Last week was filled with nail guns, saws, the constant opening and closing of doors, and tracking in and out of our home. I wouldn't be surprised if our CPI security voice is a little hoarse from calling, "Den door!," every time it opened.
We finally bit the bullet and put in new kitchen floors, extending down the hallway, and a new backsplash, all of which was needed. It is absolutely beautiful, and I couldn't be more pleased.
We still have the new range hood to be installed. But, our new washer and dryer, both of which were in dyer need of replacement came yesterday and renovations - Phase One - is almost done!
I read this somewhere recently: Our homes are not show places but sanctuaries.
Don't you just love that?
Many have graced our home over the years for parties, wedding and baby showers, and Bible studies. Others have entered in times of grief, or in need of Christian counsel. We're OPEN - 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week to meet needs, listen and love on those who need it. It's who we are. It's what we do.
The art of making people feel at home isn't some hidden secret. You just have to be willing to do life with people. Be real, inviting them into your successes and struggles, pointing them to Christ and the Scriptures.
Our homes are a type of sanctuary - a sacred place of refuge for family and others.
In the Old Testament, the Temple walls surrounded the most sacred of places where the sanctuary was housed; a place that only the high priest could enter into once a year to ask for the forgiveness of sins for himself and on behalf of God's people. The sanctuary was called the Holy of holies, where the Ark of the Covenant (the presence of Yahweh, Jehovah God) dwelled with His people.
After Christ redeemed us on the cross, the sanctuary or temple (the place where the presence of God dwells) is now inside of us - God's people. It's not an intricately God-designed mobile tent of worship with extravagant accessories and decor, filled with sacred symbolism, or a brick and mortar, breathtaking structure of meticulous architecture and art. The moment Jesus gave up His spirit, the heavy veil of the Holy of holies split in two signifying God's dwelling place would now be in the hearts and spirits of those who follow Christ. It's where the Holy Spirit resides, and we don't need a human priest to intercede for us anymore.
We have access to the sanctuary of God, and our High Priest, Jesus Christ, sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. Because we believe in Him and have received Him into our hearts, we now live in His presence moment by moment, day by day.
Therefore, wherever we are, we house His sanctuary. Doesn't that just send goose bumps running up and down your spine?
Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary (Psalm 96:6 NIV).
Strength and glory are in His sanctuary - in us!
So, shouldn't our homes also be a physical sanctuary filled with His strength and glory? A place where love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness abound? Where calm, peace, protection and refuge are looked forward to with each opening of the door?
How would you describe the atmosphere of your home? Does your home breathe a sweet release for those who enter? What renovations need to be made in your heart's sanctuary so peace can spill over into your home today?
I pray we will begin to see our homes from this perspective, recognizing the focus of home is sanctuary, not showplace.
- Where we learn from our messes, not focusing on never making messes.
- Where our speech is filled with kindness, not harshness.
- Where we listen to each other, not talk over one another.
- Where God's Word is the center of our conversations.
- Where Jesus isn't just an honored guest, but the Head of our families.
Before I close, let me confess that I am guilty of not following my own advice. I fail again and again. I can be too concerned about messes. I speak harshly sometimes. I don't listen as I should (just ask my kids). I don't multitask, especially if I'm writing or reading on the computer.
We all need to renovate our homes at times, especially because of the hidden, crumbling spaces the eye can't see. But, we also need to be alert and aware at all times of the status of our hearts, allowing the Spirit to clean out sin and renovate. Then, instead of the musty, stale odors our guests would inhale, they will breathe in the sweet aroma of Christ and find refuge - a soothing sanctuary for the soul.
(Renovation - Phase Two - starts Thursday. Bring it on!)