morning rumination // mother’s basket

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

A new week is upon us, so there’s no better time to talk about new rituals!

There’s no verse in the Bible that states that you must spend time with the Lord in the morning. Yet, for many years I would go through my day feeling like a failure if I didn’t forsake all other human tasks, prior to communing with the Lord. Essentially, I began each morning behind the curve, or so I felt. Even if I would spend time in the Bible later in the afternoon, I still felt like I was doing life wrong.

It turns out I felt that way because, for me, I’m at my best in the morning. I’m an early bird by nature, and am most alert before 1pm. After 1pm, I run on caffeine and many prayers for survival. I suppose I felt like I was failing all those years because I knew that I wasn’t giving my very best offering to the Lord.

And then along came three children. Middle of the night everything. Exhaustion. Busyness. Blurry vision and fuzzy thinking. My youngest is just now three and I still feel many of these things and am finally, just finally, feeling like I’m coming up for air. But barely. I’m still tired. I’m still an early bird, I still have early-risers and I still have a problem to solve.

When will I sit quietly with my Savior? 

It’s something I desire and it’s definitely something I need (we all do.) I’m 100% more refreshed, renewed and inspired when I start my day with truth and peace, but man. It’s really hard. The clock yells, “5:30am! IT’S ALREADY HERE AND YOU’RE STILL TIRED! JUST SNOOZE FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES!” But the truth is….If I want peace and quiet and some sort of time for reflection, it must be before my three girls arise. And if I don’t grab that time then, it’s not happening until, well, it probably won’t.

Admitting that truth has made my plan much clearer, and it is this:

I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I guess. (I laugh at that to keep from crying.)

But seriously, no matter how painful it might seem in the present moment, I need to surrender that time. My girls need me to have that time with Him and so does my husband. They all deserve a mother, wife and friend that is bathed in scripture. So, as NIKE says….I have to “JUST DO IT”.

I was recently listening to a favorite podcast and loved their take on the “Mothers Basket” (this is a home education podcast but you do not need to be a homeschooler to benefit greatly from this episode.) We have a daily ritual in our homeschool called, “Fireside”, where we get out a huge basket of books, poetry, art pieces, scripture, music and enjoy the feast before us. We sit on the couch (and if this SoCal weather would cool, we light a fire) and soak in literature and learning. It’s everyone’s favorite part of the day (usually because we have an exciting read-aloud happening. Right now it’s this one and we have ONE CHAPTER LEFT AND I’M MORE EXCITED TO FINISH THAN ANYONE IT’S SO GOOD!). The girls look forward to these moments because it’s specially-curated pieces of learning and it’s set apart. They get cookies and milk and they devour snip-its of culture. Plus, it’s quiet (nap time for Polly!)

While I personally have a small basket which holds my Bible and reading material for my own edification, I had never thought to fill it with anything other than the “essentials”. Where the heck am I going to find enough time to read anything else but the Bible?! I can’t even manage THAT in large degree. However, this podcast episode allowed me to imagine enjoying, in small doses, pieces of several delicacies (as long as we are talking about a feast here) during my morning ritual. I don’t need to eat an entire cake. A few pieces will do. The episode pushed me to think outside the box and mentally prepare and retrain my mind for the importance of this time I have with the Lord!

I worked on my “Mothers Basket” this weekend and am looking forward to spending time with the Lord in a renewed way. Delighting in Him and the varied interests He has given me. I would encourage you, if you are struggling in your personal time with the Lord – maybe it’s also been rough for you to make time – to listen to that episode and begin thinking about a new way to approach your morning time with Christ!

It’s a beautiful opportunity we have, at our fingertips. I regret thinking of all the mornings that slipped into afternoon and evening, without me meditating on His word.

Here are to new starts and baskets full of invigorating truth, beauty and virtue. I have my basket ready – by a comfortable chair. All I need is my hot cup of coffee and the alarm to ring. I’m ready!


I will be changing my basket out monthly, I think. Here is what I currently have in it and I look to read these books on a rotation, not necessarily daily. I hope to give myself 40 minutes a day. We’ll see how that goes!

My Bible

A Little Book….

