It refreshes our spirit.
Almost anything that’s white, fluffy, clean and pretty can refresh our spirit. Snow meets all of those and more. It’s a great way to store a lot of water! However, water storage is not the question. The question is – do our homes refresh the spirit of our family?
Have you ever entered someone’s home and instantly just felt it? The presence of home. That feeling that someone went out of their way to make their house a home? It’s not that it looked like a magazine, or adorned with expensive furniture or art. It’s a combination of things.
– It’s not spic and span clean. It’s not dirty, but you can see that people live here.
– The colors are comforting. They may not be lined up nicely like a paint chip, but there is something – that undefined something – that brings all the colors together in a harmonious way.
– It smells good. Whether it’s from a candle or dinner cooking, it doesn’t matter.
– People are living their lives there.
That last point can be confusing. Some people simply inhabit buildings. They sleep there, they might eat there, they shower and dress there – but their lives are lived outside the home, in the world. When we live our lives inside our home, it’s apparent.
There is a science experiment in progress in the corner of the living room. A book is open and placed upside down next to the couch. The dinner table is set. Laughter can be heard. There is a workbench in the garage. The spare room is a sewing room. In the backyard, two little boys are digging a hole – the biggest hole ever! The kitchen has a shelf with cookbooks on it – cookbooks with a few splatters of tomato sauce on them. The washing machine is going, and sheets are drying on the line outside. There is a weekly women’s Bible study going on in the family room.
I think I’ve admitted it before, but I do like to eavesdrop on conversations. Of strangers. Not the conversations of people I know. I’ve overheard the following conversation more than once.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to stay at home? Quit this job?”
“Really? I don’t know. What would I do all day?”
She shrugs. “I don’t know. Cook, clean, take care of my kids, go to the park … ”
The other one shudders. “I didn’t get my degree so I could stay home and clean. No, thank you.” And she never looks at her friend the same way again.
I’m extremely interested in making my home an oasis, a safe and comforting place. I want my family to be eager to get home. But I also kind of want them to be eager to leave in the morning. I love a quiet house, snow falling outside and me in the sewing room or writing a book on the computer.