Monday, October 02, 2006

No Ordinary Home: Chapter 6

For those of you who are slightly confused by the title, this week is my week to host the discussion of the book No Ordinary Home: The Uncommon Art of Christ-centered Homemaking by Carol Brazo. The read go here for Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. You don't need to have read the book to jump in on the discussion, so please join us.

For those of you coming over from Dawn's blog, Welcome! I loved Dawn's original idea of sharing pictures of our livingrooms for this discussion. So, come in, sit down, and enjoy your discussion.

Coffee is in the kitchen, please help yourself....

So, this week we're talking about New Decor. A home that is not only beautiful to the eyes, but that is refreshing to the spirit. A home that doesn't just reflect your personality, but a home that radiates Christ. And mores specifically, Carol talks about a home that has memorials to what Christ has done in our lives, like the Iraelites would do, altars to the glory of our God that continually remind us of His work in our lives. This quote is what it is all about this chapter for me:
"Decorating fads will come and go. The ways of God are changeless. Color combinations, furniture arrangements, floral displays are temporary. Use them. Enjoy them. Be blessed by them. But in using them, in working with the walls of your home, never forget that a home is founded on the spirit of the people who inhabit the building. If the Spirit of God lives in the folks at your house, make sure that is reflected on the walls and gates of your home. Bring the holy home. Let it be evident in every corner of your dwelling."

The specific application of this to my home is where I get a bit more confused. I love what she used with the keys. Antique keys are beautiful and would be captivating in any home. But the keys aren't us. And the point of this isn't simply to use her ideas that worked for her family in her home and steal them and try to make them fit into my family and my home. This is something I struggle with in many areas- I see something that works really well for one person and think it will work the same way for me. Now, the principle behind the act is a good one, but I still need to take it and make it my own. For example, I know families who have times of singing together, praising God. I love that! But, my girls don't sing yet (hopefully some day) and my husband can't carry a tune in a bucket. So, gathering after dinner around the piano to sing hymns won't work for us.

So, all that to say, I don't know what sort of memorial that might speak to our family. And to complicate matter further, I don't even know what events I would put them up for. There are a flood of things that I have learned this past year, past 5 years, past 10 years- but what ones will I end up finding the most important to put up? I don't know yet.

I thought though I'd share some of these personal items that I have done this with over the years. Some speak of God in an obvious way, some don't. But all make me remember when I see them, which is what I want for memorials to him in my home.

The first is a purple piece of ceramic. Once, it was a circle. Now that circle is in three pieces shared between two of my childhood friends. We broke it when we were 10 to keep forever to remember what good friends we were then, and wanted to always be no matter what. Eight years later those were two of the girls who stood up with me on my wedding day. I don't speak to them as much as I would like to now, but I remember the loved we shared and all we went through together.

The second is a blue polymer clay cross with "July 23, 1997 1:11am" written on it. It was made for me by a friend at church camp on July 24, 1997 after I became a Christian the day before. I'll never forget that day.

The third is a necklace- called a prayer box. I've never used it to write prayers and keep them in there like it is intended. But it came with an angel lapel pin which I pinned on the suit of my Beloved Papa before they closed his casket. To the best of my knowledge, that will be the last time I will ever see him. It has been six years and the pain is still very raw. I can't see the screen through my tears even now.

Now that I know that I know how to have memorials in my life it is time for me (and you) to answer the discussion questions.

1. What lessons has God taught me this year? My spouse? My children?

2. What lessons do I want to have impressed and pictures in the hearts of my children?

3. What symbols do I like? How could God use them to help me reflect His working in our lives?

4. Why am I doing this?

Deuteronomy 6
1"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

4"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10"And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you--with great and good cities that you did not build, 11and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant--and when you eat and are full, 12then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you, 15for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God, lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

16"You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers 19by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has promised.

20"When your son asks you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?' 21then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.'

Thanks for coming by!