Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Hymn Revisited: What a Friend We Have in Jesus

I was sitting in church Sunday, eyes staring up to the screen with words displayed to the Hymn, "What a Friend I have in Jesus".  I thought about the truths that are so vividly displayed in this simple song.  Truths that are the bones of my faith, and the foundations of my hope; the fact that Jesus is my friend.  He intercedes for me, he seeks me out, his pursuit is incessant, never giving up.  

As Christians we can make things so complicated and christianity so intimidating.  I hate that.  Seriously, it grieves me when a new believer says to me, "I never believed in God because I thought I had to be perfect".   I am here to tell you that I screw up daily, hourly, "minutely"... but I have this friend, and he doesn't care.   His only desire is me... and for you! 

As I listened to the words on Sunday and considered them, I wanted to write them out in the words my heart sang them.  I was talking to my husband about rewriting the hymn and his response was ..."So you're trying to write the Message Version of the hymn?"... Well, sorta.  More like the "Heather Version"... how the hymn is applied to my life, how my brain process the words to my heart...   

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn


Here it is. 

A Hymn revisited. 

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" 

I have a friend who I can tell anything; every offense, every secret, every hurt; and He listens.  

Not only does He give attention to the heart within me that aches,  but I hand him my pain and he exchanges it for comfort and peace.  

Always; Everyday; I carry my misery instead of surrendering it to my Maker.  Words begin, through sweet conversation and raw dialog, face dripping with tears, he hears me.  Agony stacked upon me, pressures increasing by the minute, still I hold on with tight grip and white knuckles, forfeiting the comfort that He so lovingly offers me.  

Trials are promised, temptations unescapable, troubles surround me; yet I WILL stand, I will confidently take it to Him and lay it at his feet, as an offering, as a sacrifice; acknowledging I cannot do it without HIM, my friend.  

And when he lifts it from my shoulders he smiles and says to me, "I know you, I know your wounds, I know your distress, I see your tired eyes, I see your limp body. MY purpose is for YOU."

I look up at him and see my safe refuge; Suddenly I am free from the wars of my mind and the ripping of my heart, to Him I run.  I hold tightly to his neck and know I am protected, I am at peace, I am free. He will never leave me. 

I place my trust upon his lap and know that I walk hand in hand with a Savior who loves me, a Savior who cares.   Amity is found, and must not be forgotten.  Heart burdened, I reach up and  grab his hand in the morning for experience tells me that my day is promised to be rough.  

But in hope I rejoice because days are coming that tears will be extinct and bodies are new, griefs forgotten and sorrows vanished, for those days I will live in the presence of my Savior, my friend, and MY purpose will be for HIM.  

Thanks for reading Friends. 

Original Words 

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why I Blog...And My New Diggs


As you can see I gave the ole blog a digital facelift this weekend. I have decided to take this adventure a teensy bit more serious, and the need to seem semi-professional has arose.   

In an effort to share a little history with you, I want you to know that I started this blog in January 2013.  I love to write and for years I let my insecurity stop me from sharing my love with others.  Through the encouragement from other women that I respect and adore, I decided to give it a whirl, just for fun.  That was 8 months ago.  Within that eight month period I have had over 20,000 views on this blog.  (This number is not very large in the "blogosphere", some people have 6 million views a day)  But nevertheless to me, as a stay-at-home mom of 3, that's a wholelottaviews!!!   People have viewed my posts in Thailand, Germany, Canada, South Korea, China, India AND many other countries.... the vast majority of views have been from the United States, but coming in second is RUSSIA?!!  I think I know 2 people from Russia... and to those of you who are reading from Russia, Привет!

So, within 8 months my words have visited over 8 countries and have spoken to over ten thousand people... wow, I am speechless.  (not really... I am still typing. hehe)  Seriously, though, I  started trying to process the distance that this blog has gone and I was so humbled.  I sit here amazed that through blogging I have the opportunity to speak truth into the lives of so many.  I have never had the opportunity to reach that many individuals or people groups in that short amount of time, EVER.

