The Open Home

living with an open heart

{Behind the Name} The Open Home

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Rooftops of Haarlem, Netherlands

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love names.

And not just the meaning behind baby names either. I’m intrigued by the names of other blogs, businesses, charities and ministries and love to hear how people came to choose these names.

The name of The Open Home has such deep meaning to me that I feel it is worth sharing with you.

Betsie, Nollie, Papa, Willem, Mama, and Corrie Ten Boom.

Betsie, Nollie, Papa, Willem, Mama, and Corrie Ten Boom in the year 1900.

A Tribute

First and foremost the name is attributed to a family that for many years has been an inspiration to me. The dutch Ten Boom family, the most famous of which Corrie, are well known amongst Christian circles for their endeavours to protect the Jews during the second world war.

I first read Corrie Ten Boom’s books in my early teens and I was quite simply amazed at the humility and unshakeable faith of this family.

The Hiding Place is a compelling story of courage and faith – a must read for all Christians and history enthusiasts. I however, believe that The Hiding Place alone does not give enough insight into the vast impact this family has had for the Kingdom of God. It is therefore best to read this book sandwiched nicely between Corrie’s two other books, In My Father’s House and Tramp for the Lord.

The Years Before The Hiding Place 

In My Fathers House: Corrie's Papa, Casper Ten Boom at work.

In My Father’s House: Corrie’s Papa, Casper Ten Boom at work in the family watchmakers.

Firstly, in the years before The Hiding Place, the Ten Boom family literally ran an open home.

What I love most about this family is how they humbly walked with God through their daily lives. They simply did life together as a family and a community. They ran a busy home fostering children and taking in many an elderly aunt along the way, whilst also running a watchmakers and working in the community to feed the homeless, run youth clubs and teach the mentally disabled.

Corrie’s sister, Betsie always had soup warming on the stove ready for an unexpected visitor and no one was ever turned away.

They opened their home to their community in such simple ways and yet the lives of many were blessed through them.

Therefore, The Open Home is a reminder to me to honour God with my home, making it a safe, welcoming place, full of love and hospitality, a home to whoever may need one.

The Years After The Hiding Place

Tramp for the Lord: Corrie Ten Boom

Tramp for the Lord: Corrie Ten Boom

Secondly, in the years after The Hiding Place, Corrie amazes me further with her openness to travel the world into her old age, becoming a tramp for the Lord, as she calls it.

She and her family suffered greatly during their imprisonment towards the end of the war and yet after all of this, she opened her heart to the Lord and travelled the world to share of His unfailing love and amazing grace.

I want a heart like this. A heart that is open to serve God, wherever, whenever, no matter what.

Therefore, The Open Home reminds me to work at maintaining an open heart. A heart that doesn’t stop dreaming, but pursues those God-given dreams with intention, taking risks and living with adventure. 

The Husby and I inside the hiding place when visiting the Ten Boom family home, now a museum.

The Husby and I inside the hiding place when visiting the Ten Boom family home (now a museum) in 2011.

So this is why I write here and this is why the blog is called, The Open Home.

The Open Home is a reminder to me to walk humbly with God, to open my home with love and my heart with courage.

Writing is just one of the ways that I am able to work on maintaining an open heart. Its kind of like an online journal that helps me to reflect on life, explore my faith and challenge my lifestyle. An open journal that I hope will also encourage others as they too try to maintain an open heart and serve God faithfully, wherever He has placed them.

What is the meaning behind the name of your blog, business, charity or ministry?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

© Jessica Girard and The Open Home, 2013.
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5 thoughts on “{Behind the Name} The Open Home

  1. Wow, what a wonderful story behind a great blog name. Very inspiring Jessica!

  2. Jessica, this is beautiful. A beautiful tribute to the Ten Boom family and also to hear your heart for your family and the home and space God gives you. I have the same desires. To have a welcoming home. And I too, am learning how to dream big and rely on God. thank you for visiting FIMBY (smile).

    • Thank you for stopping by, Renee and for your kind words. I’ve become a regular visitor to FIMBY having discovered it a couple of months ago. Your family is such an inspiration to ours and we now look forward to the day when we too are homeschooling and hiking!

  3. Pingback: My Family Treasure Hunt | The Open Home

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