There was drizzly rain falling from the sky as I rode my bike home. It was the first day in awhile that felt like maybe fall was trying to break through the Oklahoma summer. The sun had just set and I could see a dark blob on my front porch. As I came closer I realized it was Everly. It was after bedtime and I asked what she was doing. Her response, “I’m just watching my iPad on the porch in my blanket and eating cereal.” 

This word, sanctuary, has been on my mind quite a bit lately and as she said this it hit me once again. 

Sanctuary: A place of refuge or safety.

Refuge: a condition of being safe or sheltered from trouble.

Not going to lie, it was rainy and in the 70s yesterday and my oldest daughter apparently noticed the weariness in my little soul when I walked into the house after being beat up by the world; she said, mom you go outside, I’m going to make you a surprise. When I walked back inside a bit later, I smelled burning wood! The kid knows my happy place. Seventy-some degrees out and we had a full blown fire going in the fireplace, they drank hot chocolate, and I drank in the peace of it all. I’ll get on board with this type of fun! 

So the Everly scene here happened hours later. When she informed me she was watching her show, wrapped in a blanket, while listening to the rain, and eating cereal; there was a sense of goodness. The same goodness that I felt when I got home on my lunch break, popped back in the recliner with a blanket and bowl of leftover stew, and for an hour felt safe from trouble. Don’t get the wrong idea, this house is not picturesque and is cluttered and dirty 93% of the time, but it’s home (said with all the richness that could be mustered in that four letter word – home). 

As mother’s we can be so hard on ourselves and point out all the things we fail to get right, but sometimes it’s nice to simply appreciate the good. 

Giving our kids a sanctuary. A place of refuge. A place where they are safe from the troubles of the world. 

There have been plenty of times when I’ve bailed on plans because my house simply felt too good to leave (yes, I’m that kind of flakey friend and normally present this flaw to potential friends upfront – thanks to those who have endured). I bought this cozy, hand-me-down garage sale chair last weekend, plopped it in front of my fireplace, and here I sit typing in the lamp light with a crackling fire and Amos Lee in the background.

Creating these spaces of serenity in my life are a must. I realize I have to make deliberate choices to reflect what is important to me. Peace. Simplicity. Gratitude. Reflection. These are musts and I know no one else is going to to be holding me accountable in these areas. So here’s your encouragement. Think of those things you need for your own wellness and don’t neglect them!

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