It is a beautiful, crisp spring morning and rays of sunshine cast long shadows as my girls and I walk to the bus stop. They skip and hop in their attempt to step on each other’s shadow and giggle as their shadows are gobbled up in my much bigger and longer shadow.
As we reach the bus stop I overhear a dad laughing, “ain’t momma happy, ain’t nobody happy.” And what was meant as a joke, sideswipes me, and nearly knocks me to the curb. Because just an hour earlier I am barking orders at my girls, and harshly shaking my teenager out of bed. My alarm clock failed me this morning and a dark cloud has settled over my household.
And it takes an old cliché to remind me of my wielding power to influence the atmosphere of my home.
Home is a place where appetites take root; where dreams are cultivated; strengths and interests reinforced. The smell of favorite foods permeate throughout; the comfort and beauty of “my room” and “my pillow” are enjoyed; where love and acceptance are anticipated and expected.
And I wonder what kind of lasting shadow I am casting over my home and the hearts of those I love deepest.
Am I casting a dark shadow of pessimism and negativity that will alter the way my children see themselves and the world, or am I casting a yellow sunbeam of light that brings joy and peace to our home?
Desire to make my home a haven rests heavily on my shoulders. To make my home a place where those that walk through the front door are greeted with welcoming, life-giving words. A place where the love of Christ permeates; where a fountain of laughter flows freely; where we serve up love with generosity and are not stingy with our affections.
My attitude is key in making our home a peaceful haven. And because I can only tame my attitudes by leaning on the Lord, it is my relationship with Him that ultimately provides a nurturing environment for the people I love.
So I look to Him to cast His shadow over my household. One that reflects His glory and His presence in our home. And His characteristics overshadow ours, as our shadows are swallowed up in His.