when a house becomes a home

Sunday, November 20

{Getting ready for the special night...gotta LOVE scented candles. Don't they just make everything feel warmer?}

{Does the banner look familiar? It hung at our wedding. I bought the peace dove at a second hand-shop last summer in Sweden..I just couldn't resist a hanging dove, even if the plug is European and doesn't fit into our plugs here, haha}

{Another wedding piece recycled into home decor! We used these old postcards to put at each setting and the guests wrote us love-filled letters to read and re-read. I clipped them to an old frame and fabric! Couldn't resist}

Friday night we warmed our house, that is, we threw a 'lil party to welcome our friends to the new place. And it was wonderful.

Days prior, in the bustle of cleaning and hanging and purging, my my mind churned words round- tumbled thoughts of house vs. home scattered across beginner wife's slate. House, as I reflected, seeped meaning of "building" or "structure". The physical. As dimensional as a house is in brick and stone, Home carries a higher dimension. Home breathes life and warmth and welcome. "Home sweet home" not "house sweet house", and the point is diffused.

On August 13th I inherited a title- a powerful one that I do not take lightly. Wife. Ah yes, the illusive label with connotations to boot. The world reduces four letters to a domestic lunch box with servings of cleaning and housework and children. Oh, but to Abba "wife" is a sacred task. I see sparkle in the charge, twinkle in the good Author's eyes. Yes, being a wife is about being a caretaker of home and family- but mere mobility does not make a home.

A house becomes a home when love saturates, when encouragement fuses with the banal, and light shines bright HOPE into damp corners of fear and trepidation. Home is rest, a place to shed all anxieties upon entering the threshold. You are you- home is where someone believes in you. These reflections bear not as much on my limited experience as a wife, but find vibrant truth and life thanks to growing tall in a home where my own dear mother poured heart into her charge. Marrying my best friend, I wanted that for him. I wanted to prayerfully fight for a space where Kevin walks through the door and his souls tastes freedom. Enveloped by a warmth of love, known by a woman who's heart beats belief in the man she loves.

So yes, of course we painted, and decorated and arranged. But HOME could not be bought by gift cards or found at the be-all-end-all Bed Bath and Beyond. No, the home I wanted to create could only be built with prayer. Prayer that God would lay foundations of love and welcome, of light and hope, of hospitality and warmth.

Last week I stumbled across a letter that Catherine Booth wrote to her husband William Booth (the founder of the Salvation Army). In it, she declares her intent that their home will always be a place sensitive to his needs and concerns. And if you ask me, it is dripping in a deep and holy love.

"I am delighted; it makes me happy to hear you speak as you do about home. Yes, if you will seek home, love home, be happy at home, I will spend my energies in trying to make it a more than ordinary one; it shall, if my ability can do it, be a spot sunny and bright, pure and calm, refined and tender, a fit school in which to train immortal spirits for a holy and glorious heaven; a fit resting place for a spirit pressed and anxious about public duties; but oh I know it is easy to talk, I feel how liable I am to fall short; but it is well to purpose right, to aim high, to hope much; yes we will make home to each other the brightest spot on earth, we will be tender, thoughtful, loving and forbearing, will we not? Yes we will."

Moved. Home is not WHERE, we dwell, but HOW we dwell. Oh, and don't you love her conviction at the end? "Will we not? YES, we will". Beautiful. Prayer moves us to conviction that being a wife stands at a forefront of Kingdom work. About creating a space where saints and sinners can be trained, a resting place for the weary, a beacon of light.

and yes, much like Catherine..."I feel how liable I am to fall short" BUT.... (and I love that there is a "but")

It is well to purpose right.

To aim high.

To HOPE much.

And our home was warmed well by dear friends. Sweet souls who gathered together and prayed with conviction that we would fulfill God's great Kingdom work for our lives through such a sacred space. And I continue to pray- to aim high- to hope much.

Love Katie

{Gluten Free brownies! Can't leave anyone out}
{Some friends had left, and some hadn't arrived, but a sweet shot of those that warmed our home}
{Some picture on the wall...love love love sharing our lives and stories through pictures}
{Got this chair FOR FREE...makes it even more delicious, right?}
{And my favorite place to spend time the God! I got this one for free too (on the side of the road...yes I am my mother's daughter!). The color was too perfect and matched our bedspread so I claimed it for our room! SOOOOO cozy!}

1 comment :

  1. Katie, I love your HOME! and loved every word you wrote about it. I feel the exact same way and know the Lord calls us as wives to do this very thing you are doing, with a sparkle in His eye. :) So proud of you friend! Will write back soon to your email... :) Love, love love!


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