I spent some time yesterday creating a living space on my deck.

It is a wonderful time of year, as we expand our living areas to the outdoors.  I love to plant lots of herbs to use in my cooking and just to enjoy.  My geraniums wintered over fairly well, and have new buds – hurray!  Now I just need to add some gerbera daisies, they always brighten my world with their sunny faces.

A decorator I am not, but I love to create a welcoming space where I can invite friends to spend time with us, and also where I spend time alone or with my hubby.. contemplating, reading, time with the Creator. Comfy chairs, plants, the outdoors… it is peaceful!

This isn’t about perfection.

In fact I feel somewhat uncomfortable when I enter a space that is pristine, everything in it’s place.  What if I mess it up? 

I certainly can stress about having a tidy and clean house, although having a sense of order and cleanliness can be helpful!  It is more about creating space for others… and all are welcome. 

Since we’ve had grandchildren, we have lots of toys and books handy, and the kids have their own corner where they can play to their heart’s content.  We have lots of books… everywhere, and on any given day, if you come over, you will likely see my art pens and pencils lying about… there is usually something in progress! 

I shared with my church family on Sunday about being a welcoming place.  It isn’t always the physical space, but it comes from the heart. 

We, the church, people who love God, also can be a welcoming place… this is a place everyone is welcome.  I know, from the stories I hear, that this has not always been the case, in many churches.  And it saddens me.

In my home, in my church, in my attitudes and in my heart, am I a person that is welcoming?  A safe place where people are free to be themselves, tell their stories, share their heartaches?

These are questions I ask of myself.  And I hope and trust that even this little space on the web is welcoming for you, that you would be encouraged today!

ps.  If you are interested in listening to my talk on Sunday, you can find it on our church’s website, First Baptist, Vernon.  I talked about our beautiful diversity… and I might write more about that soon!

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