Home: what a beautiful word. I have been thinking about it a lot lately and it brings a smile to my lips, a warm glow in my heart.
Home Sweet Home, a place where family and friends gather and there is harmony, joy, and peace.
Or isn’t there? Maybe that’s just a dream or wistful thinking for you? It has been for me too, far too often.
I remember well the heartache that raising a family can bring: the stress, the turmoil, the fighting, and yes even disrespect.
Oh, why do people talk about home, sweet home? Is it even possible this side of Heaven for those of us who had less than perfect role models?
What do you think? Can you embrace the thought with no reserve?
I’ve found the answer: since Jesus has found a home in my heart there can be love, joy, and peace in spite of storms all around. It seems like such a little thing but it isn’t. The Light of the world is Jesus and when that light is in our hearts it will automatically be in our homes and create a balm of joy to those around us.
Sound too idealistic? Maybe it’s time to find that secret place of prayer and surrender today’s problems to Him who is the perfect Homemaker. Too busy? Lock the bathroom door and throw your burden into your Savior’s arms. Hey, no strings attached. Let go of it completely, yes completely and march away.
You may or may not notice a difference right away, but if you give Jesus a chance to help you, peace, joy and love will be restored to your little haven and soon you to will be murmuring “Home, Sweet Home.”
P.S. Don’t give up too soon. Keep or trying, praying, trusting, and remember our Father is the best role model and He loves homes!
P.S -2. What advice would you give to younger parents?
There was once a man who did not believe in either the birth of Christ nor the spiritual meaning behind it, and was skeptical even of God. He and his family lived in a farming community. His wife was a devout believer and diligently raised her children in faith. He sometimes gave her a hard time about her belief and mocked her religious observances.
"It's all nonsense--why would God lower himself and become a human like us? Its such a ridiculous story," he said.
One snowy day, she and the children left for church while he stayed home. After they departed, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.
Then he heard a loud thump, something hitting against the window...and still another thump. He looked outside but could not see anything. So he ventured outside for a better view. In the field beside his house, of all the strangest things, a flock of geese. They were apparently flying to look for a warmer area down south, but they had been caught in the snowstorm. The storm had become to blinding and violent for the geese to fly or see their way. They were stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter, unable to do more than flutter their wings and fly in aimless circles. He had compassion for them and wanted to help them. He thought to himself, the barn would be a great place for them to stay. It is warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he opened the barn doors for them.
He waited, watching them, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. Nevertheless, they did not not notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. He moved closer toward them to get their attention, but they just moved away from him out of fear.
He went into the house and came back with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread trail to the barn. They still did not catch on.
Starting to get frustrated, he went over and tried to shoo them toward the barn. They panicked and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them into the barn where there was warmth, safety, and shelter. Feeling totally frustrated, he exclaimed, "why don't they follow me? Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm? How can I possibly get them into the one place that can save them?"
He thought for a moment and realized that they just would not follow a human. He said to himself, "How can I possibly save them? The only way would be for me to become like those geese. If only I can become like one of them. They would follow me and I would lead them to safety."
At that moment, he stopped and considered what he had said. The words reverberated in his mind: if only I could become like one of them, then I could save them. Then, at last he understood God's heart towards mankind...and he fell on his knees.
There is a verse that goes with this story. John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Okay, I promised to tell more of my life-story so here goes.
So here I was just a young teenager with my heart torn and bleeding. I didn’t know it at the time, but that impassive indifference between me and the pastor of the church we had always attended had started a rift.
Things didn’t get better, right away, they worsened. Soon I was facing the worse day of my life, and that is not a trite statement! I still think it probably was, and it became a pivotal point in my journey. Dad asked, no, rather expected me to go along with him on one of his numerous electrical trips to far flung communities. I had gone along before with a certain amount of trepidation because of what he had attempted to do to me in the past. (Ya, and had done when I was younger.)
So here I was in some little farmhouse in the middle of Who-Knows-Where and I walked into the pale, nondescript kitchen, and stopped. They are talking about me. I froze. Dad was talking about giving me away, abandoning me like an unwanted kitten or puppy. Oh, sure, it was called fostering, but I didn’t think of it that way. I just knew he wanted to tear me away from the only family I knew and loved.
I don’t remember how I arrived there, but suddenly found myself in the woods across the graveled road with tall, very tall fir trees surrounding me. To say I bawled my eyes out isn’t trite, either. Don’t know how long I stayed there, but common sense told me I had to go back eventually, so I did. No one had missed me.
I wandered around, looking into the spare bedroom, etc. and wondered if this would be my new home.
Time was moving along so I looked in on ‘them’ in the kitchen. They were still talking, but I got the drift of it, the farm wife didn’t think it would be a good idea to take me in. I didn’t linger to hear more.
The news was too little, and too late. The damage was done. I went to the car and sooner or later Dad joined me. We drove off leaving my innocent childhood behind.
