“Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.”
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
As a lover of great literature, Rivendell, in Lord of the Rings, captivated my attention and Sarah's and Joy's attention. Picturing our home as a place that remembers all the great life from eras gone by and that captures its beauty, has been one of our goals, that has given us hours and years of collecting and crafting and nurturing over the years.
Kristen is thinking about building Home this week because she moved to Portland yesterday and is pondering how to shape a new part of her story for her family in a new place. As you read this, I will be flying with my family to Oxford, via London, with thoughts of helping Sarah put together her new home as she marries and begins a new part of her history. Kristen and I both cherish the same sorts of ideas for building a place that holds a legacy of faith, a marriage that holds fast through all the years and all the seasons, or a single mom who creates Life through her own planning and creativity, a holding place for the reality of Christ to be lived through all the moments. We all know this requires planning and a conductor of such a life. It is the theme of my newest book, released last year with Sarah, The Life Giving Home
Building a Home Requires Imagining it as a Place of Resource for Life:
A library that holds all the great books of children's literature and classics and great thinkers, biographies and writers is a must. And now, due to Clay's kindness to move his office to the basement, I have our library as a tea room of sorts. With comfy chairs, a tea set, art and paintings from my background all over the walls, with candle light and music--it is a lovely getaway where I can share heart-to-heart with all in my wake.
A well-stocked kitchen with all sorts of home-made recipes crafted over years of testing, with all the holiday food; food for those who are ill; birthday fare; winter-cold-night soups and breads and all sorts of healthy variety in between.
Fireplaces where stories are told and ideas discussed and children are cuddled.
bedrooms with comfy chairs and piles of books in baskets to encourage reading and quiet times and of course candles galore.
Piano, guitars, drums, flute, dulcimer--all collected over the years--some more used than others, but all for practicing producing music of all sorts.
Games and book baskets and art books and cd's and Pandora and dvd's from all imaginings to instruct, inspire, soothe, comfort and to stoke the imagination.
Clusters of chairs, grouped together to encourage great and close conversations--rockers on the front porch; setees and big chairs on the back deck; gatherings of chairs in 2's all over the house to make a close meeting and discipleship time for all who are there.
And of course a bookshelf in every room, with each child collecting his own library.
A suitable place for traditions celebrated and momentous occasions retold and the Bible read, over and over and over again--to remember Him and stories of faith and heroes and courage and holiness.
This is what I have had in my heart to shape--a home that breathes life and truth and love into all who would enter--
To make sure my home, for my family and friends, is indeed the last homely house and that all that has been excellent and worthwhile over the ages is celebrated in its walls--
because everyone needs a place to belong and a home where welcome is always fresh with all who cross the doorway.
We hope you will enjoy our podcast today.
Kristen and I will be taking a break from our podcast for a few weeks as I spend 3 weeks away in the UK with our sweet children and as Clay and I celebrate our 35th anniversary! Kristen is settling in and she will be giving birth to her precious baby boy. We have some great plans for a new series for our podcasts coming this fall.
And please save dates on your calendars and plan to join me at a whole new kind of conferences that I will be hosting this year. We plan to come to Denver, Colorado; Orange County, California; Dallas, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Portland. The conferences will be late January--early March. I hope many of you will be able to join me.
It will be grand.
Blessings and blessings in your days ahead.