Here’s an old post I thought I’d re-publish since I don’t have a new one this week for you. Thanks for reading and for your patience as I struggle to get clear and encouraging thoughts for you! Your prayers are much appreciated! For now…here you go! Enjoy!
This time of year creates a love-hate relationship with me and my surroundings. I am definitely most happy when I am outside in the warm sunshine of summer with blues skies. I just love the blooming flowers and I don’t care if they make me sneeze. I just live with hopes of another beautiful day the same, tomorrow. When fall starts creeping in, I like the change in temperature until it gets below my comfort level of 74 degrees and then I start to go into a panic because this weather is telling me summer is over and winter is on its way!
One good thing about fall is that at any given time, you can go to my pantry and find way too many marshmallows for anyone to ever eat, before they go bad and start tasting like the plastic bag they are packaged in. I get so excited thinking about fall and bonfires, I want to be ready for when the whim hits us and we want to go out and sit around the fire pit and get a sugar high. I like to think I’m always prepared for a party!
Fall also begins to give me an excuse to come home earlier in the evenings since the sun goes down faster and the days are shorter. I love to come into the house with my 5-hour stew almost done in the oven, cook up some cornbread, put a fire in the fireplace, and snuggle in for the evening with a good book or movie. Our home is our sanctuary and it is so nice to spend time relaxing and enjoying its surroundings.
When the kids were little, we were home one day hanging out. It was one of those mornings where we didn’t have anywhere to go, so were a little slow getting around and I was still in my pj’s much later than what was normal. I don’t know how many times I told my kids when they were small, “Don’t go to the door without me or your dad.” Well, that morning, one of them forgot the rule. I had been back in the bedroom gathering dirty clothes up to do some laundry when I came barreling around the corner in my nightgown, only to find two men in black suits standing in my living room! The kids were looking at me like, “I don’t know how they got in here!”
I was shocked as I stood there in my nightgown with these two strangers in my house! I looked at them dumfounded and they said, “Ma’m, we are here to get the body.” My mind was racing and I was trying to understand what they just told me, as it was quite an unusual request to say the least. I still wasn’t comprehending and asked them to repeat since I was sure I had heard them wrong, totally forgetting that I am standing there in my nightgown at this point.
“We are here to get the body”, they repeated.
I began stuttering around and one of them said, “Is this the home of Mildred Peirce?” Relieved and dismayed all at the same time, I realized they were wanting the older lady two doors down. Mildred had apparently passed away in the night and the undertakers had the wrong house! I directed them to the correct house and they left as quickly as they came. They were noticeably embarrassed by their mistake and probably very uncomfortable with my appearance as much as I was, too!
That day, our cozy, comfortable, safe home was shaken up a bit by our visitors. Even though they meant no harm, they entered into our space, unannounced and ready to take action. Had they been knocking on doors for other reasons, the kids opening the door and allowing them to come in could’ve been a disaster. I was thankful it was not the latter.
As I think about this season of retreat when we all begin spending more time in our homes because of the upcoming weather, I think it’s also important to consider how we can best spend our time.
At all costs, we should protect the doorways of our homes and lives. Pray for God to give you the strength and courage to keep doors closed on things that aren’t healthy or uplifting to you and your family. Ask Him to help you open doors that encourage and nurture your walk with Him. For when we guard and protect what we allow into our homes and lives, we can rest assured that someone’s not going to come knocking on our door looking for the dead body! Rather, they’ll be knocking on your door asking why your home is so full of life and joy. They’ll be wanting to know your secrets to true happiness and contentment. My suggestion would be… start a fire, pull out the marshmallows, and take the time for a fireside chat about opening doors! Yes, friends, it’s time for a party!