Maybe it’s because volleyball is over and I’ve cleared up time and mental space or maybe it’s because it’s getting cold outside and it’s time to start feeling cozy. Either way I have ideas for the house coming on strong.
I want to handletter a wall of Andrew Peterson lyrics in the laundry room. It’s really a hallway and there’s no way anything can be hung there so it’s just blank. Don’t you think the words to “His Heart Beats” would be incredible with the laundry and the trotting the children in and out of the house? “He rises, glorified in flesh/Clothed in immortality, the firstborn from the dead/He rises, and His work’s already done/So He’s resting as He rises to reclaim the Bride He won/And His heart beats/So crown Him the Lord of life/Crown Him the Lord of love/Crown Him the Lord of all!” Of course they would be perfect. I might fist pump the air every time I swapped the towels.
I’m going to put the bronze mobile in the bathroom. My mom gave me a macrame plant holder that she made when she was my age and I’m moving it to the front hallway. I would love some colorful pillowcases for the couch. This weekend, we bought a shelf ladder to put in the corner by the tv, mostly to hold plants, but also books and maybe the boy’s pirate ship. I’m going to paint a monochrome mural of mountains and fog on the wall in the front hallway. I even have a few ideas for the kitchen which we aren’t working on for quite a while.
(Side bar discussion: when the creative fountain turns on about any topic and I can’t possibly do it all right then, I make lists. And then I keep the lists handy for when I have time or money but no ideas. Don’t get overwhelmed by the ideas. Get them out of your brain and on paper; then pick one to do first.)
I love making a space for people in our home. Volleyball may have ended but our schedule is still pretty crowded because Justin’s basketball season has started. A friend messaged me over the weekend and asked if we could go to coffee and I sent her back the two free dates that I had. Two evenings were all I had free in the entire month of November.
But you know something? Six people live here: me, my husband, and our four boys. This is a space for us to become and belong. Yesterday I cleaned the front porch. It’s just a tiny corner that didn’t even have a sidewalk going to it before we put in concrete and a few weeks ago the boys were busy playing outside when they decided to make a haunted house. To them that meant hauling sticks and broken bricks onto the porch and leaving it there so they could play with it again the next day. And the day after that and the day after that. I finally had them move the sticks and we swept it all off. We would rather the boys had those hours of play than to have a perfectly clean porch all the time.
We tell the boys frequently that while we want to take care of the things that God has given us, we want to use the place too. Make the mess. Drag out the toys. Read a huge pile of books. Build play doh creations all over the table. Then we’ll clean it up. It’s here to use.
That’s the balance I want to strike with our home. I want it to be beautiful. I’m a visual person and I like for it to look nice. It makes a deep happiness well up in me when things feel right. (Right may feel different to you; that’s why we don’t live together.) I want to take care of our home because it matters, because it’s a gift, because it does make us and other people feel welcome. We belong here. We’re not just borrowing the space because we don’t have anywhere better to go. This is a space for us-for everyone who comes in our home-and I want to put care and attention into making it that.
But I also want us to use it. I want us to grow, to become who God made us to be here; that doesn’t happen if I’m trying to protect a museum. It doesn’t happen if all we use the house for is watching tv. It happens when we stack books in corners because we’re reading and find a new shelf for legos or art supplies or computer parts. It happens even when laundry sits on the couch longer than I would like because we’re coaching ball or helping at VBS.
This winter, when the sun sinks low early and there are boys doing homework at the table and bread baking in the oven, don’t be surprised to find me with some paint and a wall. Come on in; there’s room for you too.