If I Had a House

I cannot see myself being house-proud and obsessed about whether things look squeaky clean or fashionable.  I would want my house to be a place of rest and joy, where anyone could be comfortable and not worry about disturbing a fussy display, nor have to pick cat hair out of  the cake. (There wouldn’t be a cat.) I would want it to be a place of encouragement and warmth and simplicity.

But if I owned a house, and could paint and decorate according to my whims, I would most certainly, definitely have a wall like this where every guest would write something they’re thankful for when they come, or before they leave.  They could choose the color marker they want, and draw a picture instead of write a word. Really, I understand children’s compulsion to write on walls. They’re such wide, open places with endless possibilities.

I would want a wall that no one could pass without having their routine tweaked a little bit. Because nothing is easier than complaining, and giving thanks takes effort. We need something tangible to remind us that to be thankful is to live honestly, to acknowledge a giver, to admit we are unbelievably rich, to help each other remember that lament is also worship.

color- hot soup- warm scarves-big mugs-hugs and wet kisses from my niece and nephews last wkend-students and friends who call the best from me–these words I would write on that wall today.


12 thoughts on “If I Had a House

  1. What a lovely list of heartfelt thanksgiving. I appreciate the link love. You put a smile on my face this morning. I went poking around your blog and found a link in your lists to Slice of Infinity. I follow these writings from Ravi’s team too. The challenge to think and grow exhilarates me. I wish you all the best in your wordy teaching and writing.

  2. I love the wall of thanks! Love it! But I don’t think my landlord would be exactly ecstatic. Maybe I could improvise with a collage of chalkboards.

    If you had a house, it would be warm and easy to rest in, with laughter bouncing off the floorboards and nooks of beautiful meaning. And books. Because you would live in it, and these things are just the way you are.

    “Lament is also worship.” Yes. Thank you.

    • One of the sweetest sounds in the day is when I hear my guests laughing and talking among themselves while I make the tea. It always gives me a little ripple of joy inside.
      PS Now you can go thrifting for chalkboards!–or make your own with chalkboard paint. The perfect thing to do with an old window. I want to use it on a door.

  3. Yes! Yes! I am ALL OVER this idea!! I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal since Feb. Although I’m sure the 400+ things I’ve written won’t fit, I’m going to copy a few favorites onto the closet door in my bedroom. Poor red paint is meeting Permanent Marker. Score! I’ll have to send you a pic once I’m done. 🙂

  4. I want to come to your house, curl up on the couch, and write on your wall when I leave. It’s a delightful just thinking about it.

  5. Cat hair in the cake?! Oh Anita, you make me laugh. And I like your vision of a house . . . and hope you can fulfill it one day and that I get to write something on your wall.

  6. I love the idea — sort of like a guest book, but far better! I want my home to be welcoming and comforting too. I remember staying at your parents’ lovely home in Ireland. It was simple, but beautiful; unaffected, but tasteful. You have a jump-start on home-making and hospitality with your heritage!

  7. What a jolly idea! I have a couple wide, almost-ceiling-height closet doors that could use a splash of creativity. Giving thanks is just so therapeutic, that’s what.

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