A short novel

Something to grow me (given by my dear friend, who has stood by me for years and is currently discipling me and a friend – go read her blog!)

Some thing I enjoy learning about (easily one of the best books I’ve read this year)

A small book on Paul Cezanne (I don’t particularly love his art, but the girls are learning about him, and I want to grow my appreciation. I found this small book at our local used book store.)

Learning to love liturgy (I was recommended this book by a bunch of friends in a private, online community of believers. It’s the 1979 revised edition. I’ve never given it a try, but am anxious to follow a church calendar! Any tips from veteran readers?)

I also have several magazines about education and a book of poetry written by a friend that I will rotate.

Overwhelmed? Looking for an easy place to begin? I would recommend THIS book. The passages are daily and while they are short, they are packed with truth. This and some quiet prayer time will fill your day with endless promise!


My hope is that this inspires you and gives you tools to begin something similar for yourself – let me know what’s in your basket! Here’s to this week, personal growth, and many special moments with the Lord!

forgotten history // our new muse.


Recently, I claimed a concentration. I’ve entered back into the world of academia (wait, I never really left – homeschooling/teaching/always learning!) I’m doing my darnedest to gradate with my MA in American History. It was a back-and-forth debate on whether I should focus on my native country, or Military History, but eventually I came to peace with my choice – when I first started discovering my passion for history, it centered on my homeland and that has always remained of the most interest to me. This is not to say I am not thoroughly intrigued with European, Public or Ancient history – I most certainly am! However, the American experiment has my heart.

Within my first three terms, I’ve had the opportunity to research/write about The Great Depression, FDR and the game-changing photojournalism featuring Dust-Bowl migrants, destitute farmers, and urban squalor. It’s been enlightening and all-together wonderful.

I absolutely love history.

I’ve also found a renewed interest in forgotten history. I’ve long had a thing for historical “leftovers”. The subjects and materials that no one writes books about (well, except this one.) The articles of the past that are left at estate sales (that I capture and give new life to) and the stories that are rarely recounted or heard. I could pour over historical trivia, ephemera, and little-known accounts for my entire life, and never tire.

We recently renovated our home and it offered us a clean slate. Our walls have never been more bare, and with this golden opportunity, I decided to begin a new collection that I’ve always desired to start. Vintage portraits of unknown people. I took down our “flower wall” (any of you remember it?) and Sean and I have taken a new direction. Slow and steady is the key – finding the portraits that peak our curiosity the most.

I recently stumbled upon an ETSY seller that I was instantly captured by. She had a portrait that spoke to me (the fabulously dressed muse at seen at the top of this post), and after some time and deliberation, we purchased it. Come to find out, the portrait has a little American history of its own, which made it more than just a striking piece! It turns out that the artist is C.L. MacNelly. MacNelly was the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post from 1961-1964. This was after he served in the Navy in WW2. Later in life he turned toward portrait painting, and painted many politicians and famous figures, including Barry Goldwater, Hugh Downs, and Billy Graham (you can learn more about him here). Our lovely lady is said to have been the wife of a Portuguese Ambassador, visiting the United States, in the late 60s. I do wish I knew more of her story. I’ll settle for this beautiful rendering, however. It’s colorful and soothing and has vibrant life. This is the first piece of art we’ve had in our home which came with appraisal papers & a back story, which makes it somewhat traceable. Most of our past wall-hangings have been cast-offs, found in dusty attics and back-alleys. It’s an exciting change and one that has me searching for my next portrait.

Until I find another of the same stature, I must find a name for this lovely woman. Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them!


If you’re anything like I am, you can easily be distracted by a post/article/book that reveals lost history. Here are a few online suggestions for your viewing pleasure, that I’ve recently enjoyed. There’s more where these came from – I could fill post after post with intriguing historical curiosities. For now, have fun discovering!

I’ve been searching, buying and recovering vintage/antique photos for years and have seen my fair share of forsaken photo collections, but never like this: Rescued Film Project

Personal tales of Civil War families.

What a lovely Restoration story, full of rich American history.

Abandoned America is a fun website that will turn into a rabbit hole adventure. It’s eerie and somewhat sad.

