Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday Grace Letter

A Reminder to me ...

Although our home stands, the Black Forest fire will forever add texture and bring perspective to who we are. It speaks of our story and marks our now. This past week we viewed a video of the fire. Tears flowed again.
The red - homes that burned to the ground.
It consumed within inches of our foundation when God brought it to a halt and saved our home. We stared amazed with outstretched fingers measuring the much too close. The blackened pine needles next to the normal brown spoke of God-sized protection.

As our new reality unfolded, surprises surfaced that changed our calendar, our relationships (thank you again Kara and Jason for allowing us to make your home our home during the evacuation), and transformed how I think of ten years from now. 

I see our home, our stuff with new eyes. We always desired to create a welcoming space for family and friends. Now more so.

Kara, do you recognize your home?
Last June our son Jeff and his family evacuated with us never saw our home, never sat at our kitchen table, never slept in his old bedroom. We celebrated my birthday at Kara and Jason’s long dining room table. 

My heart is that in ten years our family will still visit Colorado finding our home a place of rest and restoration, that they will eat at our table, and sleep in the guestroom. I hope that The Sanctuary, our small mountain retreat will also offer a piece of heaven on earth off the beaten track for our kids, GRANDS, and friends from near and far.

A home, a cabin, places serving the loves in our lives. 

Terry spent hours creating the quilt that adorns our dining room wall. The pattern perfectly complements Colorado scenery. Terry was already scheming to sew a replacement for us, a HUGE friendship commitment. Oh how I desire that in ten years, God will continue to grow beautiful friendships that know how to give and receive love in generous ways.

Thankfully the inside of our kitchen cabinet held a list of what we would grab if we had ten minutes to evacuate never dreaming it would be needed. My husband Bill used that list last June. My sister Barb quipped, “If you dodge this bullet, I want to add to your list.” She was remembering the wooden high chair a gift from Grammie. I sat in it as a toddler; our kids sat in it; our GRANDS now sit in it. I hope in ten years our family heritage will still be told around the dinner table as a little one sits in that chair.

Carolyn said she couldn’t stop thinking of the wooden sign (below) that hangs under pictures of our GRANDS in our bedroom. She too has bought the same for her home.

When we moved to this home, Mom cross-stitched this welcome sign below for our back hallway. As you enter, your eyes see it right away. Christa and her family visited in the late 90s from Vermont. Since then their family expanded, moved to Germany, and back to Vermont. She surprised me when she mentioned, “I’m so glad your home survived, now I don’t have to find a new welcome sign for you.” Through all her life changes and many years since visiting she still remembered the sign. Wow.

Are the things that make our house a home just stuff—stuff that if consumed by fire could be replaced? My thoughts have changed; my appreciation has deepened. In ten years I trust our home will still hold memories and create welcoming space for family and friends.

Last summer my husband, the one who had only ten minutes to decide what to throw in the back of his pick-up truck, blogged about our stuff here

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”              I Timothy 6:17

On Tuesday's I am part of a link up with others writing Grace letters. Please click over to be blessed by others.


  1. Sue, your words always encourage me and draw my heart closer to my Lord. We are studying I Timothy this semester in Bible Study and those words from chapter 6 are so good. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Darnly. YOU encourage me! Your friendship is a gift.

  2. Our homes on this earth are so temporary, yet we don't like to think if them this way. Your story is one that blesses and puzzles. I'm sure you have questioned why your home was spared when others were not. I think it is because God has a great blessing to come out of this time and this place that He wanted protected from fire.