Last night I was able to attend a conference where I listened to women speak to the importance of blogging, social media and writing within this generation of both believers and non-believers.  Throughout the evening my frame of mind suddenly shifted and I became intensely aware of the enormous impact that blogging can have, and then I realized the weight of my words and the responsibility, as a follower of Christ, that I had.  Within the strokes of my keys lies the power of life and death, the same power that Proverbs 18:21 speaks of, "Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose." 

And I must CHOOSE to type those words that give life, to be the salt and to be the light to people peering through laptops and iPhones throughout the nations.  I am choosing to open my heart to those afraid to ask hard questions, to those embarrassed to be struggling, and to those who need both the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

And to my fellow believer:
You too are held to a higher standard when it comes to social media; whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blogging...etc.  Others are watching, others are questioning, others are searching... and when they come across your corner of the internet do they find words of life or death?  Do they find pictures of a life of HOPE, secure in Jesus Christ, or do they find someone who is looking for security in others approval?  Be reflective, think about who you represent... and why?  It really does matter.

Titus 2:1-6 out of the Message says...


 A God-Filled Life

1-6 Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.

And where it says... "BY LOOKING AT THEM..." today, as women in 2013, we must insert "by reading their Facebook and Twitter updates AND by looking at their Instagram"... because guess what, they are looking!!  Since we know this, we must take advantage and we must take responsibility.

It matters because... "We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior".

We are covered in grace because of Jesus Christ's death on the cross, yet if we believe in Him and follow him, our one and only purpose on earth is found in the Great Commission when Jesus says in Matthew 28:16-20

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

So. I realized through this small space, from my living room, sitting on my couch, God has equipped me to "GO"... And he has equipped YOU too.  If we should have boldness in any area, it should be in the "GOing", the "Disciple Making" and the "Baptizing"... because we are NOT alone, Jesus himself said, HE IS WITH US.  In authority he calls us and with grace he is with us.  Always.

And if you have ever considered writing a blog, DO IT... especially if you are reflecting the power and love of Jesus Christ in your life.  People are going to read something, and they might land on YOU.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dutchy and The Leash

Have I ever told you how we revealed our pregnancy with our third baby?


Well.  There are a few reasons why I don't share this information.

1: I am terrified you will think I am the worse Mom.  Ever.


2: I am terrified that my poor third child will never let me live it down; bless him.

With Daxxon, our first born, I am sure we did some sort of thought out pregnancy reveal, like making a cute card that said "from your grandchild"... or something fun like that.  I've had three kids since that day, so I don't remember the details.  With Zadie, number 2, we spelled out "we are pregnant" in a rigged scrabble game and with Dutch, numero tres... well it wasn't as exciting.

Our little family of four was driving home from church in our oh-so-cool Jeep Commander.  Sitting high above the sedans and minivans we waited at the traffic light, I knew it was time to bring IT up.  The kids were in the "pre-nap-stare-out-the-window-trance", the car abnormally silent.  The sky was gray and a soft drizzle was hitting the windshield as I contemplated how to bring up the news to my husband. I had suspiciously passed my "time of the month", I convinced myself that if I lived in denial I could put off the inevitable.

Well, after discussing the topic for 30 seconds we pulled into CVS and I ran in to purchase the dreaded "TEST".  After the quick transaction, I jumped in the car and we jolted home without saying a word to each other.  I walked in the house mid-afternoon on that rainy Sunday with stick in hand and 2 kids crying in their beds, and gingerly I closed the bathroom door behind me.  A deep breath filled my lungs as I peeled open the box so my future fate could be determined.  The corse white absorbent stick was not even wet before the plus sign made it's way to the forefront of the screen.  I glanced, and my fears were confirmed and immediately I tossed the test into the bathroom trash.  A wave of emotion came over me, most from the rapidly increasing hormones but also a deep fear of the unknown.  I couldn't fit a third child in our car, I couldn't fit a third child in our tiny 2 bedroom home, and, heck, I couldn't fit a third child in a restaurant booth...we were now a "party of five", and we had officially out-grown the American norm.  I emptied my lungs with a sigh and knew it would all "work out" just fine.

