Home of the free

Lauren felt safe from the fireworks snuggled in her own bed with Cheer Bear.

Lauren felt safe from the fireworks under her covers with Cheer Bear.

The first firework we lit in the yard to begin our Independence Day celebration also set off fearful screams and waterworks from Lauren. So she and I watched the show from her room, snuggled in a blanket and holding tight to Cheer Bear. We were actually closer to the fireworks inside than where our seats were outside, but there was something about the comfort of home that made everything okay.

Home should be our sanctuary, the place we go to find rest, safety and peace. That’s why it’s worth fighting for. It’s our homes and our families that men and women have given their lives to protect through the centuries. So many have bravely served our country, and continue today, to provide us security and freedom here.

It’s the reason Jesus came, too. He fought for our freedom from sin. He shed His blood and willingly gave His life to secure our home in Heaven. It is only through Him that we can have peace.

Watching the sparks fly with her nose to the window glass, my daughter reminded me of what I have to truly be thankful for this Fourth of July weekend.

Favorite place

Lauren squints outside her favorite place in the world.

Lauren squints outside her favorite place in the world.

Lauren asks to go there at least once a day.

It’s her second home. Most days, her daddy is there. She often sees her friends there. It’s where she can sing and dance and play. It’s filled with people who demonstrate God’s love to her, and where she learns about God’s Word.

It’s her favorite place in the world.

Lauren’s love for her church should be ours as well.

God’s house is a place we should long to be. It’s where our Heavenly Father is, where we can join together with our spiritual family. Church is a home of praise and joy and thanksgiving. There, we can look forward to acceptance and accountability. We can receive nourishment from God’s Word being opened up to us.

God’s home is our home. Better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere.

– Psalm 84:1-2, 4, 10a