After weeks of sickness and pushing through the darkness to find the light, we finally receive our reward. Two friends who share a birthday. Just two days apart…and ten years. We dropped off 7 children to spend the weekend with Aunts and Grandparents. Met at the airport with handsome husbands in the lead and only one darling baby to keep us from forgetting who we really are – parents. We depart for Maine, and the lovely Kismet Inn.
From the dead, bleak, cold of winter we enter into Shadi’s home. A home of life, color and warmth (which had very little to do with its 60 degree temperature). Art hung on each wall of lavender, red, yellow and green. Treasures from around the world add interest and curiosity.
Uniquely upholstered chairs welcome the tired guests. Hot tea blooming. And the scent of spices and herbs, permanent guests of the inn, foretell the delicious food that will be served.
From this kitchen, Shadi feeds her guests organic food and her gracious spirit.
A treasure, this place. Found by our friends. Shared with us. We can’t wait to wake in the morning and take it all in.
This place, this home becomes the main environment of the trip.
We walk to the sea, breathe in the amazing day of sun, shore, snow topped pines, rocks and friendship.
But it’s the home that soothes us. Restores us. We begin each morning with a late, long breakfast. Sipping tea and coffee. Carrot jam on crisp multi-grain bread. Homemade yogurt. Long conversations with a couple from Switzerland.
And the days end with Shadi’s ritual tea, conversations about homelands, food, faith, and family. Sharing stories and hopes and dreams.
Home. It’s where I love to be. Even when it’s not my own home.
We live in a time and place where homes are increasing in size but the way we live and relate within their walls is diminishing. The ovens are cold. The tables empty. But the cars are warm, restaurants bustling, activities exhausting. Homes have become a place people prop their feet up at the end of each day.
Maybe it’s because for many home represents brokenness. Where dads leave. Where moms are overwhelmed. A place of fear and hostility. A place to hide. To run away from. We’ve desperately tried to fill these empty places with expensive furniture and trendy decor. Fresh paint to cover our walls, to cover our pain. We think maybe – just maybe – if the house looks good, it will be good for those inside.
Shadi’s home was different. The color and decor weren’t a disguise to hide suffering. Rather a reflection of the creative soul who breathed life into the space.
I think of the garden God created. Colorful. Bursting with life. Abundant food. Sweet aromas. A sensual experience of God’s creative nature. His intended home for his created people. It wasn’t boring. Bleak. Empty. Simple or modest. It was extravagant. And beautiful. Full of life and energy.
This is the kind of home I want for our family.
Home is the main environment for our family. There are weeks, especially in winter months, where I rarely step outside the door. It’s the place we eat three meals a day. A place we learn. A place we invite people to. A place we dream and hope for the future. A place we create and grow. A place we worship.
The way we live our faith within our family predominately occurs within these walls. It’s the space where God is shaping who we are, who we are becoming. Our home must be an environment of grace. Not just for our family. For all those who enter.
We desire our home to reflect who we are, what we believe, and what God is calling us to. Just as God instructed the Israelites.
May the ways of God be written on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
Talk about them when you sit at home.
I pray that God’s love will be experienced in every room of our home. His stories told. His colors of unity enhancing its character. May his grace cover the walls. And his hope breathe life into its very air.
May his spirit be the foundation, a solid holy ground to walk upon every day. May I seek to serve my family and guests food that feeds the body well and the Word that feeds their souls.
To those living in broken homes — A creative God never stops creating. He rebuilds, restores and makes new. Jesus, a carpenter of the soul. Invite him into your home.
Repost from January 2011