My exciting life with a house full of boys

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where is Your Sanctuary?

I came across the word sanctuary the other day. The word has several definitions but what struck me were these:
*A place of refuge or asylum
*A reserved area where wild animals are protected from hunting and predators.
*A place for worship

I was cleaning my shower the other day and I realized that this ugly 4' X 7' box had become my sanctuary.

Background: Six years ago we bought our home. However, prior to moving in we spent four months tearing down walls, ceilings, ripping out carpet, breaking up tile, knocking down cabinets - we completely gutted the place. Except for the master bath. My husband's a plumbing contractor. We wanted something awesome. We didn't want to charge any of it. We didn't have plans drawn up. So we waited. And it's still the same. On the outside of this shower, the paint is holding in the water. On another side we occasionally pick a mushroom that has grown from underneath the baseboard. Gross! I know. I am a relatively clean person or so I like to think. To clean the mold that grows inside this unventilated box takes an entire bottle of cleaner, a naked body (You don't want the cleaner to drip on your clothes), a step stool, open windows (yes, I lock the bedroom door), a sponge, and an hour of precious time. The ceiling is much more difficult. I use a cleaner soaked mop. You'll see in the picture that I haven't cleaned the ceiling yet. Please don't write me about the dangers of chemicals and black mold. I already know.

Your private tour:

24" door. I'm so glad I didn't live here while pregnant with the twins. Single light bulb. No fan. No air vent. Ceiling mold.

From left to right: Cool mechanism to hold razors, soap, hang sponges and press of the button shampoos and conditioner. I always forget to fill it. Miscellaneous toiletries. Five people are using this shower now. TJ uses it because it's easier with his broken, trash bag taped arm to maneuver in. The twins love it because its big, loud and all their cars fit in it. And of course me and Bret. Next you will find the phone jack. Why? I have no idea. Ask the previous owners. I have been in the shower with several phone jack repair men as the moisture does funny things to our phone lines even though this one is "dead". Go figure. The door.

Door, more miscellaneous toiletries, cracked caulked leaking handles, concrete patches where the tile has fallen off. What you can't see is the bulging tiles that are ready to fall off and the hole where the sauna wire used to be. Yes, this shower used to double as a sauna. Previous owner. Perhaps explains the phone jack?
But you ask why is this my sanctuary. Can't I find better? Not conveniently. This is the only place where I can be alone. Doors locked. I can't hear a sound and they can't hear me. (I know this for a fact as the hot water turned cold one day and I was covered in soap and shampoo. Plumber husband down the hall had no idea of my situation as he couldn't hear my screams for help.)

This has been my place to run away. To relax. This place knows my secrets. My flaws. I have been able to seclude myself here and pray from the deepest recesses of my heart. I have been able to receive answers to my prayers in the quiet uninterrupted setting. I have cried so hard that my sobs shook my whole body but not a soul knew or heard my turmoil. I've slept on wet towels covering the cold floor with cool water spraying over my heat exhausted, dehydrated body. I've cut myself with my husbands dull razors as I've rushed to make it to appointments. I've stood at length to escape from the world of chaos wondering when they will notice I am gone. I've come to love this ugly box. I think I will be sad when all it knows of me will be buried in a pile of rubble after a few swings of a sledge hammer.

I think we all need a place like this. A place to run for peace and quiet, a place to vocally express our deepest feelings knowing that they will never be heard. A place so still and calm that we can hear the things and feel the inspired things God wants us to know that we can't here when we're rushed, preoccupied, interrupted, and other wise engaged.

Do you have a sanctuary?


  1. I don't have one, but after reading this I think I need one! We all need a place we can hide-oops, I mean find peace and quiet, to think and ponder. Hmmm, I'll have to think on this one!

  2. I don't know if I would be brave enough to post those pictures. You're my hero!

  3. Does this mean that you're getting out the sledgehammer?
    I'm with Jamie. Don't know where that would be for me. I'll think about it.
    And we missed you tonight. I was counting on Taylor knowing all the words!