The idea of home is so enchanting. It’s something we all strive to create within whatever establishment we find ourselves. We hang pictures, paint walls, and fill the space with the people and things that we love in hopes that it will take on this magical quality of “home” that we all long for.
In the book, A Mother’s Rule of Life, Holly Pierlot states that our lives, specifically our family lives, “image God’s work at creation.” She goes on to note that “God created a paradise, and so my home was called to be a mini-paradise, a place of beauty and peace and harmony.”
This mini-paradise isn’t mainly concerned with external beauty – expensive art, high-end furniture, or linen curtains – but with an internal beauty, a cultivating of souls. It is from this internal beauty that our house takes on the essence of home and we catch a glimpse of the eternal in our everyday life.
Rather than merely a box for souls to be stored, home is where body and soul are nourished, protected, comforted, and known. We long for a beautiful home because we long for a beautiful life.Theology of Home II: The Spiritual Art of Homemaking
When we moved into our first home in Hillsdale I remember how overwhelmingly bare it felt. We hardly had any home decor and if we did have it, it was months before we hung it up. The walls and rooms felt empty. Looking back I can see how those bare walls reflected perfectly the beginning of a marriage and family. It doesn’t start out pulled together and lovely. It takes time. By being patient with the process, one allows deep roots to take hold and the walls and hearts to be filled with meaningful treasures. Not necessarily fancy or showy, but meaningful and deep.
It has been so fun to watch this home come to life. Not only with decor and furniture, but with the literal lives it houses. Reagan took her first steps here, Cooper was potty trained, and Fulton was welcomed into the world. So many firsts in just a short year. I look with joy at the walls and rooms that are still bare, knowing that in their own time they will be filled and full. There is no forcing the creation of home. It just slowly and unexpectedly happens, changing alongside the seasons of your life.
As it turns out, my favorite parts about my home are often the little messes. The books scattered across the couch after a reading marathon. The Noah’s ark set up along the window seat in our front room. The knights doing battle on my dining room table. It is not always easy to look past the messes and look to the many blessings, but it is always worth the effort.
This is only possible for me because of the beautiful women who walk in my home, eyes filled with joy, telling me how lovely it is. Not because of its cleanliness or even the style of decor, but because they see life here, and it reminds them of a season they once enjoyed.
There are seasons in all of our lives where we don’t feel at home. Whether we find ourselves in a strange dorm or a small apartment or a new city. Sometimes it is hard to satisfy our longing for that homey feeling. Sometimes we don’t even bother to try. In these seasons, having friends who invite us into their home is life-giving.
Having and creating home is a responsibility that we are called to share with others. Invite the newlywed couple over for dinner, reach out to the college-age student who is struggling, find the single person who longs for a family but is in a season of waiting, welcome the new mom whose husband is traveling. This simple sharing of home could change someone’s life more than you know. I am thankful for the women who invited me into theirs when I needed it most.
A home overflowing with love is a home that is calling out to be shared.
There are still walls I long to paint, rooms that need decluttered and reorganized, and an ongoing list of to-do’s. But part of the art of ‘home’ is enjoying it as it is while working towards what you’d like it to be.
Does your house give you that homey feeling or do you find yourself in a season of in-between? How do you share your home with others and have you been blessed by someone who invited you into theirs?
Thanks for being here with me!