It’s been so exciting to receive your submissions to our Meaningful Home series. The series has been inspired by G.K. Chesterton’s advice “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.” Here is another great submission from Libby Ibanez, a homeschooling mom of 4 living liturgically in the heart of Texas.
We are a large family of 6 with children ages 2, 6, 8, and 10. We recently moved from a 4 bedroom home in Corpus Christi, Texas to a 3 bedroom apartment in Austin, Texas. The downsizing was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long time. One thing that mattered to us was a home altar/sacred space. But going from 2400sqft to 1300 was something we didn’t think we could make happen. But, with a bit of creativity (and Pinterest) we did it!
I used a small bookshelf and put it in the corner of our apartment that’s at an intersection of our master bedroom and the dining area. It’s easy to sit at the table and admire our sacred objects, light a candle, or some incense .
I’m Jewish. My dad converted to Anglicanism before I was born and my mother did not. I was raised in both traditions. Something that was important to us was including our Jewish heritage on our altar. There’s a shelf devoted to it: a hannukiah, havdalah spices, and last year’s etrog. Off to the side is our lulav branch. In the middle is a yahrzeit candle. It’s a special candle Jewish people light on the anniversary of a loved one’s death- we light it on the anniversary our son’s passing. In the back there are two Shabbos candles in our family’s glass candleholders.
We also have icons and other religious pictures hanging. A few pictures of the Anglican Church my husband and I were married in are displayed above our altar. We drape our cross in liturgical colors, and display the Hebrew “Chai” because it means “life” and it serves to remind us we serve a living God.
Pictures of our children’s baptism and my husband’s confirmation into the Church are also displayed in our sacred space. It’s important for our children to see our family represented as faithful servants of Christ along with our icons, crosses, and other Holy items.
Having a sacred space was an important priority for our family. We love visuals and find ourselves by our altar throughout the day- both individually and as a family. My children like to read their bibles and pray the hours at our table with the altar in view. My husband and I like to light candles and do devotions together there. But most of all we like to see our family represented next to Jesus and the saints as a constant reminder to Whom we belong.
If you’d like to contribute to this series, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your guest post!