Hi everyone! I apologize for the delay in my posting recently. While it might come across as a cop out I felt the writing was becoming uninspired and forced for the sake of a daily devotional. Further, as we get closer to Christmas things around the office picked up and my mind has just been a little exhausted to write. But, I want to express my gratitude for not only your patience but your concern. A number of you reached out through email or talked to me in person and made sure everything was okay. It was warming to my heart and enriching to my soul to know how meaningful these devotionals are for you and it gives me the determination to deliver quality content to you.
However, through the New Year I'm only going to be committing to 3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If there is a particular topic that really inspires me I might write more but for now thats what I believe I can commit to and not go crazy, haha.
Last Sunday I preached on a message called the Joy of Home and challenged us as the faithful to live into the uneasy tension of knowing that the world does not look like the way God wants it to look but having the faith and the hope that it one day will. As we approach the end of the year and begin to reflect back on what went well and what did not go well I believe that this same message is applicable to your personal lives, too.
I'm envious of the people that have an artists mind. To take an empty sheet of paper and transform it into something magical is awe inspiring. I'm envious too of architects and interior designers that can see something broken down or even blank land and know how to build something marvelous. A couple of my friends have been building homes on a plot of land and it's been so exciting to watch their eagerness as wood planks become rooms which will someday became a space of memories.
When McKinsie and I bought our house last year it was a result of a house fire in 2013. Something in the kitchen exploded and torched the interior of the house but structurally it remained standing. The house sold in 2013 for $3,000 and someone gave it new life to where it is today. I invite you to see the gallery of where things were and where they are now. It's pretty crazy what people can do!
Since then McKinsie and I have filled that house with furniture, artwork, food, entertainment, and of course our bunnies and our doggo, Bonsai, who is the light of our life. See below
(Bonsai + Blankets = Bonkets(?) Blanksai??)
We've painted the walls a creamy coffee tan and a dark blue in the kitchen. We've build a garden in the backyard, landscaped the front yard, and plan to build a patio and privacy fence for the backyard next summer. Our little house is by no means perfect but is home.
In my message I shared that home is any place that we feel comfort, safe, freedom, joy, and a space to be authentically ourselves. Home can be a house, or home can be a campground, or home can be anywhere that these emotions ring true. However, when I think about our God and mine and McKinsie's house I'm also reminded that home is a place where growth occurs. Growth most often happens in times of distress, trial, or shame. But, when we're surrounded by and cared on by people (and God) that love us beyond measure (especially God) we can be more than our distress, trials, or shame. We can rebuild and be even better than we were before. There's plenty about our little house that still needs work done, for sure, but every time I come through the door at night or lie down for rest I'm reminded of where it is has been and where it is now and I give thanks. If I'm honest, I know the same is true for me too. I haven't always been great, or kind, or open minded, or slow to anger. But in the comfort of my God's arms I've become someone that I am proud of. That's what the joy of Christmas is all about. That's what the joy of home is.
Questions to Consider
What is home for me? Who makes somewhere home for me?
What are my areas of growth? How can my home(s) be an example of that this next year?
Where is God in our examples of home?
Praying through Praise
Go Tell it on the Mountain is one of my favorite songs because it is pure joy all the way through. For our reading the Bible group I shared a really fun version that many of you enjoyed. Just this morning Elevation church released a jazzy version of it that just made me dance while cooking breakfast this morning. I hope you experience this same joy today and everyday.