Jeanette Berry, November 1992

Driving the last mile towards home, there is such a feeling of peace that I think I will never want to leave.  If I were to choose a perfect day, the setting would be at home.  There are many reasons our home is such a wondrous place, but I can only list a few to provoke you to think about your own situation.

It is a place of love.  Love is expressed verbally, actively everyday.  "I love you" is a common and sincere phrase heard around our house.  Little acts of love permeate the atmosphere; taking a cup of coffee to someone; running an errand; writing a note, hugs; kisses and tenderness; taking time to listen; giving support and understanding when one is going through trying times.  That is the expression of love.

Our home is a place of laughter.  Our house is a fun place to live.  Those of you who know our daughter Dianne will have no trouble believing this.  She can turn a seeming  tragedy into comedy in minutes.  Fun and humor have always lightened our lives as a family.  Dinnertime was a time when we shared silly incidents or a joke.   You have heard it said, "You will look back and laugh at this years from now..."  Don't wait.  Laugh at it now.

Home is a place of learning.  We love to learn.  Improving every area of our lives; spiritual, mental, personal, is always a challenge.  Our home has a library, a study, two offices, and walls filled with books of all kinds.  Tape/CD players are in almost every room, including bathrooms, and in each vehicle.  We call  it our rolling university.  When we travel any distance we listen to books-on-tape.  Tom enjoys magazines on Biblical archeology, and explores the depths of prophecy.  I read the latest magazine about how to keep a neat house or be a better wife and mother,--always learning and striving to improve.  You can imagine the conversations we have when we get together, each sharing some of the latest information we have been learning.  I think the most important aspect of continual learning is that you are a more interesting person when you have up-to-date information to share and your are more knowledgeable in many areas.

Home is a place of sharing.  Needless to say, we must share the house and unless it is done with great consideration of each person living there it can create conflict.  One unwritten rule we have that solved a lot of things is that a person' s bedroom is his own private domain.  You don't enter without permission and you don't use another's things without asking.

We also share responsibility.  I have seen Tom wash dishes, do laundry and clean the bathroom.  Each of us has specific area we usually consider our responsibility;  Tom usually cuts the grass; I usually cook the meals, and so forth, but in case of emergency we all pitch in and do what is necessary.

Strange as it may seem, money is another area we share.  When I began working everything I earned went into the general "pot".  There were not separate accounts for his money and my money.  Tom became the family financial administrator and has done a magnificent job. (I realize not all men have such ability, and many times this is best left to the wife).  When there is an abundance, we all enjoy the benefit, and when things are sparse, we all curb our spending.

Our home is a place of gratitude.  I wish I had a nickel for every time the word "thank you" is voiced each day.  An attitude of gratitude is prevalent continually.  Our devotions are characterized by gratitude.  Negative attitudes are rarely expressed and quickly changed into positives.  If criticism is necessary it is handled very cautiously and tactfully.

Home is not the walls and roof.  It is not the furnishings or the conveniences.  It is the warmth of love and acceptance that is shared by those who live there.  Proverbs says a wise woman builds her house.  When it is built with love, laughter, sharing and gratitude, it will be a heaven on earth and a place of refuge so sorely needed in today's world.

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