No Place Like Home

Cynthia L. Eppley 12/05/22

Home

I think I first noticed it when pictures of homes began popping up. I’m not an architect, or a designer, but I know what I like.
And so pictures of homes with wrap around porches caught my eye.
In the summer they were appealing: tall glass of frosty lemonade, a good book, and a cool breeze.

Depending on the season, pumpkins scattered around. Corn husks, lanterns, and colorful mums add to the plethora of Fall colors.

Winter Home

Winter is a different story.
During the Christmas season ornaments, sleds, skates, and miniature trees placed perfectly.
Rocking chairs, adorned with comfortable blankets and a few pillows thrown in for good measure.
Don’t forget the hot chocolate.
With the advent of outdoor fire pits and fireplaces, a roaring fire may accompany the view.
Perfect.

Picture Perfect

But it begs the question: what makes the “picture perfect” home?
My eye is drawn to the large country abode, frequently covered in snow. What is Christmas if it isn’t a “White Christmas?”
(And here my apologies to my friends in the Southern climates, especially Florida….)
Perhaps a white fence surrounds the property with greens draped and wreaths hanging, red bows wafting in the wind.
Almost always there is smoke swirling from the chimney, inviting us in to a warm and cozy kitchen.

Inflatables

I just confess that inflatables were never in my….”Vocabulary” for my Christmas decorations.

But then we had grandchildren.

And a particular little girl that saw a “Snoopy” and declared that this was Christmas”: “Snoopy!”

That very year we went out and bought a Snoopy that proudly adorns our front stoop.

Perhaps it seems out of place with our more traditional decorations. But it warms the heart of a little girl. And that is enough.

Photo courtesy @tallwoodcountryhouse
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Vare
Photo courtesy Jennifer Vare

The Gate

Often there is a gate to the entrance of the home. This is the perfect place for a swag of greens, ribbons and bows, welcoming in the weary traveler. And setting the stage for the warm home in the background.

Smaller

Then there is the smaller home, perhaps with architectural features that are appealing. They might not have the stateliness of the rambling mansion. But they are appealing in their own way.

Wreaths may grace the window, or perhaps one huge wreath welcomes you to the front door.

And there is usually snow.

Smaller Yet

And then there is the smaller home—perhaps a twin or townhome. No rockers or blankets here.
But we notice a few wreaths or a tree in front of the home.
Lights may line the windows.

Lights may adorn a lowly tree.
It glows with a warm welcome.

The Apartment

I’m reminded of our earliest days when we had an apartment. No tree, because our holiday would be spent traveling to family. And no money.
But we did hang a garland in the “shape” of a tree on the wall. No mess, no fuss, no pine needles to sweep up.
And a hint of festivity.
It was enough. See http://O Christmas Tree, <strong>The Perfect Christmas</strong>

The Point

It seems to me that the homes that are most grand, or the home that is most small, can hold even the greatest of hearts and the broadest amount of love.
You see, even the smallest and humblest of homes can hold the largest degree of merriment, laughter, and fellowship.
Where does this lead us?
It leads us to a humble manger.

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

The hymn “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne” was written by Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliot in 1864. It reflects this dynamic:

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,  When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room  For Thy holy nativity.

There are so many wonderful, traditional hymns that tell of Jesus birth. These theologically rich songs teach us of the great exchange in Jesus and His coming to earth; His coming to earth in the humblest of circumstances to exchange our weakness and brokenness for His grandeur and majesty.

There was no room at the Inn for Mary and Joseph, only a manger in Bethlehem. “But of lowly birth Thou didst come to earth.”

Prepare Him Room

As we prepare our homes for Christmas then, perhaps we can look beyond the glam and the glitter.
Perhaps we can look beyond the elegant mansions so tastefully decorated, and see the humble manger.

Or we can see past the meager offerings of our tiniest humble abode to the greater offering of our hearts, and see the richest and purest offering. Where is our home?

And just how elegant does it have to be?
For Jesus, our humble hearts are all He seeks:

“Oh Come to my Heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee.”

Published by Counseling from a Christian View

Counselor, Teacher, Wife, Mother and Grandmother. It is a privilege to serve God. All my roles have taught me more about God's grace and mercy. And all of life is counseling.

3 thoughts on “No Place Like Home

  1. Beautiful post…reminded me of a solo I sang from that hymn by Elliott! Very picturesque blog! Merry Christmas!🎄❤️

    Like

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