I am currently sitting in my sunny yellow kitchen with a fire roaring in the wood stove, making a delicious, somewhat nutritious supper, with wine in hand and being serenaded by Nat, Michael, Van, and, of course, Frankie. This scenario is one that I am so very blessed to have happen quite often, and is one of my very favorites. The only way this could be better is if my husband were cooking with me, another favorite thing, but this is my time! And as always, even with this perfect setting, my mind is working.
I am remembering the many times when I was a little girl that my family took vacations to Durango, Colorado. The southwest part of Colorado is one of the most beautiful in the state. My father instilled in me a love of this place, yet he never wanted to move there. He insisted that wherever you live, there the problems and pains of life would ruin the peace that place provided. Even knowing my father suffered deep clinical depression, the idea that your home could not be your haven, your safe place, your get-away, your place of protection from life’s cruelties, was an idea that I rejected. I loved our home, the support system of my dear family, and the love and life we shared. This place, these people, however imperfect, were my haven.
I married God’s dearest gift to me in September of 1997. We purchased our first house just before the wedding and set about making this house a home. I shared my “haven home” dream with my husband and asked him to partner with me in this as a goal for the rest of our lives. Together we pledged that with the help and grace of God, we would make our home the place we live, pray, love, laugh, play, share every good, sad, tragic, or happy thing, where we would run to from life’s hurts, pains, criticism’s, and problems, where we would make love, work out our differences, argue until it was solved, revel in controlled chaos, make fun messes, love and laugh until it hurt, and make a marriage.
That decision, that commitment, is one of the yardsticks by which we measure how we act, how we handle conflict, what we allow into our home, what is said, what is watched, what is listened to, how we decorate, the pets we own, and the decision to have two computers – although we do only have one sink and one bathroom! 🙂 My prayer for our home has been that the love, presence, and protection of God would be inescapable in every room of our home. Proverbs 14:1 says “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” This verse gives me chills and I pray over this verse and ask for wisdom to build my home, God’s guidance for the direction of how to run my household, and that I may not eat the bread of idleness. I also build our home by striving to keep it clean and tidy for my husband to come home to and in preparation for hospitality.
Twelve and one half years later (today!;), we have experienced personal imperfection and failure, family tragedies, job loss, physical trauma, unmet expectations, emotional pain, mental fatigue, and shed may tears. We have experienced joy, peace, love, fun, friendship, triumph, and tons of laughter. We have held on, let go, and given in, but never given up.
As I now sit in my kitchen writing and hoping that supper isn’t burning, I am so very thankful for the dream, the goal, the commitment we made many years ago, and I revel daily in its joy. This is my favorite place in all the world….our home, our haven!!