Tuesday, October 30, 2012

welcome to a life in progress

A glimpse into Maul Hall
AN INVITATION: This morning’s post pretty-much continues yesterday’s theme: Observation; life as it happens; gratitude; a peek through the keyhole and into Maul Hall.
I like to think of this blog as a real-time snapshot; more of an ongoing on-line journal than anything carefully packaged for effect. My intention is to write honestly enough that I could – possibly – one day use these writings as a resource for the next article, column, commentary or book.
And so, if you are one of those readers who looks over my shoulder from time to time as I write, or if this is your first time visiting this space, you are very welcome here, and I pray that my journey will be an encouragement to you in yours.
Sarah, Rebekah, Jared
COME ON IN: This photograph sums up the good weekend. We are so thankful that our home is a destination our nieces and nephews want to come to. We have nine in total, ranging in age from thirty-four to ten, and each one of them knows that we are a refuge where they can find nourishment and refreshment: physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually.
When Faith, our Virginia Beach niece, came for an extended stay in 2010, she referred to our home as “The Maul Retreat Center,” or “Camp Aunt.” Now, with our grandson David a year old, we pray that our home will always be that kind of experience for him too.
Prepping to teach a class
PERSONALITY: This next image speaks to that prayer. Because I’m convinced that a home is more than an empty shell; a house actually develops a personality and becomes the sum of all that takes place there.
Rebekah and I often sit in these chairs and engage in deep conversation about our spiritual lives; we serve visitors tea here, or coffee, and we pray for them and with them; this home is never witness to harsh words, profanity, put-downs, spiteful accusations, intimidation or violence; but – instead – Maul Hall is full with encouragement, kindness, affirmation, generosity, mercy and grace.
communication is a process
My point is that we can build our homes with bricks and mortar, and we can build them with spiritual substance too. No home is too humble to be a sanctuary built with love, and no mansion too grand to be a prison filled with discouragement and pain.
WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Finally, there’s always some kind of a project going on around here. Our lives are a work in progress; our relationship with God is a journey; our marriage requires a constant re-investment; our priorities need regular tweaking; our commitments could benefit from timely re-appraisals; the routines and patters that we fall into are always begging for a breath of new life… and so it goes.
Always a project
You will find a lot of those questions here, out in the open, in these blog postings, because I tend to think out loud all the time.
Could some of this possibly inspire you to apply the same kind of scrutiny to your own journey? I don’t know. But, regardless of where this conversation takes you, I’m glad to have you read over my shoulder once in a while. I’m an open book.
Peace on the journey – DEREK

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