"We have tended to believe that a sanctuary is something created by the hands of human beings. It is much more difficult for us to accept the knowing that those things given to us freely by whatever we call God are the true sanctuaries."
-Anne Wilson Schaaf
Our human hands have spent a year and a half rehabbing my grandparent's home. There is not an inch in this entire house that Joel has not touched. And what we thought would stand out as the most difficult season of our married lives, has faded into a memory of hard work and acquired new skills, leaving us feeling nothing but grateful for all that were able to learn.
There were days on this journey when I thought I could not feel at peace until I had a sanctuary of my own. A place where my soul could be at rest, free to create artwork and order. "If we can just get into the house then..." was a tag line in our most stressful moments.
Even though that is what I desired, I knew the sanctuary I longed for wasn't going to be just this house. We were given spaces of peace and fullness that had nothing to do with the labors of our hands and the home we could re-create.
This house is sitting on a piece of property covered in giant, stretching oaks, flowering trees and bushes of all kinds bursting forth in all four seasons of the year. There is a moss covered path leading through a tunnel of trees in the woodland behind the barn that takes you on a hike to the branch (a little creek that trickles through the back of the property). This little creek tinkles and splashes over a bridge of rocks creating little pools for small fish and small children to enjoy. From the banks, clay is ripe for harvesting. From the hilltop, the breeze dances through all the trees and sunlight paints the landscape golden.
And when I finally paused on that hilltop and looked around I was overwhelmed with the beauty and peace that was available to me right in that moment.
This land is a Sanctuary and has been long before we made a move to this neck of the woods. This particular spot has only had long-term human residents for 150 years and if the trees could speak our language then they might tell us of Sanctuary that has nothing to do with our human needs to mark, create and own. The Sanctuary we have chosen to be present to is all around us, living, breathing and whole.
Living, and breathing, and whole.
Sanctuary is available to us all the time. God creates Sanctuary with God's presence. When I am present to the moment at hand then I am standing in the presence of the Holy One. My very body is a Sanctuary for the life-giving work of God. There is nowhere that I can go that keeps me from those spaces of peace and wholeness freely given to me.
Giving ourselves permission to breathe and take in the abundant gifts of this place, we are astounded by the presence of God here. We have longed for Sanctuary and here it is just as it always has been.
So as I move forward in this season, I will be writing from The Sanctuary-this land, this home, this body, and this heart. But I will not be the only voice you hear from on Waked Up. My husband, Joel, will join me in sharing the gifts of this journey that continue to transform our lives for the better. Our deepest hope is that by sharing our experiences with you, something of our journey will enliven something on yours.
Please join us as we become waked up to the abundance available in all of Creation. You can subscribe to this blog, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and keep up with classes, workshops, retreats and experiences we are hosting on site by subscribing to our website at www.wakedupstudio.com. Thank you for sharing with us.