Tag Archive | heart house

A Place by the Sea


-Artwork, photo and poem are the creation of d.f.a.v., all rights reserved, not to be reused without permission.


Said my goodbyes

Had the place cleaned

Packed up in boxes

All that can be redeemed.

Wept more tears

Over who I was then

Dealt with reality

I know where I’ve been.

It’s a journey I’m on

On a path still unclear

But just over that hill

Is a place I’ll hold dear.

A simple new house

For Jesus and me

To share in my heart

Until Heaven I see.

My heart house of stone

Remodeled silo I leave

Off now to a home

A place by the sea.

A simple little place

Unique to my needs

A heart house

For Jesus and me.

-d.f.a.v. 9/5/13


Not long ago I wrote about a somewhat childish thing I do where I imagine my “heart house” where Jesus comes and visits with me.  This house represents our relationship, it is where everything I am, good and bad reside and where Jesus resides in me.  I’d neglected my heart house over the last couple years.  It was a place the artistic part of me created from an old stone grain silo that was unique to me because it represented my uniqueness to God. When my left leg was amputated, for the first time, I could not imagine myself in it because even it wasn’t equipped to handle my physical needs.  Like I came swiftly to learn about the majority of the places in this world, the transportation systems, the entertainment venues and even the grocery stores my heart house was never intended for me in a wheelchair.

Recently though I’ve thought longingly about my heart house.  God has been incredibly patient with me as He’s let me adjust to my new lifestyle.  He’s not hurried me to accept the most difficult of unforeseen events such as forced disability retirement.  He’s held me when I’ve wept and mourned for a way of life that was lost to me because of another’s sin.  When the storms raged around me created by my own anger and pain He let me vent and pound my fists and scream and gently touched me and let me rest when the storms blew past.  Yet, we’ve not gone back to our heart house.  Of all the things losing my leg has cost me, one of the greatest has been this residence inside me, what some would call fantasy and proclaim to be “unnecessary” and even “unspiritual”.  But it was important to me.  It was my safe place.  It was a representation of my relationship with Jesus, everything about it and in it solely unique to the relationship we share.

Do I need this “imagery” heart house to live my life for God?  No.  I can pray without seeing myself there, writing out my prayers or face down on the floor before Him.  I can worship Him, proclaim Him Lord of Lord’s and King of Kings, the Alpha and Omega, the I Am all without my heart house.

But I miss it.  So I thought I’d remodel it to be the place uniquely me that was adapted to fit the “new me”.  The very first thing was creating a way to get me inside using my wheelchair so a new entrance had to go up.  Since then Jesus and I have visited there together again and discussed the “remodeling”.  Sadly I realized that the “converted” stone silo I’d been imagining my heart house to be couldn’t be adapted to really allow me to enjoy it, to be comfortable in it.

Truth is that heart house of mine was like my “old” life, it no longer fit me, accepted me, needed me.  Then one by one as I’ve revisited the rooms of my “heart house” with Jesus I’ve come to realize it’s time to let this house go.  Time to move on.  Time to rebuild, not remodel.  Reminding me once again of my favorite Scripture passage found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.”

This is my time to build, to gather stones, to mend, to heal, to uproot, to search, to throw away and a time to move ahead.  I carry with me the things that are the foundation of my life.  My relationship with Jesus.  My family.  My life experiences.  My hopes and dreams.  My spiritual goals.  My writing.  My artistic endeavors.  Only this time I’m not going to be trying to make these things fit with my new body and its new needs into a place not designed for them.  This oddly shaped peg is no longer going to try and force itself to fit into either a round or a square hole, but into the hole made for me.

“Off now to a home

A place by the sea.

A simple little place

Unique to my needs”


The Heart House


As a young teenager one of the songs I sang with our church choir was “The Secret Place”.  The lyrics describe ones heart as being like a house where Jesus comes in and visits with you in the many rooms.  Except for that one room where you keep the door closed, hidden from prying eyes, even Jesus’ you imagine.  Then of course, as He has always known of it being there, He points it out and you know, ready or not, the two of you are about to enter that room.  In the chorus Jesus hands you the key “with tears of love on His face He said I want to make you free, let me go in your secret place”.

It is a beautiful song and the image of my heart being like a house has stayed with me through these many years.  What began as a teenage “what if” picturing in my mind has become a more solid picture in my adult mind.  Through the years as I’ve matured and learned what the important things in life are truly about the house I imagined in my heart has changed.  Gone is the two story white country home with airy sheer curtains blowing out the windows and rockers on the front porch.  Gone is the log cabin in the mountains with its lake view and long pier.  In their place has come a round rock home, not very big but solidly built to withstand life’s storms.  A place of retreat, of quiet, of reflection, of visiting with God and a place to create.

After my amputation I would seek the comfort of this heart house but it ceased being that for no longer could I climb the stairs to the domed observation porch, or to the second floor library where I had long imagined myself seeking and finding time alone with God.  I didn’t have the energy, spiritually or emotionally, to spare to renovate my heart house.  So it has stood neglected in my heart, the memory of it covered over in my mind.  It has been counted as a tally mark on the scoreboard of things I’ve lost in the last two and a half years.

Yet recently the thought of my house has crept into my subconscious and I’ve awaken feeling an aching loss and grief for this piece of my spiritual life.  For over the years, this image, though just an image in my mind of a house where Jesus and I lived and visited; where I sought shelter from the ugliness in life and the pain associated with it has come to mean a lot to me.  Even when I would go to create something crafty, paint a picture, write a poem, or work again on that novel this is the place from within me that those things came.  I worshipped in this heart house…I sang…I praised…and I sought and found the presence of Jesus there.

Then I drew the image as best as my limited abilities would allow as I’ve seen it these last 20 years, an outside view only I found myself adding a room on the ground floor and an entrance not there before on the other side.  It finally occurred to me, I didn’t need to forsake my heart house for I only need to renovate it!

So, over the next few weeks my heart house is under renovation!  Foremost I am keeping in mind that this is the place Jesus and I will meet on a daily basis whether I literally image it or not and I have all intention of rolling through with Him by my side to make the renovation decisions!

Perhaps it is a silly leftover from adolescence this heart house of mine.  Perhaps not.  Regardless it is important to me.  Is it possible you too have a house in your heart where Jesus waits for you to visit?  A room you’ve locked away because you’re ashamed of what it contains, the hurts are too great to acknowledge, the scars too tender to be observed?  Jesus has the key, He already knows the contents of that room, and He stands at the door with the key in the palm of His nail scarred hand outstretched to you.  Will you take it?  Will you let Him set you free?  Let Him help you turn that room into something beautiful?

Under renovation!