P.S. Please check out my book. (Link below.) If you want to escape from a troubled past and hope for a better future, this may be the most comforting book you will ever read,
Do you want to hear a story that is so marvelous that you’ll think I made it up? I know for a fact that it is true ‘cuz it happened to me over forty years ago and the results ripple right down to the present.
Okay, where shall I start? Guess what, I have something in common with a lot of you. I come from a broken home. I know the anguish of seeing a marriage torn apart right in front of my eyes and feeling the effects in my own soul because it was my Mom and Dad.
Ours was one of those old-fashioned homes where you didn’t tell others what was going on behind closed doors: gotta put on a good front, y’know. So what was the result? Pain and heartache and groping in despair.
But I did reach out: I was not as reserved as some of my siblings so talked to our pastor, or at least tried too. He listened impassively, or so it seemed. I got more desperate: our home was falling apart right in front of my eyes, Mom and Dad didn’t love one another anymore, and I and my hapless brothers and sisters were caught in the vortex.
So I did what only a writer would do, I put my heartache in words, in poem form actually, and gave it to him when I had the opportunity. What did he do? He gave it back and said: “that’s very nice.” Did it help? Nope. (Wish I still had that poem.)
I see that this is going to end up being a whole lot longer than I had expected, but I promise you it does have a happy ending. What a trite word. Come on give me a better one, joyous, blessed, comforting,-- gratifying? No one word seems to describe what I went, and am going through.
But I know you have places to go, and things to do, so stay tuned until tomorrow, and yes, I’ll keep writing while you face your day.
P.S. Please check out my book. (Link below.) If you want to escape from a troubled past and hope for a better future, this may be the most comforting book you will ever read,
Check the accompanying pages for the first two parts of this story.
“Dathan, you’re back, you
survived!” Rebaethaih sobbed wildly as she flung herself into her husband’s
arms. Dathan patted the slim, trembling woman for a long time before her sobs
“I can’t stand these horrible, horrible plagues,” she gulped. “I’m always
so afraid of what will come next. “Oh why is it happening to us, why? Why? Has anything
so awful happened in Egypt before? First the flies, then the locusts, and the
bloody, bloody river. Oh, I can’t even keep track of what order they came in
anymore! Dathan will we survive?—What will the Hebrew god do to us next before—“
“Rebaethaih, hush, you must not be so frantic in front of the children.
You are terrifying them.”
“But-“Then Rebaethaih swallowed
her words by clasping her hands over her mouth… her eyes were bulging with
“How did you all manage?” he asked while gently drawing circles on her
Manage? We didn’t manage. “We groped around until we found each other and
then huddled beside Grandpa.”
“But at least you were safe.”
Safe. “Oh, Dathan how did you manage to keep safe? I expected you would be
half way home when the, the darkness fell. Did you, d-did you wander off towards
“No, honey, I did not wander off, in fact I didn’t even leave my work
He squatted down beside the fire pit and stirred the dying coals.
“Remember Eliab; the Hebrew slave that I’ve chatted with sometimes when
he comes to pick up bags of corn to deliver to the palace?”
Rebaethaih nodded and hunkered down also. She needed to be close to him
at this terrifying time. Their children hovered near, small and frightened.
Dathan found a barely smoldering coal buried deep and blew gently on it.
Salke knew he should fetch some kindling but was unwilling to leave the comparative
safety of the family circle. He took his little sister by the hand and together
they ventured off but quickly returned with a few sticks. Their Daddy nodded in
Soon Dathan continued. “Eliab knew he should be in a hurry because he
had a ruthless taskmaster but he stopped to have a quiet word with me.
“Don’t be in a haste to go home tomorrow,” he whispered urgently. “Another
plague is predicted; darkness will fall over the whole of Egypt. You’ll be safe
if you stay the night here.”
“How long will it last?”
As Eliab hoisted the heavy bag on his shoulder, he glanced around
quickly to see if anyone was listening. Many people either hated or fear the
“I know not,” he admitted,
“Just heed my command and you will be well.”
I watched him go then hurried off to my job, pondering how to handle the
situation. I refilled my water bottle and pretended to be busy later when
people wandered off for the day. Fortunately no one questioned me about not
leaving also. The darkness fell
more suddenly than I had expected, and it was thick, thicker than a blanket. I
heard much screaming, mutterings and cursing.”
They both reached out to their tearful children and cuddled them close.
“I was glad to have my water bottle on my belt. It was like a form of
Rebaethaih leaned her head against his shoulder.
“Pretty soon,” Dathan continued, “I noticed there was an opening between
two buildings where I could see a natural twilight. Far on the horizon there
were lights moving here and there and I knew that in the Israelite camp they
once again hadn’t been smitten.”
