InPursuit

A Symphony Of Grace {Book Club Thursdays}

We’re reading through Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s new book, The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming (affil. link).

For your convenience, all the posts in the series will be archived {here}. So if you miss any, feel free to head on over here to catch up. Or, to make life even easier,  subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email.

 

Chapter 3: A Symphony of Grace (Sally)

We’ve gathered around this little space in the web for a couple of weeks now. We’re thinking about ‘home’, and what that means. For some of us, the concept of creating a life-giving home is a no-brainer. It comes naturally. However, some of us (whether our fault or not), somewhere along the line, didn’t learn or didn’t receive the resources (and instruction) on how to make this happen.

I loved these words I read this week on Sarah Mae’s blog. Frustration and fears of failure in motherhood were consuming her when a friend shared these words of wisdom, “You were never given what it takes to set the table, and so here you are trying to serve, but you’re still figuring out what linens to get and where to find them.” 

Oh, how I understand this. Those words described me. I’ve shared my journey here on the blog many times, but for those new to this space, here’s the super-condensed version:  I was a 16 year-old runaway. By the age of 18 I was a mama, and by the time I married at 24, I was inadequately prepared for the duties of managing a home, loving my husband well, and raising children.

In 2010, after our house fire, I was ready for a change. I finally felt like I was learning to ‘set the table’. I felt like I was learning ‘what linens to get and where to find them’. God brought Sally into my life (at the time through her books, blogs, and webinars) and I began to grab ahold of the vision for my home and family. That’s why I’m so excited you’re here. This is my little way of reaching out and saying, “Here’s what I’ve learned along the way. These tools will be so helpful for your own journey!”

Let’s jump into this week’s chapter, shall we?!

The Director of Life Art

What does it look like for our homes to be a symphony of grace? Sally introduces this idea to us beautifully:

I love this honesty–this permission to keep working at building a ‘home’ even when I don’t get it right, because it’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight.

In her humorous and loving manner, Sally writes, “There are elements that transform a mere space into a haven of refuge, a resource of growth, and a transmitter of grace. Allow me to point out a few with my baton.”

The Music of Welcome– We’re challenged to look at our homes as places where doors open and people enter in to an embrace that says, ‘you’re welcome here‘. It’s a warm invitation to the tired, the weary, the lost, the broken, or simply the momentary passerby that lets them know they are valued, important, and that it’s your desire to care for them while they’re in your home. It provides a beautiful opportunity for relationships to form and grow.

The Music of Safety– We’re encouraged to make our homes places of safety and refuge. In a world filled with so much evil, pain, and hardships, our homes become a place of protection for the burdened soul. It becomes a place where people are able to wrestle through emotions, grieve without restrictions, and simply go through their process as we extend comfort, love, and grace. Whether from physical, mental, or emotional obtrusions, “we must purpose ways to keep our homes as havens of all that is good, pure, innocent, and excellent. If the Lord guards our own coming and going, so we should be guards over what is allowed into our homes.”

The Music of Knowledge and Wisdom– “As a young woman, I began to picture my children’s hearts as treasure chests of a different sort, and I vowed to fill them with intrinsic treasures: the best stories, memorized Scripture, priceless images of classical art, excellent books, memories from great feasts enjoyed together and special days celebrated, great Bible stories and wisdom passages, plus heart photographs of love given, holidays cherished, lessons learned. I hoped my children would be able to draw from this chest of internal treasures when they needed wisdom or comfort in their adult lives, that they would have soul resources that would speak to them for a lifetime.

The Music of Beauty– Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart. Beauty is a reflection of who God is. Sally reminds us that we’re given authority and wisdom to bring beauty into our spheres of influence. As we choose to turn our homes into “a place of interest, inspiration, education, creativity, and enjoyment”, we “embody the spirit of Christ in every nook and cranny”. This helps us to “provide pleasure for the senses as well” while allowing us “to point toward the amazing beauty of God’s creation, and to inspire everyone who passes through our doors.”

The Music of Relationship– When building the atmosphere of our home, we should keep in mind the importance of relationships. How we set up our home and what we bring in becomes more than just creating a Pinterest-perfect room. “Relationships are the core focus of celebrating life together in a place. Consequently, the desire to create spaces for friendship, companionship, and fellowship influenced many of our home choices–even the furniture we bought, where we placed it, and how we used it.”

The Music of Nourishment– I never liked the kitchen. Cooking was a chore for me, mostly because I didn’t feel confident in my abilities. Though we have always eaten our meals together as a family, there was something missing. I love that she calls meal times, “feasting”. “There’s something about preparing food and sharing it that enhances relationship, builds community, even fosters spiritual connection…Collecting interesting dishware, lighting candles for atmosphere, putting together menus, and trying new recipes, inviting guests to share, even doing the mundane chores of shopping for groceries, cooking, and cleaning up–all contribute to comfort and enjoyment several times each day.” Imagine that, mealtime, a time where we can celebrate life and the people we live it with. I love this one. It absolutely transforms the way I look at preparing my table, and loving my people well in the process.

The Music of Rest- Then there’s rest. In today’s busy (and often times hectic) world, Sally challenges us to set up an atmosphere of rest in our homes. What would it look like for us to set up “special places where each family member can pull away from all the stress, escape the demands, and rest, cry, journal, and dream away from the eyes of others”?Simple ideas like an inviting bed, a comfortable chair, and a personalized space for each person who lives with you are practical ways of making ‘rest’ a reality in your home.

Here’s how it’s looked for me these past weeks (and proof that it doesn’t cost a fortune to make it happen!). I shared these with our private Book Club Facebook group:


So there you have it, a symphony of grace. Beautiful vision for what our homes could look like, eh?! Over the years I’ve worked through ways to add this music to my home. It hasn’t always been perfect. Yet, every attempt at harmonizing the music that flows through my home, is a step closer to my ideal.

If creating a life-giving home is something that piques your interest, too, join us. We’d love to have you.

Grab yourself a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed. As a matter of fact, I daresay you will leave each chapter with a renewed sense of vision and a resolve to create a place of belonging and becoming in your home, too!

A Symphony of Grace... what does that look like for you? Let’s talk about it (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately).

Then meet me here next week when we’ll continue talking about creating a life-giving and The Rhythms of Incarnation.

*unless otherwise noted, all quotes are by Sally Clarkson.

Thoughts To Ponder

1.) Has your home been a symphony of grace to you and those you love?

2.) Sally shares some of the different ‘music’ that transforms the atmosphere of the home. Are there any that appeal to you? Seem too difficult to obtain? Challenge you?

***

Let’s connect … Whether on  Facebook | Twitter | or {In Pursuit} the blog, I’d love to get to know you!

SUBSCRIBE

© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

Leave a comment: