Belong, Discipleship

Home is Where My Heart Is…

I have always said that my house is my home only as long as it contains two things:

The people I love.

The possessions that allow me to create an atmosphere of love for those same people.

Creating a space for the people I love is some of the art of my life

In this next week we will be able to say that we have lived in this house for ten years, which is a record for us.

Last year we had to complete some renovation projects that became necessary. This necessity came as a bit of a shock in that it had been twenty-three years since we had lived long enough in a house for it to need any kind of refreshing.

IMG_1096IMG_1100IMG_1052Whew!! Nothing like a move at home without actually moving!!

We chose to live in the house while all the work needing to be done was accomplished.

Some of the work was done by us, and some by contractors whom we hired.

Needless to say, every room was packed up (except for the kitchen cupboards), contents were moved to another room temporarily, and then moved again to either a new place or back to where they were originally.

IMG_6062IMG_6064IMG_6255Mr. Van and I have been able to build several homes together and even wallpaper together at times.

Some people say that is a sign of a good marriage.

I am not sure if that is really true, but we do seem to be able to work out a system to create an atmosphere of mostly peace…

Not in every way, of course, but we did come to an agreement that he would not run me over with his efficiency and I would not have a meltdown every time I had to readjust.

We are both detail people, but I am a list-maker, and he is a “have the details of the project in his head” person.

I can figure out the order of what needs to happen, and see what issues could arise down the road, depending on the order of tasks done. So again, doing this project, we agreed to talk it out ahead of time, and then proceed.

The way that we handled this situation became another way to display the art of “who we are”.

 In Galatians 5:22-25, in The Message version of the Bible, it says,

Gal 5-22-23-2

Whew…I see some statements in these verses that cause me to think that I have some “Character Work” to do.

Mr. Van and I try to choose every day to love each other by attempting to communicate well, honor the other person’s opinions, show respect, and sometimes agree to disagree.

These choices develop and display our character–how we choose to think, speak, and act toward each other and toward those in our sphere of influence.

Our character tells those we are welcoming into our life whether we are choosing to live God’s way, or to live our own way.

 How we are progressing in this area of Character becomes evident during times of change, or difficulty, or crisis…

When my true character shows up, it displays what is really in my heart, the part of me, deep-down inside, that chooses to believe God, becomes who He intends me to be, and belongs in the places and spaces He planned for me.

 My Musings this Week…

• Our family has been walking through life with our Mom this week. She experienced a mild heart attack on Monday night. She has a few conditions which are affecting her heart health and those conditions may cause her health to continue to deteriorate over these next months. She knows Jesus, and we are so thankful for that. She also displays the art of her life in so many amazing ways. These kinds of situations definitely cause some pondering moments…

• I have spent a lot of time this week preparing for our Discipleship course for women, called Heart2Heart. We are recruiting leaders and co-leaders from among those who have taken the course previously. They will be leading women in groups of four to eight who are just deciding to join us this fall.

UXAP8858I am also writing a Leaders’ Guide and a Workbook Manual for this year, compiling all that I have taught over Years One and Two. We are now entering Year Three, and this will be the first time that the leaders will be mentoring their groups in separate locations, and adding their own stories and experiences with God as they direct their groups. Up until now I have been leading a Large Group component and they have been taking their groups through a Small Group time.

I am so excited to see, again, what God will do in the lives of these women who choose to connect with Heart2Heart for the next eight months.

Your Musings This Week

• I don’t know where you are in your life re the place that God holds in leading you to make good decisions and to then display godly character in your thoughts, words, actions, and reactions. But I do know that He is willing and waiting for you to acknowledge Him as the One who knows you best, loves you, and who will teach you to live life His way. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to help you respond to Him.

• I am planning to incorporate a Heart2Heart focus here on the blog. Stay tuned for more information about that.

I am meeting many women, of various ages and in different stages of life, who are struggling to know how they can go deeper in their relationship with God, how to understand why they do what do, and who desire to leave a legacy of godly character and a well-lived life.

Maybe you are one of these dear women, or perhaps you have already learned about what it takes in life to make some of those hard choices. Wherever you are at, please know that you are welcome to come and walk with us through these next months, and to see where God directs your steps. You might be surprised…

• Spend some time this week meditating on these verses from Galatians. I know I am going to be… I want my life and my home to show that my heart is postured towards God’s best for me.

Thanks for walking the journey with us…

Love you, Colleen

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