Extravagant Love

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“There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them   for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. ” 

      ~  Jesus, John 14:2 [TLB]

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I remember Sundays after church when Dad, Mom, my sister and I would meet up with a family of friends at the end of the pew, head about 15 minutes out of town by freeway, travel through the hilly pass to the usually saved for special occasion treat of restaurant breakfast.  I remember the thrill of  ordering mugs of marshmallowy hot chocolate, baskets of oven-warm and blueberry-bursting muffins, plates of butter-basted hashbrowns, conniving an extra sausage link or two from Dad.   And the fun of listening in on the grownup talk… the bantering laughter from dad to dad, mom to mom… the reveling in a a whole day stretched before us together.

“Let’s check out the model homes!” Mom and best friend Kathy would chorus, as though the idea just came to them stepping out of the restaurant.    The two men would give each other that look…but the twinkle in their eyes belied their mock moans while we kids grasped each others hands, hopping and skipping and chanting – “Yay!  We’re going to look at new houses today!”

Even in those days, walking through fantastically decorated rooms in burgeoning new construction areas that weren’t there only months before, breathing in the scent of fresh paint, running my fingers gently across gleaming tables,  enjoying nooks and crannies cleverly carved out here, there…  well, it held a certain entrancement for us.  Like going to the movies and letting your imagination soar over homes and places and creative ideas you’d never envisioned before.

It was never about wanting more than we had, or envying or coming home disillusioned with life as we knew it… but more about dreaming how we might achieve a certain look we loved with a bit of ingenuity or crafting of our own.   Or… just simply enjoying the beauty of color and design, the living painting of rolling green landscape just outside the windows.  And forming ideas about what makes a home warm and lovely and filled with love… and what is just maybe a tad… too… picture perfect.

Books I read and classic movies I enjoyed implanted me with such home dreams too. 

Of quaint cottages by the sea, breezes stirring through sheer curtains on open windows and the somehow at once mysterious and endearing sound of clocks that ring with ship bell chimes.

Of cozy window seats flanked with soft pillows and attic rooms overlooking neighborhoods and stocked with one comfy and oversized wing chair where I might curl up with a book and read for simply hours

Of Colonial houses with bay windows and dormers and crisp, white mantel-topped fireplaces... and candles warming corners with fingers of light…

Similar to my friend’s home just down the street – a tiny charmer of Early American quaint with it’s bay window and dormers, simple but warm and cozy decor of woven rugs by the hearth and pretty colored glass bottles gleaming on shelves.   I’d never heard of Anne Shirley back then…but if I had, she would have been a most kindred spirit for she was ever on adventure in her home of dreams

Over time, reading of God’s intricately detailed instructions to His people for carving beauty into the best woods, laying out the design of buildings and other structures… I see His extravagant joy in beauty and architect.  Feel His smile on such dreams.  For what loveliness can man dream that God has not placed the seed for in him?

Now, as I plan out this home portrait… I walk along the neighborhood where this home of my drawing gleams white in the sunlight.  It smiles in the warmth of it, I fancy, and at the caressing touch of shadows upon it’s walls.  Light painting so bright, it erases lines of siding and softens shapes of white bricks from view… casts lovely shadows from those tiny evergreens  by the front door and sparkles on the flower wreath.  Somehow… igniting a feel of Christmas expectancy in me, like the anticipation of family and friends about to arrive for celebration of that day.

But – there is no snow, the trees are full and the grass is manicured, you might say.  How could it evoke Christmas day?

I think for me, it’s because I grew up in a non-snow area where Christmas Day might just shine like this.  (The original of this drawing is so big, and the scan so reduced that you can’t really see what I mean  as clearly as in person…but perhaps if you click on it, then click again, you might catch a glimpse of that festive air by the door 🙂  )

There are no ornaments on those tiny Christmas trees… still, they give me the feel of it.  Along with the flower topped wreath, like a star!