I almost fell over learning about this failed 1930s town. You can also grab a book on it here!

The changing landscape of heirlooms and passed-down family treasures.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.”

Winston Churchill

abandoning lukewarm // living as Laodicea


“For true doctrine is not a matter of the tongue, but of life.” 

-John Calvin

Nothing reminds you of your lukewarm tendencies as does a barrage of chaotic or unexpected life events. At least, this has been the case for me. I, much like everyone else I know, has felt the unparalleled strain of the world lately. Whether it be within the walls of our own homes, or the stains and streaks of unwarranted suffering, slashing loved ones. It’s all around. The death, the hurt, the words, the poison targets people are aiming. The strain and indifference and valleys in-between what used to be and what suddenly is. It’s like the decay of human relationships and health and belief and love are hanging on the air – so thick that I know I’m not the only one suffocating.

Or, maybe I am and it’s my turn to stumble through a bit of the pain which other people have gracefully marched through their entire life.

And… I’m presented, once again, with my lukewarm default. Because, you see, lukewarm works when things are bright and vivid. Stale and familiar prayers and chants and positive vibes are so taupe and vague and perfect and normal, when all is well. They satisfy.

But oh, when you hurt. The hurt that reduces you to your very lowest and most raw shadow. When you have no where to go, so you sit in it. That dark moment is when lukewarm is the very most disgusting thing that has ever resided within me. If we are in a place of aching and all we have are lukewarm sentiments to soothe us, we have no solace or hope, whatsoever. Nothing.

I’ve been a shell. I’m a walking Laodicea.

I am tired of lukewarm. Lukewarm has moved me through hard conversations and short inscriptions, proclamations of faith, and hope and believing. Lukewarm has resembled fiery passion for short moments, when I was introduced to uncomfortable situations but nothing has made me confront my own comfortable coma like real mental torment.

For this grinding ache,  I shout hallelujah! I rejoice in hurt and falling tears that will come and go as quickly as the wind blows and dies away.

Pain and swift-changing reality has given me the greatest gift.  It’s cracked me wide open and let everything pour out.

It has turned over a mirror and forced me to stare at my deplorable lukewarm nature and finally let it float away on the ever-changing winds of time, life, pain, joy.

I hate lukewarm. I don’t care if lukewarm comforts people and releases them to be acquainted with me. I abhor lukewarm because Christ is revolted by it. With lukewarm, I am so much farther from the Father then if I had never known of Him. To think of so much of my life being squandered with lukewarm platitudes and my imagining that I was, all along, white hot.

Lukewarm is my worst nightmare and it has been a constant companion for many years, sparked with genuine moments of intense strength where I saw glimmers of real faith. It’s gotten me by. It’s given me just enough to maintain. Be enough for others, but never for me or Him. I knew it, too. That’s the most horrible admonition.

And so, once again….

I say thank you Heavenly Fatherfor pain.

Without heartache, I would be living without a victory march, but simply a half-forced smile.

Beige. Tepid.

But with pain, I feel. I will live loudly, vibrantly, boiling and burning hot.

Laodicea, no longer.





Literary Comfort // Life-giving Bookshelf

I’ve always found comfort in books. It isn’t necessarily an escapist effort, but more of a magical understanding. No matter the stage or season of life, there has been a book that reminds me that nothing is really new. It’s all happened before. My heartache, my elation, my experience. It’s not new.  Books have a way of understanding.

There’s comfort in books. Hardcover stories and tales, sitting on my shelf, day in and day out. They stare at me and wait until that perfect day, month, year where my heart may be aching or may be resting and in need of a familiar friend. When my emotions will be raw enough to understand whatever new piece I recognize on the page. Life brings unpredictable tidal waves of good, frightening, surreal. It’s inevitably coming and when it does,

I shuffle over to my bursting bookshelves and I pick up….

A book that reminds me to live..

A book that reminds me that I can find family anywhere and to never lose hope.

A book that allows me to see that evil will never outshine light.

A book that forms my faith.

Books that are simple and charming and sweet, for those dark, complicated moments.

Books that will never leave my memory, and might draw me closer to Christ than any Sunday sermon.

