As I reflect upon National Cupcake, Sprinkles, and Other Happy Things Week (ah- just saying that gives me a big smile and great satisfaction) I think about the many things that make me happy when I am in my own home. Clean, crisp sheets. Warm fuzzy slippers. Mashed potatoes. A bubble bath. Chocolate cream pie. And my new cinnamon apple spice candle (from the amazing people in the town of Taft, CA and the Jesus Shack- promoters and people who made us feel so at home.)
The ticking of the silver clock on the wall. The hum of the refrigerator. The clicking that happens outside my bedroom window before the air conditioning kicks on and sends a blustery blast of cold air into my bed. The sound of the crickets in the grass. The blankets piled around me for warmth. The smell of clean laundry. And the tenderness of the rocking chair that I rock Annie to sleep in.
The cracks in my shower. I know them. They are my cracks.
The order of my closet and the space under my bed reserved for crafts and boxes of ribbon and tissue paper.
The stains on my carpet.
The feel of the heavy wooden chairs around my dining room table. Oh my gosh- I have a dining room table! How crazy is that? I feel way too young to own my own dining room table. Yet, there it sits. Majestic. Heavy. Firmly rooted into my dining room. It reminds me, sometimes, that I am a real grown up. I own my own table.
For better or worse, these things belong to me. The cracks, scratches, stains, strange noises, unique smells, and unique flair. It's only a 900 square foot apartment. But it is mine. It is my mecca. My comfort. My joy. My security. My niche that holds me tight, secure, joyfully, away from the rest of the world.
It is my home.
Along the way- as we have struggled to make ends meet- numerous people in our church have offered to let Ryan, Annie, and I move in with them to save money on rent. While this offer is incredibly generous- and might be the most wise thing for us to do- we have never been able to.
Because although it is small, and there is nothing too special about it- we call this space ours.
We have created it. Worn it in. And loved well within its walls.
We have fought hard in this place. We have cried a bit. And done a lot of movie watching and pizza eating.
We brought a tiny baby home to this place. We called her Annie, and in the walls of this small apartment, we learned what it looked like to lose ourselves in the tiny eyes and fingers of a critter so small, even her crib seemed to swallow her whole.
Now we build tents here. We play dress up. And at night, we fall asleep saying the names of all the people we love who live outside the towering walls of our magical kingdom.
Matt. Kemmy. Greggers. Ravis. Yosh. LALALALALALALALA.
This is our home. This is our kingdom. This is where we dream big...
and when those dreams fall a part and crumble,
this is where we come back to dry our tears. to mend our wounds. to become a family again.
This is the place we call home.
This week, take a look around your house and be grateful for your home. What is it that you love the most? Leave a comment describing three details about your home that bring a smile to your face and WIN the first prize I've ever given away on my blog! Some of my favorite things that I keep around the house: Starbucks Holiday Coffee, New Candles, and great Christmas music from some of my favorite INO recording artists.
(Winner will be randomly selected Friday afternoon, November 19th. So please check back to see if it's you!)
While I am remembering what I love about my own home this week, I am ever mindful of the rising rate of homelessness in our country and around the world. There are many people who have no place to call home this holiday season.
For these men, women, children, and families... their last hope is a local homeless shelter or mission.
Want to give someone a home?
Join me THIS Friday, November 19th, to learn more about the homeless among us.
Be a part of giving back to local homeless shelters and missions all across the country.
Share the link with as many people as you can.
Invite your friends.
And please join me for a profoundly life-changing day as people all over the country donate money and time to their local homeless shelters.
"Hope to the Hungry is a cooperative effort of rescue missions and homeless shelters to raise awareness and funding to help feed and care for those who are homeless in communities across America. These efforts are highlighted in a live 12 hour webcast on Friday November 19th."
Join us at http://live.mediasocial.tv/hopetothehungry
Become our friend on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hopetothehungry