Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Building a Refuge

The following quote was originally penned by Peter Marshall, former chaplain to the US Senate and can be found in the beginning of chapter 13 of Elizabeth George's book A Woman After God's Own Heart.

"I was privileged, in the spring, to visit in a home that was to me -and I am sure to the occupants-a little bit of Heaven. There was beauty there. There was keen appreciation of the finer things of life, and an atmosphere in which it was impossible to keep from thinking of God.
The room was bright and white and clean, as well as cozy. There were many windows. Flowers were blooming in pots and vases, adding their fragrance and beauty. Books lined one wall-good books-inspiring and instructive-good books-good friends. Three bird cages hung in the brightness and color of this beautiful sanctuary, and the songsters voiced their appreciation by singing as if their little throats would burst.
Nature's music, nature's beauty-nature's peace....It seemed to me a kind of Paradise that had wandered down, an enchanted oasis-home."

image from Ikea's 2010 catalog

Doesn't that sound lovely? A home where it's impossible to keep from thinking of God? I was recently re-reading WAGOH and in chapter 13 she charges her readers to "build a refuge". She advises this can be done by "avoiding the negatives" (Prov. 14:1), "understanding that wisdom builds, "decide to begin building (it's never too late)", and to "each day, do one thing to build your home".

After some recent events in my life, the thought has come to me to desire a home like that, a haven of rest to all who enter it. We had some family members come to stay with us for a bit after their living situation proved to be less than desired. While they were here I wanted them to feel welcome, refreshed and safe. The opposite of their previous home, but how do I go about doing that?

I tried to do special things for them, like a simple brownie saved from our dessert with a little note attached that they could enjoy when coming home from work or finishing that load of laundry they didn't complete. Which I think fits under the avoiding the negative. I could have hoarded all those yummy treats for my immediate family or just left their laundry, but by doing small tasks for my guests I was able to show Christ love to them, through my acts of service.

God placed the desire there to serve others within my home, but I lacked the knowledge/wisdom of how to pull it off. I had to learn more! I began seeking God's word on being a good hostess and serving others, I re-read many chapters on caring for the home in my favorite books and even looked to some magazines for inspiration. I relized that there was lots learn and that through learning more, wisdom would build my refuge.

I don't want to appear like I have it all together, in fact the first night they were here I failed miserably at creating a refuge and found myself in a horrible argument with my new guests. It ended with forgiveness being sought and my decision to begin building (it really is never too late!) and the rest of their stay was relatively peaceful.

Which brings us to her last charge for all of us... Let's decide to each day/week or whatever, try and do one thing to build your home. As Proverbs 14:1 states:

"Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish pulls it down with hands."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your honest post! I find it encouraging and motivational.