Books heavy with symbolism.

Books that will challenge my mind.

Books that I come back to again and again and again.

It’s never ending and the bookshelf is always revolving. There’s always one waiting and what a treasure hunt that is! Except in books, one will almost always find treasure of the indispensable sort.

Right now, this is what I’m reading, what I want to read, and what I want to revisit.

Currently with the kids. And starting next week.

Currently on my nightstand. This too.

Currently in my Amazon cart.

Currently in my morning devotion basket.

Currently pondering which to revisit….This or this? Suggestions welcome.


I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway


Paideia // The Liturgy of Culture


I’ve heard much about “Hygge” lately, haven’t you? It’s a daily tradition, embedded in Scandinavian culture, and it’s found popularity within the United States, this past year. Bloggers write about it, books are being sold and Pinterest is filled with perfectly curated photos of people enjoying “it”. A friend sent me an article, quite some time ago, detailing the essence of “Hygge” and once I learned about it, I realized why I enjoyed the concept so much – it’s what I’ve been doing, working toward and searching for…… for years. After over a decade of truly desiring (and working towards) peaceful, quiet and intentional living, learning, education and loving….I have finally began reaping the benefits of discovering it. I am immersed in it and the abundance is overflowing. Hygge doesn’t have to be reserved for one hour a day of sheer enjoyment. No, it can become a culture.

It had to become a culture before I could completely enjoy and surrender to it, which took work. A culture, as defined in the dictionary is, “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group.” In order to have the culture our family is drawn to – methodical, slow, restful, intentional, Godly, virtuous and lovely….we had to work for almost a decade, dismantling the culture we had bought into. The only culture we had really known – the Southern California culture we (my husband and I) were brought up in – very thick and layered and not all together bad, but not precisely the culture I wanted to leave to raise my children. This played a large role in why we chose to educate our children at home.  What began with my love for classical literature has blossomed, in the last four years, into a deep searching for virtuous, high-minded and principled thinking.  Not “intellectual” studies simply to become intellectual, but an honest searching out of the most beautiful and lovely lessons that one can learn – so they may take those thoughts, arguments and logic and set the world a blaze with their love of the Lord and the depth of what He has created.

In order to welcome this culture into our home, we had to change things. We had to stop things. We reorganized how we prioritized, what we allowed, what we chose to ponder and be entertained by.

Culture is a liturgy.

How we live and what we do is how and what we worship – it’s our liturgy. If I dismantle that true statement, the culture we construct for our family is our worship to the Lord and the precious few years I have with my three daughters is my opportunity to give them culture.

I have a choice and I choose Paideia of the highest and most God-pleasing manner as I am able. Sean and I both desire to transmit a culture which is free (as much as possible) from bland entertainment, meaningless logic and sinful components. If it all sounds so pious, I suppose that’s because it is and should be. After all, “piety” is simply the love and fear of God and man. It’s a commandment in the Bible.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

When taken seriously, our task as parent is immense. If I stop and think about it long enough, my heart feels heavy, as if someone is sitting on my chest. It’s all too much! I am a sinner with inherent evil, written into my DNA. Often selfish, who am I to raise these children? Who am I to direct them? I make foolish choices all the time – I choose the low road. As does my husband. We are sinners, saved by grace (because trust me, on my own merit, I’m not worth it.)


The crux of the issue is this: Either my husband and I cultivate a culture for my children or they will adopt the nearest one to them, created by others.

They will cling to one. One will permeate them.

As parents, we know that nothing is fool-proof, and children are humans who will seek on their own. Perhaps they will drift from what we have instructed them. We can’t be certain. But we can be intentional. Slow. Peaceful. Loving. God-fearing. Seeking righteousness and beauty and virtue. In all we do. And doesn’t that sound like something we all desire?! I have found the most restfulness in slowing my world and focusing on what matters.