Later that night the in-laws came over, and after being at our house for less than 10 minutes one of them visited the restroom.  After exiting the bathroom with wide eyes and a smile, they wondered if the clue laying on top of the tissues and bandaid wrappers belonged to me. And, yes, it did.

We all laughed... and then celebrated the new life that was on it's way.

 My pregnancy was a blur.  I honestly don't remember much of it because I was so busy chasing the other two kids around.

Dutch was born on his due date, June 26, the same day as our 8th anniversary.  I woke up at 5:00 in the morning with light contractions and slept through them until 7:00.  As the contractions strengthened and my breath shortened, Denver and I were in the car by 7:45.  With my first two children I went into labor because my water broke.  I never felt a contraction, and when I did I was in the hospital and simply beckoned for the anesthesiologist to take my pain away.  Well, such a pleasant experience was not the case for this child.  Instead the little booger pushed his way through my pelvis, prying my hips apart and I swear to you he climbed out.  So. Much. Pain. Seriously, I have never felt so much pain.  My uterus hurts just typing this.  We arrived at the hospital around 8:15 and little Dutchy was born 3 hours and one epidural later.

I took home my third little baby and the heavens rejoiced because in my arms is the child that will someday change the world.  His passion is so potent that it's hard to contain in that little body of his.  He is 15 months old and I am still waiting for his "colic" to go away... he likes to cry; and scream; and holler; and yell; and screech; and squeal.  My ears will never recover from this past year, his pitch is so high that Denver and I downloaded a decibel reader and clocked him at 101 decibels.  No Joke.  The pitch pierces my ears, shoots receptors to my brain stem and shuts down my central nervous system... causing complete loss of control of any coherent thinking.  I even have hash tagged #dutchwontstopscreaming on Instagram...only to keep track of all the screaming.  Like a screaming scrap book of sorts! Some people take pictures of their kids in rocking chairs with cute little animals... I just take pictures of my child crying.  It's sad.

Little baby Dutchy was only 1 week old here.  Stretching out those fabulous lungs. 

"Colic" WHAT?  Denver and I basically passed around a crying baby that looks like this for 6 weeks... that was when it was supposed to "stop"... eh-hem... see pictures below. 

Sorry I just had to add this one... someone WIPE THAT BOYS NOSE!!  

The "Its almost my bedtime and I want to take a bath with brother and sister cry". 

The actual Decibel reader on a road trip to camp!! woohoo... this will be going in the baby book.  

Post shot melt down.  

Last week... He wanted my phone, we are working on saying "please" in baby sign language... trying to get this boy a vocabulary so he doesn't have to scream... he refused to sign, I refused to give him the phone... so here's the picture that resulted.  More. Crying. 

Anyways.  I was trying to get to this story and I have completely gone off grid...  Last week I ran some errands with the Karen (Burmese) family that we are friends with.  I was with the Mom and her four children, who are 18, 16, 14 and 7... Their family has only been in America for 3-4 years... so she raised most of her children in the JUNGLE of Thailand.  She is the "Survivor Man" of mothers.  Raising children in the jungle, cooking 3 meals a day on an open flame and bathing her children in a RIVER!  Seriously, she probably laughs at us American moms.  Well, I brought them back to their apartment and they asked me to wait at my car because they had bought me a present.  The youngest daughter ran upstairs and came back down with a wadded up plastic wal-mart sack.  Sheepishly she smiled and then handed me the crumpled bag.  I took it and the three daughters and the mother began to look at each other and giggle.  Suddenly I felt like they were conspiring against me and I was a little scared to peek inside the bag.  I made eye contact with the mother and she nodded her head and smiled,
coaxing me to peel away the plastic.  Looking down I gingerly unwrapped the plastic bag to find.... A KID LEASH!!!!!!!!!!!  My eyes popped and we ALL burst into laughter.......because guess what... with this child, I totally need that kid leash!!!!!

So, here, a mother who raised her children among wild monkeys and anacondas thinks I NEED A LEASH FOR MY CHILD!!! 

