I think every book creates an atmosphere as well. A book brings with it offerings: imaginations for a different kind of life and sustenance in the way of words for creating this kind of life. When I write down the lines of a book that speak to me, it is my first attempt to live into the words. I continue the attempt with re-reading the lines, committing some of them to memory, and processing them again and again in my writing. I want to be the lines living.
I want to enter a room or a place and bring with me the things I would want there ahead of me. Peace, love, and joy for starters. Also things like determination, courage, cheerfulness, authenticity, humility, and grace (tons).
I came across these words from Psalm 84 the other day, and one little phrase hooked my heart:
Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose hearts are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. (Psalm 84:5-7)
I realized that if my life creates an atmosphere, I have the opportunity to bring the "springs" to others. I can find my strength in the Lord, and pray to have a heart that worships only what should be worshiped. As I enter low points (valleys) in my day, or as I walk into others' low points in their days, I can bring refreshment to those places. And in God's upside-down kingdom, I can be refreshed by refreshing. My presence in a place can bring an atmosphere, and my presence in a place can also be a pool to gather the refreshment that comes from the Lord and from others.
Going from strength to strength is not letting my weakness and lack prevail. It is relying on a strong God to water me in my dry places and to allow me to be water to others. I want to make a place of springs in every season of the year, in every circumstance, in every relationship. I want our house to be a full-on fountain.