I recently was in Boston. It was not my first visit to the city but it was the first time that I really was able to take in the sites and get a good feel for it. I loved it! It had an energy to it that was palpable. Some of that, I am sure, was due to the fact that the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds were being played there. I had gone to watch my Badgers...and saw them play their best game of the year only to lost to the #1 seed by ONE point. Sigh.....
Oh my, sorry, I digress. The Badgers and Packers have a way of doing that to me... Back to the story.
The energy in Boston was amazing. That city oozed intelligence (over 300,000 college students) and overflowed with the "salt of the earth" quality of the people. I love that combo! As we toured around on our trolley bus I took lots of pictures. I kept noticing that many of the buldings, entryways, churches and gates to the different universities and colleges had quotes or mottos engraved on them.
This one was at one of the entrances to Harvard University.
"Enter to grow in wisdom"
I am sure that the many who are admitted into Harvard already are quite intelligent. But there is a difference between being smart and having wisdom. Wisdom is gained with maturity....exactly what will happen to those students who cross that threshold and experience college for 4 (or more!) years.
This one was on the side of a beautiful historic church.
"Behold I have set before thee an open door."
I love the power of these words. An open door. For me...this is a beautiful image of God. He is an open door. We can walk in or out through it. It is each person's choice to make. God's open invitation. This choice we have is a right that I am grateful that we all have.
These 2 photos started me thinking. The words that companies, teams, organizations and homes use to mark their thresholds can be so powerful, encouraging and set a tone for all. Some examples are.....
This is on the threshold of a library.
(notice the "open door" again...)
These words are what you would read when entering the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
These simple 3 words greet people at a exquisite church.
This banner adorns the tunnel entrance for the Green Bay Packers!!!
And, (humor me one more time here folks!),
this plaque is hung on the wall of that entrance for all players to see
and feel the pride that history of this team brings.
I am not sure where this one was taken but there are signs like it all over the world....
in the halls of locker rooms everywhere.
Players touch these words before they leave for the field, court or rink.
The words are a last minute "pep talk" to help them focus on why they play the game.
So this led me to think about what kind of motto or statement would hang in other people's homes. Shouldn't we all have a motto or touchpoint that makes a clear statement for our lives and how we want to live them? Shouldn't we all have words hung on our threshold that send us off out into the world with a sense of purpose and who we are?
I thought about what words I would want to hang above the threshold for our home....
Silly me... we have some!! Many years ago I painted my first "typography" project. It was on an old, weathered piece of barnwood. I wanted it to be words that defined our family and what was important to us. It hangs in our kitchen, above the door to our patio and backyard. I know it isn't above the main threshold of our home but our kitchen seems to be the heart of the home anyways.
It says SIMPLE GIFTS, and is flanked by words that represent
what we see has the gifts that we have been blessed with in our lives...
LOVE, LIFE, LAUGHTER and FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDS.
This is a beautiful handpainted ceramic tile piece of art that is at our front door.
It has been in Craig's family for many years hanging in his grandparents home.
We are honored to have it in our home.
And this is by our back door to the garage. It is the last thing we see before we leave our home.
It is a license plate that was owned by Craig's grandparents.
His family says it means "God's Blessings" in Dutch.
Other translations I found say it means "named best".
It can be like that touchpoint for the athlete going out on the field for our family.
When we see it, as we go out into our days, we can focus on the blessings and
what we are named for..... and live that out.
May you encounter many open doors in your life.
May you have gained wisdom through maturity.
May you have used that wisdom to discover what your motto for life is.
May you use those words to focus your eyes on your purpose.
May you find a way to have those words grace the threshold of your abode.
May you live them out well, fully and with passion.