Our little house that is a home received a face-lift today.
A gentleman from the dear Methodist church that we rent from, came by and painted the shutters a bright, cheery blue. The color reminds me of the blue sky that I love so much.
I often write about our little home. It is God’s grace to us; a gift given to us when we truly didn’t know where we would live. It allowed us to stay near our own church family, and for the kids to remain in their school districts, during a time of much uncertainty and fear in our lives.
I love this home.
And, we have not just lived here, we have dwelt here.
I think there is a difference between “living” somewhere, and “dwelling” somewhere.
“Dwelling” evokes images of putting down roots, burrowing in, settling down and saying “This is where I belong.”
And, that is what we’ve done. We have dwelt, here in this little 3-bedroom, 1-bath home. We have learned a new way of living within these walls; a new normal that at first felt odd and strange, and terribly unsettling, but now feels–well, normal.
We have laughed much in this living room with its strangely colored walls. We have tried to cook (none of us are very adept at cooking) in this kitchen, and have also played some great games of kitchen soccer as well. We have had long one-on-one and family talks in these bedrooms. We’ve found refuge in them, also, when the tears have come. We’ve celebrated birthdays and good report cards and Navy acceptance calls and job successes and soccer game wins and graduations in this place. And I’ve worked from this worn desk day after day, to provide for my crew.
I love this place. And I love dwelling here.
In fact, in looking up the definition of the word “Dwell”, I found this word listed as one of its synonyms: Be Settled.
My soul and mind settle best, within this dwelling.
A couple of weeks ago, at my dear church–also a place we have dwelt in as refuge and sanctuary–we sang a song by Tommy Walker. The title is Dwelling Place.
I’ve thought long and hard about the lyrics of this song, in the past few weeks. And when we sang it as worship that Sunday morning, I struggled to get through it. The words express something that I have come to discover as truth–and my (and our) only hope: God is our dwelling place. He is my dwelling place.
It is in Him, and Him only, that I am truly settled in both my mind and my soul.
The chorus of this song by Mr. Walker is this:
You’ve been our home
You’ve been our shelter safe
For young & old to generations past
We stand in awe of a God so great
We stand in thanks for your faithfulness
O Lord, you’ve been our dwelling place.
And those are the words I can barely sing, without being overcome.
He has been our home.
He has been our shelter safe.
He is my shelter safe. He is a safe place, in the middle of the dark night, when the walls close in. He is a safe place, when weariness overtakes me and I think that I cannot push forward one more step. He is a safe place, when there are parenting and life decisions that must be made, and I don’t know where else to go. He is a safe place–yes, even when I am struggling with doubts about who He is, and about His goodness! Even then, He is the safe place to take those thoughts and questions and fears.
And, when I truly, truly dwell within the circumference of who He is, I am settled.
Much like I am, within this home. Only more so. Deeper. Certain. Settled.
So, standing in my yard today, looking at my newly-painted-blue-like-the-sky shutters, I am in awe of a God so great.
That He has given us this home.
And, that He is our home. Our dwelling place.
And I stand in thanks.