Today I count, #1,024 on my list of gifts - our house; a place of brick, wood, and mortar; a place my husband and I have made a home for us and our children. In this, our third house, we have done life together for almost 20 years. Each house we've lived in has been a place where blessings have overflowed, and where grace and mercy have been given and received like presents on Christmas morning.
Sunday, February 23, was our 29th wedding anniversary. Where have the years gone? Although I received a very sweet gift, a beautiful card, two date nights, hugs and kisses, the greatest gift was revealed slowly through the weekend as God tenderly unveiled a deeper meaning to a song I have listened to many times before, Here In This House. (See words at the end of this post.)
Remember from an earlier post, Rick would be attending the SC School Board Conference and would not return until Sunday afternoon (our anniversary). Looking for things to get done in his absence, I cleaned out my vehicle. As I cleaned, I came across the cd by the Liberty Singers from Liberty University. Capturing my full attention, I began to play the song, Here In This House, over and over and over.
Every other time I've listened to the words of this song, I've only thought about the gathering place of believers - the Church house. But this time was different. The title took on a whole new meaning...
I was first reminded of the incredible blessing that my husband is to me and our children; how he has demonstrated the love of Christ to us in the most beautiful of ways; how he has freely given of himself, and how he has shown God's grace and mercy to all - here in this house.
Memories began to flow as to how our house has been a gathering place for family and friends from day one. We've hosted youth fellowships, college and career fellowships, Men and women's Bible studies, wedding and baby showers, birthday parties, choir parties, pre-marital counseling, marriage and relationship counseling, Christmas parties, pajama parties, and the list goes on and on. Our house has served as a shelter, a place of refuge, a safety net, and at times, just a place to rest.
Our house... a gift... a blessing.
This gift of "house" brought me to my knees in thanksgiving during our anniversary weekend. As I expressed this thought with Rick, after he returned from his trip, I could hardly speak for the overwhelming floodgate of tears pouring down my face. I wanted to share this "gift of house" with him as a huge "thank-you" to God for His provision and call on our family. I wanted to thank Rick, on our anniversary, for being an incredible spiritual leader, husband, father, and mentor to literally hundreds of people throughout our years together, and for allowing me the honor of being his wife.
I also wanted to share this gift with you because your house is a gift as well. No matter the size, shape, style, wood or brick, whatever...we all can and should be families extending the gifts of Jesus Christ, His grace and mercy, with those inside and outside of our houses. The love of Christ is to be expressed through our lives every day to all with whom we come in contact. Then, as we come together corporately each week, with the larger family of God in our local Church houses, we worship, give thanks, learn, serve, and are filled so we can return to our own houses again to extend more grace to those who enter.
Thank You, Jesus, for our gift of "house". Thank You for this special retreat with You while Rick was out of town. I am forever grateful for our house - a gathering place where Your blessings flow and Your grace and mercy abound. May we always honor and glorify You... here in this house. Amen.
From our house to yours,
Here in this house, there is a blessing
Here in this house, He's given a song
Here in this house, refreshing anointing
Filling our hearts with perfect love
There's mercy and grace falling like rain,
Here in this house.