Oh.  Dutchy.  All the words I previously got by without eating... I am now stuffing my mouth full of them.  Words like:

"I will never put one of those horrible leashes on my child"

This child has broken the mold in our family.  He is funny, daring, passionate, and...well... a little wild. My dad calls him the "tornado" or the "the destroyer" or something along the lines of destruction.... He dipped his toothbrush in the toilet last week (and lived) and two nights ago I found him dumping BOAT LOADS (literally, he had a giant toy boat) of bathwater on HIM and the bathroom floor.  Most kids splash in the water or take a cup of water and pour it out... not him, he finds a giant boat and scoops the water up and dumps is out on his freshly changed PJs and my new bath mat.  Seriously.  My gray hair has exponentially multiplied this year, and I can't imagine why?!

But inside this little stunt man I can already see how God is equipping him.  He will use his strong and unique personality traits as assets for HIS kingdom.  Having the boldness and courage to take on life's grandest adventures, his future is sure to be one that will change the world!   I pray that he has a desire and love for God's word, a churning in his heart for justice and a passion for Christ.

So.  If you see me walking my kid around on a leash, don't judge.  Just laugh, hug me and know that I am doing the best that I can to keep us BOTH alive!! :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Living the "Crumby Life"

My house is a wreck.

It wasn't a wreck until we emptied all of the unpacked boxes from the garage to our living room.

Plus- We have 2 cars in our garage!! woohoo!!
Minus- We have all of our unpacked boxes in the middle of our empty living room!  woohoo!! (<--not)

Moving is hard.  Moving with three children (ALL home for summer break...) impossible.  Seriously.  I might never ever ever move again because this has been so difficult.. but it has taught me to relax and eat the elephant one bite at a time, so they say.

A friend came over this afternoon to pick up something.  I knew she was coming today, but I did not know the time.  Quite honestly, I had forgotten she was even coming until she called me at 11 and told me she was on her way.  When I received the call I was in route to pick up Daxx from school.  (They only went a 1/2 day this first day... not cool people in charge... not cool... I need 8-2:30 minimum to get anything accomplished!!) Anyhow, since I was in the car with 2 tired and hungry children, I was unable to scurry around the house and pick up the bazillion pairs of shoes and the 1/2 eaten pieces of bread that were cluttering up my living room filled with boxes.

She was waiting in front of my house when I pull into the drive way.  So, not only does she get to see my insanely dirty house, but she gets a glimpse of my van... which is even scarier I am sure.   She comes in, we chat, she gets her stuff, she leaves... I throw food at the children and toss them into bed  (Just kidding!! )  I feed them lunch and then usher them to their rooms for naps and then I go throughout the house cleaning up from the chaos of the morning.

As I am picking up I become more and more irritated at the "snacks" that have ended up around my house.  Empty goldfish bags, banana peels breading colonies of gnats, containers with 4-5 Cherios abandoned in the bottom, and 8 cups halfway filled with apple juice!!  Whaaaaa!!!

My insides were screaming... "THIS. IS. RIDICULOUS.  I will never feed my children snacks again!!!"

In the midst of my frustration God gently said to me, "Heather... this is a season of snacking... For your children and for you." 

My children are young.  Their bellies are little.  They need snacks.  They also need meals of healthy filling food too.  Both are essential for them to be growing little people, happy and ready to learn.

This phase of my life is difficult.  It is requiring more of me than I can give so I must constantly be "snacking" on God's word throughout the day.  As I shuffled through my house picking up those stale crumbs that made it possible for my child to make it to their next meal without going into a low-blood-sugar induced coma, God revealed how he allows my soul to snack on Him.

Through Music; He fills me up.

Through scripture I have memorized; He fills me up.

Through fellowship with my family and friends; He fills me up.

Through silence and calmness; He fills me up.

Through listening to His Word; He fills me up.

Through finding beauty in his creation; He fills me up.

(The list goes on and on...)

In so many ways God pours into my life in perfectly small amounts, but those minute moments are sometimes the only thing that gets me to my next feast.  Without them, I too would end up on the floor in a "my-children-are-screaming-and-I-am-a-tired-Mommy" coma!

