post! It is interesting to ponder what makes a home a sanctuary. That is something I longed for and now am very blessed to have found that sense of peace and home. I find that especially in my relationship with Christ and the time I spend with Him is precious. Making my home such a place as He might feel comfortable is important but it isn't so much things as the sense of what is condusive to Peace such as illustrated in your new blog header. :-)

Are you on GoodReads?

Environmental allergies can be very complicated and difficult to deal with! A savvy doctor figured out that to be my diagnosis years ago, most particularly triggered by formeldehyde which is found in some of the most surprising places. No new cars, plywood, drycleaners, newsprint ink, etc. for me!

Well, I have written more than enough. Sure appreciate your posts!


cheri said...

Live live on purpose. Yesterday, I blogged about living intentionally. Seems to be a theme every where I go!

May God bless you as you create a sanctuary for you and yours. His.

Tracy said...

What a great post!! I need to work on making my home a sanctuary too.
There are times when we really need one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Home really should be a sanctuary. Sometimes when I walk in my house it feels as tho I'm walking into a big hug from the house. & other times its a mess & not welcoming at all. Thanks for the inspiration.

Jane in Oklahoma

eyelandgirl said...

What a lovely post, Brenda. I am looking forward to your ponderings on this subject!


the pleasures of homemaking said...

I've always tried to create a santuary for my family and I'm always pleased when my husband and daughter say they like being home!


Anonymous said...

It took me three days to convince myself I neded to go shopping this week. I would certainly rather stay home. Home is so peaceful and inviting ... who would want to leave? A sanctuary for sure. Your ideas of living life on purpose sure goes along with something that has been bumpling around in my heart for quite a while. In your talks of it you have put a defination to my wondering thoughts. Thankyou. Now I feel I have direction and will proceed on my own path towards that. I am so very glad your insulin has come through! You have fought for your health and didn't need to ever be without your proper dose of insulin. Jody

gail said...

"Sanctuary" What a beautiful word. Thankyou you for reminding us to always make our homes a Sanctuary for the ones who dwell in them. I look forward to your posts so much. You seem to be what I would call a Gentlewoman, humble and of gentle spirit.

Blessings Gail

Kelly said...

This is exactly what I want our home to be -- a sanctuary -- a place of peace, comfort and rest. There are things that I need to work on to help accomplish this. Thank you for this wonderful, thought-provoking post.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Great post! Want to recommend to you Jan. 5 post with the church windows - That girl has such profound wisdom for someone her age! Thought you would enjoy it!

Sandy said...

No one has a perfect sanctuary - but I feel your heart here. Beautiful! My hubby loves to read in living room too, and we play a lot of classical and jazz.

scrappy quilter said...

What a wonderful post Brenda. You've given me much to think about today. I need to look at more ways to make my home a sanctuary. Thank you for your words every day that are so inspiring.


Abounding Treasures said...

What a delightful post Brenda!

I thoroughly enjoy making our small home a sanctuary for the 3 of us as well as anyone who visits and just today I began some *deep decluttering* which is going to be quite a long, ongoing process since I haven't done it in awhile.

BTW - I'm so glad your insulin came in!!

Blessings to you and yours.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

You are so good at creating sanctuary that you even do it here. Lovely, Brenda!

Anonymous said...

V~AHavenforVee is so right in her comment! Jody

Anonymous said...

Hi Bren :) I'm bloghopping today and thought I'd stop in. I love your blog. ~em

Pear tree cottage! said...

Brenda, this is such a true post and one I too feel is the same for all of us.....Your Sanctuary sounds good to me. Please keep safe and warm as we try to keep cool form the summer suns here in Australia.


Susie Q said...

What a wonderful post Brenda...
our home is my refuge and I never fail to feel welcomed here. It may be small and not exceptional in any way but it houses those I love so and that alobe makes it my dream house!


DebD said...

lovely post...thanks for the reminder. And I think I smell your dinner simmering on the stove.

Kathy Butryn said...

A lovely post, and it expresses my heart's desire as well. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I will look forward to seeing and hearing the ways you embrace the theme of sanctuary this year.