As you can see from the pictures, our newly renovated kitchen is finished. It’s open, full of light. The sun shines in. The cupboards are white. The light grey floor blends with the stainless steel appliances and cupboard handles. Now it’s time to add sparkle, spots of colour. I’ve bought blue tea towels with brightly coloured teacups. They represent building joyful relationships. My daughter gave us a bright pink calendar titled “Blessings.” Each month has a new picture and a scripture verse. We want our new kitchen to speak of our values.
When I look around the rest of our home, I see our values reflected everywhere. Paintings of flowers, trees in winter, ending of a storm and more, on the walls represent our joy in God’s wonderful world. Family pictures bring love personified. China cabinets full of history, one from each mother, speak of the wonder of mothers’ love. Angels, all gifts, are sprinkled everywhere, black, brown, white, flying, swinging, singing, reading. They watch over us from most corners.
On the dining room wall, the picture of a small child has her hands folded in prayer, wrapped in the wrinkled hands of a grandparent, with the caption, “Pray always.” Over the front door is the plaque, “May the love that surrounds you today give you the strength to face tomorrow.” Our faith, our values are everywhere.
In my ministry, I talked with many parents bringing their children for baptism. We always discussed the baptismal vows. “You will promise to raise your child in the faith. How will you do that?” I would suggest, “Buy your child books of faith like ‘God’s Dream,’ by Desmond Tutu, or “Three Questions” by Jon J. Muth, “There’s Only One You”, by K. Heling and D. Hembrook. Put pictures and sayings on the wall that speak of your child as God’s precious gift for the world. Surround your child with words and pictures that carry the message that your child is valued and loved.” This is the basis of our Christian faith.
We need to be intentional about our surroundings. They build atmosphere and send messages. Make sure your home, whether one room, an apartment or a house, speaks of love, peace, joy, hope and faith. Those are the messages we want as the foundation for our lives and that of our loved ones.
As always, our Bible carries wisdom for our lives today. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)”