I absolutely love my parents' home.
It was mine too for eighteen or so years. Let me tell you a little about it.
The home actually starts on the front lawn. Back in the day, that's where all the neighborhood kids knew the best game of touch football could be found most every summer day.
As long as there's someone awake in the house, the door is always unlocked, and friends know they never have to knock. Who wants to be greeted at the door anyway. Come on in, plop down, and tell me about your day. There's always someone at the house. Usually multiple someones. I think I can count the number of times I was alone in that home on two hands. In eighteen years.
If there's something good on TV, everyone knew where the party would be. "The Office Season Premiere" and "The Taylor House" became synonymous for a long time. The house was so packed one year that multiple rooms with different TVs were filled to capacity to accommodate.
And there's always something delicious going on in the kitchen. My mom is always cooking something tasty for anyone at the house, and she knows everyone's favorite meals. She'll tailor the menu depending on who is there that night, and she'll bribe you with her world famous quesadillas if it means you'll come over to the house. She loves having people over.
And it shows. That place has always felt like home to a whole lot of people. If ever anyone was in need of a place to crash for a day or a week or a month, my parents were always more than willing to oblige. There's always someone staying the night.
You always walk out of that house feeling better than when you walked into it- I guess that's the main point. I always loved that. I always loved how safe everyone- my family, my friends, and anyone else who happened to enter- felt there. We grew up wondering why so many neighborhood kids wanted to spend so much time at our house. When we entered the world outside the doorstep for ourselves, we understood.
Some good friends got married this past weekend, and among the many promises they made that day was this gem: "...that our home may be a praise to Him." What a beautiful way to illustrate that point!
My parents' home is praise. Ask anyone who has been there. Go ahead, ask! It's not presumptive- It's a fact! My parents' home is praise to Yahweh.
One of the first things I told Kelli about our new place was that I want everyone to feel at home here. I want the door to always be opened for anyone in need of an open door. I want this place to be a safe house- a Trust. Anyone entering is to feel completely wrapped in love, and when they leave, I want them to feel better than when they arrived.
Just last night we had three of our dearest friends over (two of whom happened to be my siblings), and already I see this home being praise. Obviously it takes time to establish a trust in a new place, but I believe the groundwork has been laid by the hard work of my parents at their home over the years. They taught us well.
So, here's to the prayer that as long as Kelli and I occupy this place, that it may be a praise to Him.