Snacks will be had, no matter what... no matter how hard I fight them, I live a "crumby" life right now and I must accept it.  Along with the crumbs my soul rejoices in the continual filling of the Holy Spirit, because without Him I am hopeless and I am ridiculous... and I am a mess too.

God is so gentle and full of grace, for Him to seek me out in these small ways and to care enough about me to nourish my soul in ways that I cannot describe is incredible.  I am so thankful I serve a God who cares, and a God who meets me where I am.

My Mom is the "SNACK QUEEN"... Every time we see her she brings the kids baskets of snacks.  I blame their bad habit on her.  ;)  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Home the God Uses

Thinking on the idea of "Home" has hit me quite hard this year, both literally and figuratively.  Since the past 5 months our family has undergone moving, being homeless (but staying with relatives), losing a home, finding a new home, unpacking, arranging, and all other connotations to the word "Home", I was a little "HOMED" out.  This Homie has taken a personal vow to NEVER grace the screen of or watch House Hunters for the next 5 years after my experience this last summer.

This past semester I took part in the most awesome book study where a group of women in our church read through "Finding Your Purpose as a Mom" by Donna Otto.  We met tonight for a reunion and I was supposed to share a little something I gleaned from our time together. As I skimmed over my book  reading my notes and highlighted quotes I landed on topics that him me hard, once again.  The first being the factual statement, "Throughout the Old and New Testaments we find the idea that homes are places where souls are nourished and where God's ways are taught".   What truth we see here.  This lead my over caffeinated brain on a bunny trail of the use of a "HOME" in scripture.  I started to wonder where and when I have seen God use the home as the setting to his story.


I first thought of the Jews finding protection within the walls of their homes during Passover in Egypt.  Moses commanded the elders of Israel to paint the door frames of their homes with the blood of the passover lamb, then seek refuge inside the walls of their home.  God used the homes of the Israelites to provide safety from "the destroyer" that memorable night.  Just as God used homes as a place of refuge then, our homes should be a refuge now.  Set apart by God, for Him.  God can use any home in any location to be a shelter of protection.  In the book of Joshua He chose the home of a prostitute to harbor his spies from their enemy, and in return for her obedience she was incorporated into the ancestry of Jesus Christ.  All for opening her home!!!

What I glean from Rahab's story is that sometimes it is a sacrifice for us (as women) to open our homes to others, especially when they are in distress.  In order for others to find healing or protection we have to place our selves in the position of being vulnerable, and that's just DIFFICULT. Period.  When I see my friends who have opened their homes to foster children, to adoption, to family member's in need, or elderly parents/grandparents I see selflessness; I see sacrifice; I see difficulty; I see tears; I see pain; I see vulnerability... but beyond those things I see a greater JOY; I see a greater PEACE; I see a greater LOVE; I see a Greater GOD... Because when someone is seeking refuge, shelter, or protection and you open your home to them, you also open your heart.


Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

God commands us to use the safety of our home as a place of teaching our children.  Teaching things of eternal value; lessons not received from PBSKids, Netflix or Disney Jr.  Not only are we to teach scripture as we see in this verse above, but also character.  How to be a friend, how to listen, how to love our neighbor... starting with the one down the hall!!  

When Jesus visited Mary and Martha, Mary sat at his feet and listened while Martha scurried around the house cleaning, cooking, piddle-ing her time away while the KING was near!! Jesus tell's Martha..To Stop.  To Sit.  To Listen.  To Love him by SLOWING DOWN!!! (What a lesson I need to hear!!)  As mothers we must remember this lesson that Jesus himself demonstrated, we must LEARN to stop, to sit, to listen, to love our families by SLOWING DOWN.  We, too, can be caught in the kitchen mopping the floors at midnight or hidden under a mountain of laundry so high it reaches the shade of the floor lamp but neglecting to play babies with our little girls or giving piggyback rides to our little boys or taking time to listen to the hearts of our school aged children.

Our homes must be a place of teaching... to both our children and to ourselves.  At times it is easy for me to accept the job as teacher, but it is difficult for me to submit to the role of student... Learning to live slowly, learning to love deeper, learning to listen intently... these things are difficult for me when I view my home as a place to clean and a place to work... but when I view my home as a place for teaching and for learning...It is an easier concept to accept.


