17 July 2009

Creating a Sanctuary at Home

Please welcome Rachel Ann from Home Sanctuary. In Rachel's own words, ""Home Sanctuary" sums up a lot of what my life is about. As a wife and mom, I'm always looking for ways to make our home life a refuge and place of grace for the ones I love most."



'And remember one thing, my darlings, and never forget it: that no matter where we are, know that as long as you have each other, you have your family. And you are home.'
~a letter, A Series of Unfortunate Events


I borrowed my daughter's car, which has no air conditioning, to run some errands the other day. The blistering trip to town immediately transported me back in time, to a series of unfortunate events that happened almost sixteen years ago.

We'd found ourselves in desperate straits: Health issues and emotional stress forced my husband to abruptly leave the company he'd built for 10 years. With no college degrees, a mortgage to pay, two small children and a baby on the way, we had no idea what to do next.

And did I mention that we had only one car....with no air conditioning?

When our money ran out, we did what we never thought we would do: we rented out our house and moved in with my husband's parents for a year until we could get back on our feet.

Stuffed into the two spare rooms my in-laws graciously offered, we were humbled, yet grateful for the chance to start over. They gave us sanctuary.

My husband drove me to and from my temp job in our un-airconditioned car (because I'd managed to wreck our other one), the catalyst for my sweaty reverie that day. He'd load the kids into the blazing hot vehicle and get into traffic for the hour and a half round trip so I could bring in some money. On the sweltering ride, I'd rest my head and wonder how we would ever get out of this predicament.

It was a year of uncertainties, with fears of the future whispering to us each night as we lay in the dark, in our borrowed beds, in those spare rooms.

Everything we'd worked so hard for was gone. All our sacrifices to build a company meant nothing. We struggled to stay hopeful. It all just seemed...lost.

Except that we still had each other. And we discovered something about the word "sanctuary" that year.

My in-laws had offered us sanctuary, but the the refuge we needed so desperately was much more than a simply a roof over our heads. We learned that sanctuary wasn't so much a place as it was a choice.

We had to choose to turn to each other, even if the other person had disappointed us. We found refuge in our imperfect marriage. We had to circle the wagons, so to speak, wrap our arms around our little family and trust God in the midst of it. We closed our bedroom doors and read stories, had tickle fights and braided hair. We talked. We prayed. We took walks and made plans. We found pockets of joy to cherish and remember in family stories that are already legendary.

We learned that sanctuary is where you are. It's what you make of the moments, even when all around you seems bleak. Somehow, there is grace and beauty in the hardships and uncertainties you face, because you choose to find it. And there is hope, even in the dark.

"Sanctuary... is a word which here means a small, safe place in a troubling world. Like an oasis in a vast desert or an island in a stormy sea." ~narrator, A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Note from Kimba: Whenever I have to write a few sentances about ASPTL, I always say that it is a place for practical and inspiring ideas for creating a sanctuary at home. But the reality is that I'm often distracted by spray paint and shiny things and I forget to write about the things that really matter. If you are looking for true inspiration for creating a sanctuary for your family, please visitm Home Sanctuary.

While you're there, you can start participaing in Today's Small Thing. Each weekday, Rachel posts one "Small Thing" that you can try to do to create a little more sanctuary in your home.



Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story, Rachel Anne! I want to be you when I grow up!

27 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

Richella said...

Thank you for posting this, Kimba! I'm heading over to her blog now, confident that I'll find inspiration there. You do the best features!

pk @ room remix said...

What a beautiful post and so true. An excellent reminder of what really matters in life. I think sometimes God allows things like this to happen to us so that we will be reminded, for our own good. I'm excited about checking out her blog.

Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

This was very beautiful and moving. I'm off to visit her blog pronto. :)

Lindsay With Lindsay said...

What a beautiful post! I do think it's takes bad things to happen in our lives sometimes to refocus ourselves. Very nice.

Songbirdtiff said...

Thank you for this guest post. I can't even express how much I needed this reminder today.

Abbie said...

Really beautiful. Thank you. Abbie

Kjersten said...

Beautiful. I want that persepective on my heart at all times!

Lindsay said...

Thank You.

morethanthestarsinthesky said...

Hey Kimba! I love Rachel Anne! I entered her photo contest and won a $30 gift certificate to SAM MOON!
I got some great stuff :). I can't wait to see how her book about friendships turns out!


Amanda

MelanyTN said...

What a lovely post. I look forward to checking out her other writing. Thank you for sharing!

The Brannon Family said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

Rachel Anne said...

Kimba, thank you so much for inviting me to share today. I've always thought that nice people have nice friends, and so I'm doubly honored to have your nice friends stop in and see me. As always, I just love your blog and the truly inspiring ideas you bring every day. Thanks for letting me be a part!

monkeyseeboutique said...

Kimba, what a fabulous read. Thank you so much for posting. We always need reminders like this. Very inspiring.

kimmcl said...

Yup, that was a great story. Thanks for posting Kimba. It's great to be reminded every now and then of what truly matters in life.

Anna See said...

What a great guest post! Thanks for showing us how you pulled together rather than be ripped apart in the midst of a very hard time.

Annie said...

Well, this is only one of the first blog updates I'm reading today and the tears are already flowing...

Thank you, Rachel, for reminding us what truly makes our home a home and a sanctuary a sanctuary.

I can't wait for my DH to come home this afternoon so I can give him a great big hug!
:0)

Kate said...

WOW! You will never know how much I needed this today. The great thing about this blog land is you never know the small things that can make a HUGE impact on someone else.
Thanks!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Beautiful, beautiful posts from both of you! I am planning on heading over to "Home Sanctuary" to do some more reading. :)

amybluestar said...

What a great feature. Thank you so much! That was awesome.

Ally0005 said...

We learned this last year when my husband was oput of a job.

Anonymous said...

This post was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank You!

Wanda said...

Rachel Anne is amazing!
She really does make home a sanctuary...in her readers lives too.

I am glad I found ASPTL.

Linda said...

Thank you for a beautiful post - focusing on the things that really matter. Linda

Nardeeisms said...

Wonderfully written and profoundly true.

Nicole @ BugaBoos said...

This is really Beautiful! What a wonderful post and such a great reminder. Definately going to go check out her blog!

Blushing hostess said...

Important post for these times, she will have helped a lot of people up off their knees with these thoughts. Well done.

Regina said...

Just wanted to say that being distracted by spray paint and shiny things IS inspiring! To me at least. I have a wonderful husband, beautiful son, loving family, and am very religious.

Not that I have anything figured out, but one area I struggle in is feeling like my house isn't good enough or we don't make enough money. You have opened my eyes to so many things that are exactly what I need to hear and see. Just wanted you to know that in my opinion, you are doing what you set out to do!