It has taken me years to sharpen my sense of style in homemaking. Moving around has helped me to clarify what things I want and love in a house. It has also helped me to appreciate what God gives, even when it isn’t my first choice. Tonight, as I talked to my husband about a particular strong preference of mine (that is actually not a reality in the place we live now), I thought about what I have learned over the years about my likes and dislikes, not only in the layout of a house but also about the kind of space I want to create where we live.
Here are some of the things I have discovered:
1. I prefer tile floors over carpet…but I love area rugs.
2. I need big windows in my life that let in natural light and that connect me to the world outside.
3. We love houses with run-thru-ability. Houses here tend to have rooms separate from each other. We prefer open layouts or at least well connected spaces. Our living room and dining room right now are connected through big double doors, making it easy to flow from one room to the next.
4. Villas (or stand alone houses) provide space for the kids to run around safely; on the other hand, apartments seem to facilitate getting to know our neighbors better than villas do. I am torn between the two options.
5. Real plants and fresh flowers are very life – giving to me. Living in the desert has made this crystal clear.
6. Over time I have discovered that these words define my taste in decor: eclectic, indie, rustic, minimalist
7. Having a dedicated guest room brings me great joy. (Please come visit! We are ready.)
8. A big dining table around which a crowd can gather thrills my soul.
9. We love a living room that is big enough to gather lots of friends.
10. Counter space in the kitchen is really not overrated.
11. A house with a green kitchen and pink and blue bathrooms is a house with great personality. I am learning to embrace it.
12. Scents matter to me in creating a welcoming ambience.
13. I like having a space that my kids feel is their own (other than their bedroom).
14. It is important to me that our decor reflects the places we have lived in (both as singles & married) and that shape who we are becoming.
15. Mood lighting helps create a cozy inviting atmosphere. I need more lamps in my life!
If you come to my house today, you will see it is very much a work in progress and that not all these preferences are evident here. But I am slowly working towards that goal.
Homemaking in itself is not a frivolous act. It is actually quite the opposite. The Son of Man didn’t have a place to lay his head here on earth – his willingness to be homeless so I could be home with God is incredibly humbling. But that does not mean that He doesnt care about the work of the home.
Jen P. Michel, in her book Keeping Place, does a beautiful job in showing how God is not beneath housework. It moved me to tears more than once for all the glimpses it gives into the heart of God as a humble servant, host par excellence, labouring housekeeper and generous Father.
Christ is the radiant image of the invisible God and in Him we see most clearly God’s heart and his intent to make a home for His children. Michel puts it this way,
“Jesus appears in the midday gloom of Israel, just when the people of God despair of ever being home. God – made flesh pitches his tent in their neighborhood, he tabernacles among them (John 1: 14). He declares an end to exile. He signals the beginning of a long-awaited homecoming. He travels proclaiming the good news of home. Eventually Christ is killed. He is raised up and Jesus insists on the permanence of his presence in the language of home: ‘I will not leave you as orphans… If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him…’ The story of the Bible witnesses to the happy ending called home. Our anxiety to belong, our desire to be received, our hope for intimate embrace: these are met in the homemaking God of Abraham, who speaks the yes of his promises in Jesus Christ.”
God is a home-making God and He is re-creating me to be like Him. Once upon a time I almost despised the work of the home. But God has turned my heart. The labor of love that goes into making our house a place of welcome, a place for feasting, and a place of rest- not only for my family but for all who come visit- is becoming one of the biggest joys of my life.
What about you? I would really love to hear what matters to you in home making.