I want to live contrary to our society's lavish view of what the purpose of a home is.  I want my home to be MORE than matching throw pillows and 3 inch crown molding.  It is the desire of my heart to have a home with a heartbeat, with a soul, with smells of good food, and sounds of deep laughter.  I want memories to be made of togetherness, of celebration, of friendship and of honoring others.  Beyond the walls of my home must exist a spirit of togetherness, an atmosphere where people feel that they belong.

The kingship of Jesus was celebrated intimately in homes, surrounded by his disciples, by his friends and his family.  Offerings were made to Jesus on a dusty living room floor as Mary broke the expensive vile of perfume and anointed the feet of King Jesus.

Jesus chose to spend his last moments on earth around a table with food, with wine, with friends... together.  There was not one mention of the menu or of fancy decor, but instead of the people who were with him and the fellowship they shared.  When his disciples asked him where he wanted to observe the passover, he instructed them to find a "house" in the city where they shall eat.   Would my house be a home chosen by God for his son, the King of Kings to dine on his very last meal with friends?


Speaking of Jesus inviting himself into homes... Did you know Jesus visited 29 homes throughout his 3 years of ministry?  Did you know Jesus' first miracle was preformed INSIDE a home?  Did you know Jesus raised 2 people from the dead inside of their homes?  Yup, yup and yup...

Scriptures make it known that Jesus was very present inside the Jewish synagogue but rarely were his miracles preformed inside the walls of the place of worship.  Instead he chose to make himself known inside homes, outside homes, in crowds of people and other times in the presence of a few.  Our homes are more than 4 walls with rooms to pickup, carpets to vacuum, kitchen floors to sweep, bathrooms to clean... our homes are places where MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN!!!  Where healing can occur, where people can be spiritually resurrected and eternity's solidified.  Intimate quarters for intimate encounters.

Do you remember the song about Zacchaeus from your childhood, the one about a "wee little man" where Jesus shakes his finger at Zacchaeus and says, "I am coming to your house today."  Basically, what I am saying is that  Jesus had no manners, he invited himself inside homes on several occasions; probably because he knew his initiation was crucial.  Our sinful nature desires for him to stay on the outside and to refuse to open the door, but when we answer that knock, salvation occurs.  When Jesus looked up into the eyes of the frail dishonest tax collector, he knew his visit would result in salvation.  In Luke 19:9-10 Jesus said to Zacchaeus,  “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Our homes are places not only where miracles happen, but also where salvation occurs.  As a small girl I came to know my savior in my bedroom with my parents by my side.  What an honor for my home to someday host the salvation of another.  I pray this does become reality, whether the salvation of a friend or family member I pray that my home is a place of miracles and of salvation.  

Donna Otto sums it up best in this quote, "You are called to create and maintain a home environment and atmosphere that reflects God's love, God's hope, God's peace--quite literally, to build your home on holy ground".  

As I establish this new home that we now have, I use the above quote as my inspiration.  Reminding myself that time and time again God used HOMES to tell his story, to protect his people, to bring salvation and to honor others, and I want my home to be worthy of this cause.  The good news is that there is no square footage requirement, you do not need granite countertops or travertine tile, and your curtains don't have to be so many inches from the ceiling.  If you don't have chalkboard paint or a repurposed pallet, you're NOT out of luck!  If Rahab can be obedient enough to open up her home located within the walls of a city in the center of the red-light district, then I can too can use my home for his purpose!!

In reflection, because of this book my view of my HOME has transformed completely.  I now realize that the purpose of my home is not one of beauty, but for beautiful people.  I now realize my work inside my home is not one of monotonous chores but one of teaching and learning.  I now realize that the safety I create inside of my home brings about miracles and salvation.  When we look up from our pottery barn catalogues and our never ending Pinterest boards, and we find the ability to set our eyes on things above our perspective shifts, and our desires warp into those that are pleasing to Him.

Thanks for reading!!

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