Several years ago I enjoyed a once in a lifetime summer vacation: 30 days (in a row) at the beach. We played, we biked, we walked, we talked, we explored, we rested and we didn’t see anyone at the grocery store that we had any issues with. Isn’t that a nice break? We savored each day and had a lot of fun together. And during those 30 days I knew that I wanted to take all those great experiences home with me so my real life could feel more like a vacation because summer at my house can feel exhausting and chaotic with all the extra cooking, cleaning, driving, and conflict management that are needed when the kiddos are out of school.
One of the elements of THE vacation that made it so wonderful was the sense of sanctuary that it offered me. We rented a cozy cottage that offered us refuge from the heat and drew us together as a family. And each morning I would start the day on the private porch with my Bible and a cup of tea. My time with God was protected there.
When I returned home I immediately started to create my own sanctuary, a peaceful and holy place, in the midst of my summer madness.
I chose my bedroom because it had the greatest potential. It didn’t start that way, but after a few modifications it became just what I needed.
Before I could create my sanctuary, I had to define what I liked so this place could become my personal refuge.
I like dim light, so we installed curtains that later became shutters to block out the oppressive heat and light that beamed in the west facing windows in the late afternoon. I like blue, so I bought some fluffy blue pillows to add beauty and comfort to our bed. And I like clean, so I decluttered the whole space and dusted it to remove any distractions that might steal my peace.
I started each summer day just like at the beach in my sanctuary praying and talking to God.
And… later on when the house filled with noise and people and Polly Pockets, I would head back into my sanctuary for 15 minutes to meet with God and calm my soul.
The next year we built a deck and that became my peaceful and holy place. And when the children left a mess in the kitchen, and the family room, and the office, and the basement and I wanted to hurt someone (I think you know what I mean), I would head outside to my sanctuary to talk to God about His children, also my children, who were testing my patience and I would go back inside a bit more rested and loving than before.
This year my sanctuary is my home office. It too is blue, fairly clean, and the décor reminds me of the beach. I keep my Bible, my journal, and my prayer books in here. It’s my place to meet with Jesus. My sanctuary reminds me at all times of the year, but especially in the summer, that God is with me and my source of peace.
Then have them make a sanctuary for me,
and I will dwell among them.
Where in your house can you create a summer sanctuary?
By Dale Skram
Mom of four
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
real.life.speaker, real.faith.writer, and real.life.coach