Christmas Stories: Sanctuary

My parents like to name their houses.

The first house they named was the historic home we moved to when I was in grade 5. My parents had a dream to renovate and restore one of the oldest homes in the Alberta prairie town in which I was born and raised.

My Dad was (and is) a builder and my parents have impeccable taste and decorating sense. For the remainder of my childhood - late elementary, junior high and high school years - I grew up in The Heritage House, a registered historical site in which my mom ran a one-room bed and breakfast. A quick google search confirms that the current owners still run a bed and breakfast in my childhood home.

That was my parents first named house. It took them a few years to name their current home - Sanctuary - along the LaHave river close to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

For the many people who are blessed by my parents' hospitality, Sanctuary is the perfect name for this home. As their adult daughter, a busy mother of three teenagers, this home "in the country" set against the woods with its' floor-to-ceiling wall of windows overlooking the river is a Sanctuary from city living and city traffic, city air and city stress.

But really, as much as I love the architecture and art, the wood burning stove and radiant heat concrete floors, as much as I love the fresh salt air and my mom's amazing cooking, the true Sanctuary of my parents' home is their love. Their daily prayers for their children and grandchildren. Their steadfast faith and integrity.

The physical space that my parents have christened Sanctuary is the outward expression of their hearts.

I didn't grow up in this house but coming to Nova Scotia for Christmas is coming back to this heart, which is coming home.

« Perimeters & Foundations
Christmas Stories: Celebrations »
  • Lily Boot

    Lily Boot on Dec. 26, 2016, 7:11 a.m.

    You've captured such warmth and radiance in your photos Renee.  I can feel the love and peace.  I wish you and your family a beautiful Christmas full of joy and sanctuary.


  • Nana

    Nana on Dec. 26, 2016, 3:12 p.m.

    Thank you Renee for your generous, kind words and photographic genius in capturing both the inner and outer "senses of home". Always love and room for you and yours in both realms.


  • Uncle Glen

    Uncle Glen on Dec. 26, 2016, 4:56 p.m.

    Merry Christmas Renee - to you and family!  Thank you for this beautiful picture story.  Your Dad and Mom have been so creative in building and/or renewing the houses they have owned and lived in.   You have shown their greater truth in the  essence of the word Home.  Your picture story  describes that incredible spiritual space of warmth and wonder!   Love ya! 


You can subscribe to comments on this article using this form.

If you have already commented on this article, you do not need to do this, as you were automatically subscribed.