I wish I had a gazillion copies of The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming. If I did, I would consider conquering one of my greatest fears, and I would actually climb into a helicopter and then shower copies of this book down on the world for everyone to read. That is how much I love, love, love this book. Of course, the inevitable lawsuits that would follow for head injuries and broken bones would not be so awesome, so it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have a gazillion copies. Also, I really don’t want to ever set foot inside a helicopter.
But seriously, this book is that good! It’s like Sally Clarkson stepped inside my heart and soul, saw the vision I have–not just for my family, but for the family unit as a whole here in Honduras–and she wrote it all down in a powerful, grace-filled way. She didn’t know she was doing that–she doesn’t even know me–but she did nonetheless, and she wrote it down so much better than I could ever hope to express.
This book found me at a time when I felt a little desperate, to be completely honest with you. After a period of high stress, trauma and loss, coupled with multiple moves and transitions, our family–by God’s grace–was surviving. But somewhere along the way, the warmth and joy that we had always envisioned for our home had taken a beating and was struggling to stay lit in the midst of intense spiritual warfare. I still had the dream of an intentional, grace-filled home and ministry, but I was out of motivation and inspiration to make it happen.
This was not the home I knew God wanted for our family, but after four years of constant change and transition, I honestly wondered if it was even possible for a family like ours to have a home that radiates with security and belonging. I know, I wrote about this before, and I meant what I wrote, but now, I was just tired.
Enter this book, The LifeGiving Home, by Sally Clarkson and her daughter, Sarah. I knew before I had even finished chapter one that this book was written just for me, as I read these words that seemed to take what was in my heart and put them right there on the page:
“I craved a place to belong amidst our nomadic lifestyle, a refuge from the draining practicalities and spiritual warfare I encountered out in the world. In order to thrive, I needed a place to be loved and restored, to find inspiration and purpose.”
I wish I could describe what a gift from God this book has been for me! True to its name, this book quite literally breathed life back into the soul of this weary and depleted wife and mom. As I read through each chapter, the picture of the home I had always wanted to create for my family seemed to come back to life in vibrant living color, and I could see it again! I immediately began implementing many of the ideas and practical suggestions, and the difference these changes are making has been remarkable.
I still have a long way to go, and I am forgetful, so I’m sure I will be re-reading this book often in future years. I loved The LifeGiving Home so much that after I finished, I immediately read the companion book, The LifeGiving Table, which is just as beautiful, inspirational, and practical. In fact, thanks to The Lifegiving Table, we now have a new family Christmas tradition that I will be sharing about in a future post.
Along with the renewed inspiration of intentional home that I have always dreamed of for my family, came a renewed vision of home and welcome for the broken families and fatherless children here in Honduras. As Sally aptly puts it, “All people need a place where their roots can grow deep and they always feel like they belong and have a loving refuge…But so many do not have a place of refuge, a harbor for their wandering souls, a place where all that is precious about life is preserved, protected, and cultivated and the daily needs of their hearts and souls are satisfied…”
I have seen this search for refuge played out so vividly here in this beautiful, broken country, where thousands of abandoned children grow up in institutions that bear the name “Home” but offer no safe harbor or belonging–where basic physical hunger may be satisfied but their hearts and souls are starved to death.
In a world where broken families are the status quo and home is little more than a tin roof over your head, I am convicted by the striking reminder that my family, too, needs so much more from me than just their basic daily needs met and that my calling as a wife and mother holds incredible power. The home I create for them could change the course of history. I read a quote recently that said “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” And really, that is what it all comes down to isn’t it?
I would highly recommend this book to ladies in all stages of life, whether you are married, single, young or retired. You will be blessed and what’s more, others will be blessed through you and your lifegiving home.
The Clarkson’s have a new book coming out soon, The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ and I can’t wait to read it!