Posted by: bellissimanh | February 5, 2009

Home Sanctuary

Before getting on with today’s post – PLEASE PRAY FOR CORA TODAY. She is undergoing surgery to remove fluid around her heart. You can read updates at The Mac’s blog:  (or click the link in my sidebar). If you have a facebook account, you can also join the cause “Prayers for Cora”.


Update from the Macs:

change of plans…

After doing another echocardiogram this morning, the doctors have decided that it is best not to have Cora’s surgery today. They think that perhaps the fluid around her heart is a bit less than yesterday (which would be a good thing), but also the risk of nicking her liver during the surgery is very high. So, for now that procedure is on hold.

So, what does this mean for today? Right now, Cora is being put on an oscillator, another type of ventilator that will inflate her lungs and hopefully increase her lung capacity so that she can breathe more easily and require less oxygen. Pray that she will respond well and quickly to this new device.
p.s. This is James again, and just so you know, whenever I make a post it’s because Joel and Jess need your prayers even more. Please be lifting them up today.



As is fitting for my theme of “Diligence” this year, I’ve become a Company Girl! (see the graphic in the margin). Being a company girl means being committed to creating a “Home Sanctuary”. I mentioned my desire to become a better wife and mother in my original Diligence post. Home Sanctuary is a step in that direction. The idea is that you CAN make your home a sanctuary for your family… a place of refuge if you will… and that sanctuary is in the small things you can do that create peace, order and beauty in your home. Each day RachelAnne posts one small thing that you can do to help transform your home into a place that will be inviting and warm. 

So far, the thing my family has taken the most pleasure from is the creation of a monthly menu calendar. It hangs on the fridge, and everyone can see what we’re having for dinner each night of the week. For me, it eliminates the stress of having to figure out at the last minute, “What’s for dinner tonight?” As a working mom, that’s HUGE for me. Jasmine says she loves it because it gives her something to look forward to. Apparently Joel likes it too, because he brought this home for me this week!



It’s an adorable meal planner! It has blank calendar pages, to map out the menu, and has shopping list pages too (the skinny pages on the lefthand side in the top picture). Wasn’t that sweet of him? I guess this is one habit he would like me to keep up!

With all this focus on the physical things I can do to create that home sanctuary environment, the Lord couldn’t let me forget that it would all be for nothing if my own words, attitudes and behaviors were out of line. Thanks to Jennifer Rothschild (you may remember her from THIS post), Jesus spoke these words to my soul…

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance”  (Psalm 32:7)

Jennifer says this, “You don’t have to be a singer to surround someone with songs of deliverance. Here are some practical ways to extend God’s sheltering embrace….consciously try to become a trustworthy friend, spouse, or parent so you can be a safe place for someone else — then others will find rest in the sweet music of the Deliverer’s song.”

Isn’t God’s timing perfect? All of my actions mean nothing if they are not accompanied by a loving spirit that is seeking to put others’ interests above my own. A cup of homemade hot cocoa is nice, but if it’s served up alongside a dish of complaining, it will not soothe. Bestowing a new outfit on my thirteen-year-old is a wonderful gift, but if it’s given along with a remark about how much nicer it is than her favorite faded jeans, it will be a constant reminder of my unapproval rather than my love. I can dish up a scrumptious meal for my husband, but if I’m cranky and snappy, it will be nothing but sour and bitter.

Here’s to the small things… and to home sanctuary.



  1. I am so happy that your home is becoming a sanctuary. Nothing else compares to the peace of a God filled home.

  2. Great idea – I’ll have to check that site out. How do you get your menu planner to hang on the frig?

  3. I think the Lord just used you to confirm what I am to speak on at my March 21st speaking opportunity. Thanks for this simple, yet intensely practical post.


  4. This hits and resonates with what I share with the women God places in my path to mentor. God first, (and in so doing I will have my attitude in a correct manner) then spouse, then family, then friends….and this places my home in a much better atmosphere.


  5. You think Joel bought it “just cuz”???..

    Love you gf

  6. Oh girl this is so true! Great post! 🙂

    And I just have to say I LOVE THE PLANNER! I’m hitting Target Saturday to find something like it!

  7. Ooohh…I love the meal planner idea. That would certainly eliminate some of my evening stress!


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