And standing on the sidewalk, I hear the wind soughing through the trees.  Leafy arms soar so high above, stirring the whisper of peace on earth, in this moment, all around me…

The windows wink in the sun as if they know a secret.

The bay invites me to glimpse a carved seat just inside.

As I step here, there amongst the flowers, surreptitiously… snapping pictures to help me capture its essence on paper…I think back on those homes we used to tour on long ago Sunday afternoons. Of the fun it still is to explore a local parade of homes with friends as I did just recently…  We stand in amazement at showy opulence, let our dreams waft through cozy neighborhoods of smaller but still lovely designs… feel the peace of homes carved out upon rolling hillsides sigh over us.  

Words spill softly into my mind then, like water singing over brook —

 There are many homes up there where my Father lives…for I am the Architect of Extravagant Love

together with the image of our Father, stringing lights by the door… planning and awaiting us, even more than Christmas.

And suddenly this joy we have in architecture and design seems like one more seed He’s planted in us, writing HOMEWARD in our hearts…

Stock Photos: Cherry blossoms

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© Pam Depoyan

What style of house makes YOU feel like you’ve come home?

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Happy Father’s Day!

 

  Sharing with:    http://www.thededicatedhouse.com    Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday      Beauty in His Grip Button   Scripture and Snapshot                     Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox 

Pen and ink, mine.  Please don’t copy without permission.

 

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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6 Responses to Extravagant Love

  1. lynndmorrissey says:

    So lovely, Pam, as always! Your posts always tug at my heart, and are an echo of home . . . no matter waht you write. I think God has chosen the perfect art-form for you (besides your exquisite writing!)….to capture people’s dream homes with these nostalgic pen-and-ink drawings. You help preserve the memories, evoking for people what transpired beyond the exterior bricks and mortar or wood. How neat that you went made an afernoon of seeing these lovely new homes. I often visit homes for sale in the neighborhood or nearby, with no intent of buying, but browsing with an eye for beauty. I love picturing the families who live there and also getting decorating ideas (though I am have no artistic inclinations in that direction). Mike usually doesn’t go in with me, but I still enjoy dreaming. You’ve set my mind to dreaming of the new heaven and the new earth, where all our most inviting earthly abodes pale by comparision! Thank you for the invitation to do so!

    • Thanks, Lynn. Yes my area here hosts seasonal parades of new homes where you can tour the builders’ latest masterpieces or view some renovated ones (as opposed to old days when you just sought out model homes in new construction areas whenever they happened to go up) … all expertly designed inside and out. Fun to go through…though some so lavish to rival Hollywood, others are cozy charmers on a large scale, if that makes sense. I do love decorating or trying to achieve a look on much less budget… but even if I didn’t it is just fun to see them as you say… Funny that my dad and his friend always seemed to enjoy those tours too… I’ve never been inside this house I drew, but can imagine it’s warmth and charm… One of the first things I loved about this area was just walking in the neighborhoods and viewing the outsides of such beauties…

  2. Jennifer says:

    What a happy memory and joy evident in your sharing of homeward.

  3. Mary Gemmill says:

    Pam my heart warmed reading this lovely post- and the house is so welcoming – just lovely. My childhood home was a big turn of the 20th century house with so many rooms I got lost as a 4 year old when we moved in. Dad spent so much time remodelling it into a beautiful welcoming place. It had verandahs around the front and side, and Mum created a work of art garden- it was a wonderful place to be a child in.Your drawings appeal to em deeply.
    God bless you my friend!
    I’m busy emptying the house my step-dad has just left to go into permanent hospital care for the aged- and it’;s a huge job! Finding new homes for everything is a mission too~!

    • Wow, your home sounded wondrous, Mary. Something in a book like Secret Garden, though not that huge. Would love to see a photo sometime. 🙂 I grew up in a simple ranch house but always dreamed of nooks and crannies… And your mum’s garden sounds lovely. Yes, I can imagine the work and mission to what you are doing for your step dad… Thanks for sharing your words about your home etc, Mary…

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