Rebaethaih placed a pot of beans on top of the now smoldering coals and
stirred them absently. “Would that we could be one of them,” she muttered.
Grandpa seemed to know what she had said although he was nearly stone
“Get such foolish wickedness out of your heart,” he rasped. “We have our
gods, and them will we serve.”
Rebaethaih looked nervously at the old man then bent her head closer to
her husband’s, “Aye, but these evils that befall us seem to mock every type of idol that we worship. “
Dathan nodded and said in a hushed voice, “I will learn more of Eliab’s
god and his ways.”
“Cursed be any man who strays from the beliefs of his fathers.” Grandpa’s
voice seemed surprisingly strong for a change. He tried to raise himself up by
his elbows but fell back down. “I will call curses upon you if you entertain
The group fell silent as they waited for the warmed over beans.
Early the next morning, just as the dawn made it light enough for Dathan
to make his way between the mud-brick buildings, his youthful wife watched him
go. She hoped that whoever those foreign neighbours worshipped, would keep him safe.
Please help him to find out more about
Are there calamities in your life also? Would you like a safe haven, a
Heavenly Father to cling to, to guide you? Trust in Jesus, He will bring you to
the Father where you can find forgiveness, freedom and safety.
Don’t run off too far. I’m
planning to post again soon.
I don’t know so terribly much about partridges but suspect they have a lot in common with chickens. Anyone who knows me well knows how fond I am of raising free range hens and selling the eggs. But there is something even more enjoyable than that. It is watching Mama Bird possessively brood over a nest of eggs and patiently wait, with barely any food or water, for those little guys to be mature enough to peck their way out of the shells. Her nurturing instinct doesn’t end there, however, and I love to see how she calls her little brood over to share some food she has discovered. I love even more how they nestle under her wings yet peek out, out of curiosity at the friendly world around them. I have an amusing memory of one ‘teenage’ chick
“Goedemorgen, Claudine!” Verena hurried over to the young mother who was strolling down a wooded path near their town home. “May I take a peek at your baby? Hallo Jans, did I wake you up? What a sweet little boy you are!” She sighed happily and looked around. “What a perfectly lovely day to be out for a walk. Aren't spring days beautiful?”
Claudine nodded. “ Pieter and Nicholaes do not play too far from the path. We need to go home after awhile to make supper for your father.”
“Where is Margriete?” Verena asked while she was making silly facial expressions to get the rosy cheeked lad to giggle.
“Over yonder,” Claudine pointed. “She is gathering an armful of flowers to fill our rooms with.”
“Meenen is such a pretty little town.”
Claudine fell silent. At least it doesn't have a dungeon like Ypres does. She suddenly felt cold and it had nothing to do with the stirring of a summer-like breese. How I would hate to be confined to a dark prison cell when the air is so fresh and there are all kinds of interesting things to do. She felt her grip tighten around the baby's small form. Verena didn't notice Claudine's change of mood. She was already rushing back to chat with Margriete.
“Mama!” Pieter called. “May I hold Jans please?”
Claudine handed the baby to his brother who promptly sat down in the grass and entertained him by tickling his face with a daisy.
What happy, sweet children I have, and such a good husband. Why then am I feeling cast-down in my soul, all of a sudden? Claudine started singing and the rich, pure tones filled the air with a rare beauty.
Claudine had a good soup cooking by the time Piersom entered the door. Claudine quirked her eyebrows. He didn't bound in with his usual boisterous good humor.
Piersom motioned for her to step outside.
“Margariete, you can start feeding Jans. He's so hungry after all that fresh air this afternoon. Yes, Piersom?”
Her husband closed the door behind Claudine before speaking. Then he laid his hands on her shoulders and looked deep into her warm, brown eyes. “ Hendric matched my step as I was returning home from work.”
Claudine nodded. Why such a sober look?
“Titelmannus is out and about.”
“Who is he?” Why did I whisper?
“The Dean of Ronse.”
When his wife still wore a blank expression, Piersom continued, “The Inquisitor.Hendric, a pious councillor warned me to flee. I will hide in yonder woods.”
“Could you not pause to sup with us? You must be tired after such a long day.”
“Nay, I must hasten. He may have rounded up the bailiffs already to come and fetch me.” He turned to go, then paused. “You come, to, Claudine. They may be after you as well.”
Claudine knew the danger they were in. “I will fetch the baby, but you go! Go! Don't wait for me! I'll be but a moment later.”
“Why doesn't Papa come in for supper? I am hungry!”
“Papa and I are going for a little walk. Go ahead and eat. Pieter, you can lead in prayer. Hallo Janzie! My what a sopping wet baby! Did he eat much?”
Margariete nodded. “Everything that I mashed up for him.”
Claudine quickly and deftly changed the baby's sodden garments then hurried out the door.
She saw a ragtag, but determined looking bunch of men heading down the street so ducked into the woods and quickened her pace.