Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Home Tells a Story

I like shelter magazines generally (though my favorite one went out of print last year). They're fun to look at. But most of the time, though the photographs can be quite lovely, the motive behind the lens is not a good one. Often it leaves one coveting, hungry for things...better things...nicer things. At this time of year the focus is preeminently "christmas"....mantles covered in greenery and gold, trees draped in blue and silver, designers telling that proper decorating must reflect a theme unifying the dwelling place or we're not doing it right.

This time I think they got it right, however partially. If the home isn't reflecting a theme....a story that speaks to those who dwell within....what is the point? But the story we are telling, you and I....isn't one that leaves us hungry for things, is it?

Our story is one of a Babe...

in a walnut shell, cradled by little hands
then hung on a tree
the nativity shares branches with the snowflake
and the Savior and His Mother share a place with the birds
a soft bed is made with good deeds
a chain of offerings, one broken each day, leads to a nativity scene behind stained glass
handmade snowflakes share space with advent candles...an ugly window turns beautiful
a son is born unto us....and so a new stocking is hung
windows from an advent calendar open, His Word revealed
scenes are contemplated and discussed
and the hunger for Christ is revealed in doors peaked open before it is time
The home tells the story of our deepest longings, but true beauty is revealed in only one Message....
O Come, Divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away
Dear Savior haste;
Come, come to earth,
Dispel the night and show Thy face
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.


Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Such a lovely home. I really appreciate how all your decorating leads to Jesus...this is what we're working towards, as well, but I feel like we still have a long way to go. Well, I guess a better vision of the Christ Child is a good thing to "covet"! :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Can you tell me where that Advent calendar with Scripture behind each door came from? I'd love to add that to our traditions next year!

Nikkadmus said...

Just lovely. I stopped subscribing a few years ago to a few "beautiful home" magazines for the very reason you describe. I found myself "coveting" and becoming discontent with my home's decor. Thank you for emphasizing the relevance of "important" decorations.

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Robina said...

Your little Advent calendar is so great. Where is it from. I also want to know more about your chain of offerings. What a special tradition. Happy Advent!

Anonymous said...

I got chills when I read this post! "O Come Divine Messiah" is my most favorite Advent song of all time. My daughter used to sing it for me every morning during Advent until she entered a cloistered Carmelite Monastery 3 years ago. I could hear her sweet voice so clearly when I read the words- thank you for a special Christmas treat! Have a blessed Advent and a very Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Lovely, like always! (And how funny! I only just noticed that my only two decorating magazines are Christmas Southern Accents which I got as a free trial several years ago--no subscription, same reason.) Just wondered...Is it a tradition of yours to turn the spines of your books inward to emphasize the presence of your nativity scene for Advent? Very interesting! --J.C.

Ellen said...

Beautiful post. How easily we succumb to the trappings and trimmings and forget the real "reason for the season."

A Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

Elisa said...

=) What a beautiful post.

Grace in my Heart said...

So beautiful!

Mary said...

So beautiful! Merry Christmas!!

Kimberlee said...

So much Beauty and Truth here, Kristen! Oh, and Love - it's all so clearly steeped in His Love. Thank you. xo

Kristen Laurence said...

Anonymous 1, I got the advent calendar at a local gift shop, but the back says "Made in Germany by R.S. Stuttgart." Hope that helps!

Robina, the chain of offerings is a spiritual activity to pray a special prayer each day until Christmas. The girls made this craft at their St. Nicholas party with the Norbertines. A chain link inscribed with a particular prayer offering is broken off each day until Christmas, when the stained glass will be opened to reveal a nativity scene. The last prayer link, for example, reads:

"O Jesus, prepare my soul to enjoy the happiness of receiving Thee, to offer Thee a dwelling in my heart that Thou mayst be born there. Oh that I could enjoy with the shepherds that peace which Thou hast promised to men of good will here on earth. Amen."

Anon 2, your comment made me so happy! O Come Divine Messiah is one of my favorite advent hymns too. :)

J.C., no, I wish turning the book spines had more significance! I turned all our books a few months ago (an attempt to make the bookcases look prettier) and simply haven't gotten around to turning them back!