Disclaimer: I was given a copy of these books in exchange for my honest review and did not receive any additional compensation. All opinions are my very own.
What comes to mind when you see or hear that word?
It will be a myriad of things to each one of us. I have been pondering home a great deal lately, as we prepare to move once again.
I've been recollecting all the places we have called "home" throughout our married lives (almost 24 years). I'm strolling back through the addresses, cities, counties, states, provinces and countries where we have chosen a dwelling place, moved in and called it home. There have been many, especially in the past four and a half years. I have taken pleasure in making a home over the years, wherever we are, whether a one bedroom apartment, a hotel room or two, a vacation rental, a large home on 3 acres with plenty of room to spread out or quite a few other varieties. I truly believe in the "bloom where you are planted" idea, but honestly, sometimes it's exhausting to think of all those moves.
And in the midst of thinking about packing boxes one more time, I'm wondering what semblance of home have I managed to salvage in so much transition?
When I was recently invited to be a part Sally and Sarah Clarkson's launch team for their newest book, The Lifegiving Home: Creating A Place of Belonging and Becoming, I knew it would be right up my alley. Sally has long been a favourite author of mine. I have read the majority of her books, and I have followed her blog for many years (back when it was "I Take Joy"). I have met her and had the honour of hearing her speak several years ago at a conference in Canada. What I didn't realize was how much The Lifegiving Home would speak to my heart and remind me of all the things I have treasured and hoped to create in the haven I call my home.
I love that Sally and Sarah, Sally's oldest child, collaborated on this project. They have done such a splendid job bringing their family culture to life on these pages. Even if you have never heard of Sally or read any of her previous books, you will know her beautiful heart through this book. And let me tell you how fun it is to hear from Sarah! She is an incredible author (don't miss her others books, too) and has such a poetic way with words. It is absolutely delightful to read words from both of them in one place.
Sally Clarkson is co-founder of Whole Heart Ministries (with her husband, Clay) and serves as its women’s ministry director. She’s the author of many popular books, including Own Your Life and Desperate (with Sarah Mae). As a mother of four, she has inspired thousands of mothers since 1998 through her Mom Heart Conferences and small groups.
Sarah Clarkson is author of two books on children’s literature, as well as a book of devotional stories and meditations for young women. She currently hails from Oxford, England, where she is studying theology.
As I've read through this inspirational book, chock-full of stories, experiences, preferences, ideas and ideals, I have been deeply strengthened as well as challenged, once again, to put my hands to the plow. I've realized how the difficulties of the past four, really almost five, years have affected me, and how much I needed a renewed vision for our Royce Family Culture.
These next photos have been a helpful reminder of what our home has been and can be, in even greater proportions . . . a place of welcome . . . a place of beauty . . . a place of celebration . . . a place where God's Presence dwells . . . a place of coziness . . . a place of belonging, just to name a few.
I also took time to ask my children what they think of when I say the word "home," especially as it relates to our specific family. This is the list they gave me:
Yellow (We've lived in two yellow houses.)
Home church/fellowship nights
Table spread with food
I have a few more words that I hope they will add in over the years, but for now, I think that was a pretty good foundation. I have new vision and even an excitement after spending time praying and dreaming about a new home. I know it will be a place of safety and refuge, of hope and healing, of love and laughter, as well as a place to rest and be renewed.
Blessings and love. xo
P.S. As you can see, I highly recommend this book for anyone who has the honour of making a home. Go now to buy The Lifegiving Home and The Lifegiving Home Experience today!
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