Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget to wear something green.
As you get settled back into normal life after spring break, I want to ask you a question:
Of all the places you’ve ever been––what’s your favorite? No really, I’ll wait until you come up with an answer…
My favorite place? It’s not the mountains in Colorado, it’s not a beach on the Gulf Coast. It’s not the northwoods of Minnesota, nor the Atlantic shores near Acadia National Park. It’s not even the beaches of Kauai or the English countryside. Although I loved all those places for different reasons.
Literally, my favorite place on the planet is my back deck. (Granted, I like it best when it’s sunny and 75, my kids are all around me, and jalapeno-cheddar burgers are on the grill).
It’s my absolute favorite not because it has the greatest views with the best climate and rich historical architecture. Nor does it have the hottest nightlife, the hippest art scene or the coolest attractions.
My back deck has simply been a haven for me. It has been a place of joyful celebrations, difficult conversations, dreams and goals and disappointments and griefs. I have partied there with 100 of my closest friends and I’ve spent even sweeter time just me and the Lord. But whether life has been happy or sad or infuriating. This place is peaceful. Safe.
I think when we name our favorite place it has more to do with how that place made us feel than about its individual characteristics. We love the places where we felt most happy or restful or valued or safe.
What is it that you really felt at your favorite place on the planet? Why, deep down, was it so special?
There’s no better place to create culture like that than in your home. Peace instead of strife. Reliability instead of chaos. Acceptance instead of judgment. Kindness instead of sarcasm. What if that was possible?
What would happen if your home made you feel like the best place you’ve ever vacationed?
Like anything else good, it would take intentionality and effort and discipline and persistence. (Good things take time to grow.) It would mean boundaries around the words you say and the way you say them. It would require modeling patterns of forgiveness and grace. Getting back up and trying again when we fail. Breaking bad habits and starting new traditions. Creating more good memories than bad. It might mean significant change. But wouldn’t it be worth it?
What could you try this week to make your own back deck (or living room or front porch or kitchen) the best place on earth?
Hopefully these proverbs strike a chord, not a nerve. 🙂
- Proverbs 15:17 “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened ox with hatred.”
- Proverbs 17:1 “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.”
- Proverbs 21:19 “’Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.”