1146. An interior is the natural projection of the soul. ~Coco Chanel

A house is much more than a mere shelter.
It should lift us emotionally and spiritually.
~John Saladino

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.37.32 PM.png

This week I mentioned to a friend that I was getting a new sofa for our living room, and she asked me to send her a picture of it when it came. So I took some photos and afterwards I sat on it a while, along with my cat, enjoying my newly cleaned living room and looking at all the things that we have accumulated therein over the last 40 years. Ours is not a large house and it’s a modest one, but we have done some things within our means over the years to improve and update it. It’s still certainly not a fancy one; but it is ours and so holds all that define who and what James and Natalie and Nikki are. Simply put, it is the altar upon which lie the strivings, good and bad, of our combined lives. And since then I’ve been wondering what others might have to say about what makes a house a home and if it means the same for everyone? So to delve into that quandary I gathered some thoughts by others who more or less put into words what I would say on that subject and decided to accompany them with photos of the part of my house I took that day.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.00.09 PM.png

I always amazes me to thing that every house on every street is full of so many stories; so many triumphs and tragedies, and all we see are yards and driveways. ~Glenn Close

Luxuries are never so comfortable
as
are the familiar, ordinary things of home. ~Eucharista Ward

Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule. ~Frederick W. Robertson

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.04.36 PM.png

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ~Charles Dickens

Home is where we feel at ease,
where we belong,
where we can create surroundings
that reflect our tastes and pleasures…
Making a home is a form
of creativity open to everyone.
~Terence Conran

Home should be an oratorio of the memory, singing to all our after life melodies and harmonies of old-remembered joy. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.59.11 PM.png

Home is a place where we feel safe and comfortable, a place to relax and recharge. ~Catherine Pulsifer

There is a magic in that little world, home;
it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts
and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.
~Robert Southey

Home is the father’s kingdom, the mother’s world and a child’s paradise. Home is the heart of life… ~Christian Morgenstern

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 5.23.20 PM.png

Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace. ~Vernon G. Baker

Home is
where you can be silent
and still be heard . . .
When you can ask
and find out who you are . . .
Where people laugh with you
about yourself . . .
Where sorrow is divided
and joy multiplied . . .
Where we share and love
and grow.
~Author Unknown

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. ~Psalm 84:3  ✝

**The top photo is a part of the front of my house.

14. In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty. ~Christopher Morley

A man should hear a little music,
read a little poetry, and
see a fine picture every day of his life,
in order that worldly cares
may not obliterate the sense of the
beautiful implanted in the human soul.
~Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Image

In her novel, THE COLOR PURPLE, Alice Walker says she thinks God gets angry if a person walks by the color purple and doesn’t notice it.  At one point in her story the main character, Celie is told to look at the purple flowers and to embrace their beauty in spite of all the pain and suffering in her world.  She is urged to see the good in them because it was God who placed them on earth.  As she comes to this realization for herself, she begins to understands the magnitude of God’s grace, and like the purple flowers, blossoms as she gains a respect for God and life.

It’s obvious that God puts a premium on beauty, not only for His own sake but also for ours.  Since we are made in His image, our souls cannot help but be implanted by a “sense of the beautiful” as Goethe suggests.  As a highway sign points us in the right direction, in the same way loveliness points to God’s heavenly realm and His goodness.   If we can find beauty, then we can find God. Beauty is meant to feed us spiritually, and the Lord uses what’s beautiful to speak to our hearts for His divine purposes.  For example notice all the richness and beauty involved in the scriptural telling of the birth of the Christ child.  It starts with a beautiful star that leads the way to a manger.  For Celie her beautiful flowers led her to God’s grace, and the Christ child brings all who follow the star and Him the same gift of redeeming grace.