It was past 11 pm when the taxi pulled in our drive.
My husband and the taxi driver hauled our bags in the front door – the carry-on luggage and the one suitcase that managed to follow our very mangled itinerary that included two missed flights and one re-route from Switzerland to Germany. It was a long trip.
Our time in America was amazing! Simply wonderful. Hands down, it was the best journey home I have ever spent.
Before leaving to spend time with my parents, the Lord spoke to me that I was to lay down any expectations I had for this vacation. It seemed odd to me, but when the Lord speaks there is always a reason.
And we were not in the States 24 hours before the reason was made clear.
My dad was called to participate on a jury for a serious murder trial. The jury selection process had been going on for several months as they interviewed over 500 jurors. He was in the final selection process and the trial began 4 days after we arrived and ended the night before we left.
Yes, it was hard to have such little time with him. But my obedience to God allowed me to soak up those precious moments we had over coffee in the morning – rather than spending my time brooding in bitter disappointment.
Yes, your choices can help determine the course your emotions will take.
Weary and ready for home, we walked in the door and were instantly reminded that while we were gone, we had given the house keys to our neighbor to renovate our living room. He mudded, sanded and painted the walls – which left nice layer of fine white dust everywhere. Not to mention that our living room furniture was all piled in the center of the living room – and on our bed.
There was no where to rest our weary bodies.
The next day – as jet lag sapped our energy – I tackled the house. Cleaning every surface and returning my home to some semblance of order, while trying to find a home for all the new treasures we purchased in the States.
There was one treasure that found a special home.
My Yankee candle.
A special friend sent me three large jar candles. And I smiled as I packed them, because I knew that as soon as I returned home, Courtney from Women Living Well would begin her fall Making Your Home a Haven Challenge – which I do each year – and this year I would have a proper candle to light!
And as I light my candle each day, I am reminded of the lesson I learned while with my parents: to lay down my expectations.
Life hands us so many unexpected challenges. We can let these challenges whip our emotions into frenzy, or we can choose to find joy no matter the circumstance. When we choose to do the latter, we set an atmosphere for our home that invites the presence of God. He can thrive when our hearts are at peace – even in the midst of trials.
The first step to making your home a haven of rest and peace for your family is to make a conscious effort to be the atmosphere-setter for our homes. Turning our homes into receptors for God’s presence, where His presence is invited and made welcome…where His touch can be felt by all who enter and dwell there.
We do this best by living out our lives with a “meek and quiet spirit” – with hearts and emotions at peace and free from anxiety.
Today I make a renewed effort – as I light my candle – to let the flickering flame remind me to cast every care and expectation upon Jesus, and the fragrance remind me to offer up praise and thanksgiving as a joyful sacrifice to Him as I welcome His presence into my home so that my home will be a haven of rest, peace and joy for my family!
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