When I think of the “liturgy of culture” we are offering our girls, I do sometimes think about how exhausted I am at the end of the day. Educating them, mind, body and soul, is a daily task. Unrelenting. Yet, even in my physical exhaustion, I have clear eyes and a restful spirit for what may come next in our home. I take solace in how education, culture and virtue can and are married. While our school tasks may daily focus on the seven pillars of the Liberal Arts, it is wise (and essential) to remember that it is much more than mere academic work we are striving for:

“The seven liberal arts were never meant to stand on their own as the entire curriculum, for they are designed particularly for cultivating intellectual virtue. Since human beings are more than just intellects, however, the curriculum must develop more than just intellectual virtue. Creatures formed in God’s image must be cultivated in body and soul – mind, will, and affections.” –Kevin Clark and Ravi Scott Jain “The Liberal Arts Tradition

Our children (and ourselves) will adopt a culture, which will become one of the largest parts of who they/we are. It will encompass what is believed, and what will be transmitted to future generations (Paideia). We have been handed the supreme opportunity to continually select the most pure and good and dwell on those things. Think on those things (Phil 4:8). In our waking and in our sleeping. Entertainment, consumption, discussion and education.

All choices are contributing to culture. And we must measure each according to what pleases the Lord most of all.

Certainly not easy. But what a noble task!


Overcome // Overcomer


We live in extraordinary times, don’t we?

As an armchair historian, I’m aware that every period of time is extraordinary in its own right. Nothing is new under the sun, but right now it feels like each day dawns with a new catastrophe. Everything feels unique to this age and insurmountably heavy. Burdensome. Several days ago, a friend was killed in a car accident. That same day I found out a new friend has cancer. One was diagnosed with another terminal disease. I have friends losing their foster children. Friends losing their parents to health problems. Sick children. Financial troubles.  In my own life, I’ve relinquished many hopes and notions of how things should be. There is hurt and severed relationships and memories. I see pain, confusion and sin.

I feel it, you feel it. Our culture is wilting and churning and I’m not up to the task. I like to think I am – with all my answers and social diagnosis’ and explanations and all my solutions.

At the end of the day, I am helpless. You are helpless.

But am I really? No.

To be helpless it to admit defeat and I know better than that. So do you.

As a believer, I know that this world is going to offer destruction, emptiness and suffering….in the form of:












But there is that still small voice that meets me, when my head hits the pillow (sometimes in tears):

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Yes. Yes. Yes.

You have overcome everything. That is why I have joy and I wake and can rejoice in all things – in pain and suffering and circumstances that make me cry out because of their injustice. You have your hand on these things and You have overcome. I can not make them work in my mind and I try and try but You overcome and you win and you are the champion of this war-torn, rotting world.

You are the only reason that we wade through the murky water. You are the answer and the deliverance.

You are the overcomer, Lord.


day to day // ritual


Phillipians 4:4

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”


Being a stay-at-home mother and a homeschooling educator, I spend most of my time in our home. I also spend most of my time awake. Running up and down stairs, preparing food (SO MUCH FOOD ALL THE TIME), checking homework, diagramming sentences and breaking up quarrels. Reading books out loud, buying books on Audible (the best app in all the world), ordering them from Amazon, reviewing them and reading some more. Reminding children to use manners, say their prayers and stop sassin’.

It’s a good life. A really good life.

In fact, I can’t imagine living any other way. Well, actually I dream daily about owning a huge lot of land with hills and trees and twirling around all over it, similar to Maria in Sound of Music. But where I am right now is where God has me, and I do love it for many reasons, even without a wrap-around porch. I’ve been growing and learning much about contentment lately. It’s a choice and I’m choosing it. My friend and I have been mulling over the concept together and it’s been beneficial for me.

I find that each day is even more enjoyable with a few small daily traditions. Perhaps rituals is a better choice to describe what I mean. These are things that I can do to put a small spark in each day, even though each day has plenty of its own. I’m growing in contentment while also observing lovely things and allowing each day to move slowly and organically, as the Lord leads.

When my days include the following, everything is a bit more lovely.


I’m a vintage-collector, so I frequent estate sales. At one particularly large home, I found a treasure trove of books. I’m not sure I can explain just how elated I was. Underneath the stacks and stacks, I found this small devotional. It has become a cornerstone of my days and brings me such simple assurance. If you’re anything like Susanna Wesley, and only have a few moments to spare each day, throw that apron over your head and give those minutes to the Lord. Now go and try to find this book online. It’s worth the price and was certainly worth climbing around in a dusty attic.


