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Our Homes, Our Havens

Posted: May 7, 2016


When life gets tough we need to know there is an escape hatch. We all need a safe place where we kick off our shoes, stop the pretend and rummage through the fridge for some comfort food. We long for someone to look us in the eyes and ask, “Honey, did you have a hard day?” “Tell me what happened today.” It’s important for us that the other person puts down their hand held device, pours us a favourite drink and then listens.

Our souls crave to be accepted for who we are. We don’t need more judgment or further expectations. Our homes need to be that safe haven where we find acceptance, beauty, understanding and love. It’s the place where face-to-face communication matters more than keeping up with social media. It doesn’t matter if you life in a 800 square foot condo, a mobile home, a fixer upper or a mansion overlooking the beautiful Okanagan Lake. Our havens need to be the place where we flourish.

How can we make that happen? It takes more than candles, perfectly staged décor, designer furniture, granite counter tops or matching dishes. Here is one simple measuring tool, ask yourself the question: “Is our home a place of hospitality or entertaining?”

Hospitality is about blessing. With no thought of reward, hospitality takes pleasure in giving, doing and loving. It is not about things but allowing everyone the freedom to be blessed and be a blessing. God created us for relationship one of the best places to express this natural instinct is in our homes, our havens. When our desire is to bless our spouses, children and friends, they will feel like they have caught a glimpse of the heart of God. Mother Teresa said: “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” The end result for hospitality is feeling fulfilled and blessed.

Entertaining is about Impressing. Entertainment says, “I want to impress you with my clever decorating, my gourmet cooking and I want to astonish you with all my expertise.” Entertainment waits for payment. It is about working hard to make everything look perfect and wait for the accolades of: “I don’t know how you do it, I could never do what you do.” Entertainment measures failure or success and the end result is exhaustion.

Havens are like a lighthouse to a sinking ship. Spouses and children are drawn to it because they don’t have to tip toe around the furniture, or act a certain way. One of our daughters is coming home next week. She says that for five days she doesn’t want to be a career woman, a mother or someone that fulfills everyone’s demands. She needs a haven where she can sink into the love and warmth of being accepted for just “being her.” Our arms are open wide and we will shower her with the kind of love that comes from Jesus Christ. Our visit with her will fulfill the verse that is engraved on a painting in our dining room: “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people” (Acts 2:46,67 NIV).

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty Unleashed, blessing, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, entertainment, Expectations, Freedom, Friendship, happiness, happy, havens, heart of God, homes, hospitality, Life of Jesus, Listening

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