House and Home

Through a friend, I have gotten on the daily newsletter of a woman in town who sends beautiful prayers, thoughtful insight and quiet meditations.

Christmas tree

Our tree this year

This has been a difficult year in the house and home department. I have struggled with feeling unsettled without my home and yet, am constantly reminded to be grateful for the house we have been provided. I was truly touched by Monday’s message. It seemed like it was meant especially for me:

We all know persons who are exaggeratedly house-proud, who concentrate on the neatness, cleanliness, beauty of their house, to the exclusion of its comfort. Their house is not a home, nothing must ever be left about, out of place. To come in with muddy shoes is a crime; it is a crime to disarrange the cushions. In such a house one can neither work nor rest; one is never at home, because it is not a home.

There are many people who are ‘soul-proud’ in the same way. They spend their whole time cleaning up their soul, turning out the rubbish, dusting and polishing. Like the house-proud person, they become nervous, tired. There is nothing left in them to give, for they have wasted themselves on the silver, the curtains, the ornaments.

Christ wants to be at home in your soul. He will not go away and leave you if the house is chilly and uncomfortable; he loves you too much to leave you, but how often, how tragically often, he must say nowadays: ‘The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

Christ asks for a home in your soul, where he can be at rest with you, where he can talk easily to you, where you and he, alone together, can laugh and be silent and be delighted with one another.

All this may seem daring, but it is true; it is the meaning of the Incarnation.

~A Child in Winter, writings by Caryll Houselander collected by Thomas Hoffman

Then Tuesday, she just mocked me.

We are all asked to do more than we can do. Every hero and heroine of the Bible does more than he would have thought it possible to do, from Gideon to Esther to Mary.

~Madeleine L’Engle, Miracle on 10th Street

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