Candles have been and will be my downfall. I have them lit, each and every day, and they warm my soul. This is a current favorite and while costly, absolutely ushers in the feeling of Fall. I’m able to be reminded of the beautiful seasons the Lord provides. There was a time I questioned our budget line-item for candles. But smell is and always has been so important to me. It’s a nostalgic trigger and almost always a pleasant one. It’s equally important my children have the chance at that too. Perhaps that’s weird but I’m sticking with it. I feel justified when we are out and smell something and my daughters share memories tied to their childhood, based on a scent. Both good and bad. Just think about your favorite smells and allow your mind to venture down memory lane (and take a gander at this interesting article, too.)


Music is a non-negotiable part of our homeschool day. It’s always on (music was my way of releasing the need for the news to constantly serve as background noise). If you have an Amazon Prime account (you simply must), head over to the music section and enjoy the abundant selection of free music, at your fingertips! Our favorite “Prime albums” are: “100 Must Have BACH Masterpieces”, “Classical For Learning”, Tiersen: Pour Amelie Piano Music” and “Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris”. There are loads more, but these are our favorites. Along with this, this and this soundtrack.


I listen to The World And Everything In It and The Briefing daily. They are my source for daily news, from a Biblical perspective. I also receive this monthly magazine. These are both invaluable, inspirational and continually resources which bring me back to the foundation – God is in control. I am not. This is a good thing. I check no other news sources in the morning until I have checked these.


I hope several of my “rituals” might bring you renewed joy and bring gladness.


ugly // magnificent


For every evil and ugly moment in this lifetime, there is a flash of magnificence. I believe these sparks to be much more potent, simply because they are in front of us, almost waiting to come alive. Waiting for when we desire goodness and mercy the most. We wish to be separated completely from the graveyard of heinous forces that surrounds us. Oh, the goodness and simplicity of each day, right in front of us, and so easily ignored. But in the midst of tragedy, chaos, everything sharpens into crystal-clear snapshots of beauty. Flash! We are asleep to the artistry at our fingertips and there it is, glowing and warm and it saves us, at times.

While mourning continues and tears are flowing. While our country bleeds and experiences the fracturing and breaking that has been happening for so so long. While fathers and mothers go home to quiet houses and find no voice on the other side of the phone call. While communities are wrecked with emptiness and loss and hunger. While children wait for parents and adults lay in streets, full of poison and pain and loneliness. While a young girl goes home, emptied from the inside, once again alone. While a small child runs to his room, scared. While a couple says goodbye.

While a nation loses its footing. Loses its sight.

While everything is being stripped away, day by day….

I see

A group of six grey-haired woman, sitting in a living room laughing.

Eight girls kicking a soccer ball, while the sun fades to pink.

A little toddler watching ants crawl into cracks and out of sandy holes.

An elderly couple take their morning walk, hand in hand.

The same gardener seen each morning, giving a wave to a child.

The waitress bringing an unmerited cookie to a young child, knowing the mother just needs a second of quiet.

Two kids sharing a lunch sack at the local park, laughing at what shapes the crackers make.

Local business owners come outside to fly their flag at half-staff.

Lights on at every church on the corner, bodies walking in for weekly communing.


The world around us is dying and at the same time so many moments are bursting to life.


days // recalling good

When things seem cloudy and my brain is far off, I look at photos.

I recall all of the small, wondrous moments that I often overlook as mundane. I see them happening in real life but for some strange reason, looking at them through a lens makes me realize just how blessed they are. Perhaps because I pause to see the details, colors and subjects. Real life has me scurrying table to sink to dishwasher to minivan. No time for blinking, let alone pondering. I’m working to change that, diligently.

These photos are like tiny, captured bouquets of flowers. Instantly making me grateful and full of joy.


dwelling // comfort

“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis

I’m finding that I can fill our home with all of the comfort and light, warmth and softness that this world may offer, but if I am not dwelling on the Lord, our family dwelling will be quite dim.

May each square inch of our home be a balm from the outside world and a respite from its darkness.

May we rest here.