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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Warmth that Keeps You Home

The year was 1978 and I was a freshman in college.  Being a Kentucky resident, my new college in South Carolina put too many miles between me and home.  Oh, the homesickness that would flood over me during that first semester!  As Christmas neared, I could hardly wait to put my feet inside the door of our house!

I traveled home with a car full of college students, the rest of whom were headed farther north, but were happy to drop me off on their way.  I'll never forget driving up the long gravel drive to our country home situated on five acres.  Would the car never stop so I could get out?!  It finally did, and when I stepped inside the door of my home, my travel companions on my heels, I was greeted with the warmth of that place and the reasons I had missed being here.  Oh, yes, the temperature was toasty inside, but the warmth didn't come from the fireplace or thermostat - it came from the atmosphere my mom had created.  Twinkly lights, fragrances of food - warm hot chocolate and treats were awaiting us.  I could have cried right there on the spot (maybe I did!), and the very memory of it today brings tears to my eyes.  That kind of warmth is never matched anywhere else but...home.

Who creates that kind of atmosphere and how do they accomplish it?  I believe God gave that responsibility to us, as women.  There may be some men who have that kind of touch, but primarily I believe God put it in our nurturing nature to make home a nesting place of warmth and invitation.

     The light is what guides you home, 
              the warmth is what keeps you there.
                                                                                                                               ~ Ellie Rodriguez

There are several ways to create that kind of place.  Let me suggest a few...

  • Quiet ~ Playing soft background music can lower everyone's volume and calm restlessness
  • A right heart in the woman of the house ~ We set the tone!  Make sure your spirit is under the Spirit's control so you can be loving, giving, and warm.
  • Soft lighting.  Use mood lighting in rooms and instead of the harsh overhead lights. That means lamps and candles at different levels - up high, at eye level and lower areas, like under a foyer table.
  • Pleasant fragrances ~ Candles will be a welcomed fragrance, or you can use potpourri in bowls, plug in fragrances, or wax tarts that burn in the warmers.  If you have allergies to these kinds of fragrances, then simmer a pan of water with cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peels and vanilla.  Here's a recipe and instructions, if you need one.
  • Food & Beverages ~ It doesn't matter what it is, but make things your family can be nourished by and that will echo the season.  Keep cider on hand this fall and packets of hot chocolate mix. Make filling chilies and homemade soups on cold nights accompanied by pans of cornbread. Sit with the light of Kerosene lamp on the table and enjoy being together.    Good food helps to draw the family home!
  •  During the cooler months, keep quilts and throws handy.  Layer the floor with rugs.  Provide a foot stool.
  • Keep the seating close so you can talk to one another in the living room without shouting.  Make conversation circles, if you will.  
  • Clean away clutter and pile the tables instead with baskets of books and magazines that draw you in and beg your family to sit down and slow down.
  • Be there!  An empty house isn't so inviting, but when you're there to greet your family, they'll be drawn in by your presence.
We may need the light to find our way, but it's not the light that makes us want to stay, it's the atmosphere!

Every wise woman buildeth her house: 
but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. 
Proverbs 14:1

What draws you home? What are you doing to create that kind of atmosphere for your family?

With love,


Whitney Pendell said...

You made me cry! You created that same atmosphere in our home...and made me want to do the same in mine. <3

Denise said...

Aw, thanks, Whitney. You're doing a good job!