When moving into a new home, have you noticed how much time we invest thinking about where to put the furniture, the color we want for the walls, and the things we will need to decorate? That is part of the fun and excitement of getting a new place. But for all the times you have moved and all the homes you have lived in, have you ever considered the following question: For you, what is a home? I haven’t really thought about it until someone asked me and made me think. And it is not that I had never considered my home as a place where I can relax and build memories with loved ones, but this person made me realize that a home is much more than that.
Our homes are special places and they mean a lot of different things, but for all of us our home can be a place to give. Whether you live alone or with a large family, your home could be a place where people, including yourself, are constantly giving and receiving, a place of growing, sharing, and multiplying.
What can we give specifically in our home?
-We give refuge: When my children were small we used to read together a book called “Grover’s bad, awful day” by Anna H. Dickson. The book describes how Grover’s day starts badly and it becomes worse, until he gets home and can’t take it anymore and sits on his mom’s lap and cries as he tells her all about it. Like Grover, we have all had awful days where we just couldn’t wait to get home and cry about it, letting it all out and then finally finding peace and relaxation in our own space. Our home is a safe place and the people who live there or those who come and visit can feel and receive that peace that it radiates.
-We give freedom: Don’t you love hanging around people who accept you for who you are? Don’t you love people who lovingly tell you what needs to be said but they don’t judge you? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who comes into our home feels freedom and the ability to relax and be themselves? In a world full of expectations, it feels good to find a place where we don’t have to act in certain ways, but we can be who we are.
-We give laughs: Good times with friends and family are a great thing to give in our home. Meals shared with loved ones don’t have to be fancy or complicated; they just need to be sincere. Making time for what is important, such a family time or opening our home to those who make our life special is a wonderful way to let others know how important they are in our life and how much we appreciate them.
-We give example: The people who live with us or those who visit often are probably the ones who know us the best and will get to see firsthand our reaction to different situations. They are watching and learning. Whether we know it or not, our home is a place where we are constantly giving example, and that is a great responsibility and a wonderful opportunity.
Our homes are so much more than a place where we go every day after work or school. It is a place where we give refuge, special times, and example. A place where long talks take place, wise advice is shared, and silly jokes are repeated. In other words, a place where memories are made. In the future, what we consider today as part of our routine could become a warm memory of a certain time in our life. Since our home is a place of constant opportunities to give and receive, why not take advantage and be generous? Are you ready to give big?