Monday, March 3, 2014

a heart for home

What did you want to be when you were little? By the time I reached high-school, I couldn't exactly remember what I'd said as a child...but I remembered what I enjoyed doing. I loved to play "mom" and "make home". Even as a young girl naming my dolls and rearranging my doll-house with accessories, I knew what I loved. But some where along the road to growing up and choosing a real job, I gave less thought to what came naturally and was wonderful to me. For the real world taught me that was just "play".

The beautiful thing with getting married is you finally get to create your own home. I didn't know how excited I would be until the groom and I walked the furniture store to choose our first living room set...a gift from his father. I was just over taken with the gift to get something new and was so in love with my groom, that I let him pick. Black end tables. Tan and black couches. Looking back, it would explain my husband's and my first ever real fight as a married couple. Obviously, how to decorate the home would be it. I hate black, but didn't figure it out until I ended my married days relaxing in what I considered depressingly dark and gloomy rooms. I didn't realize it back then, but I had this deep inner fire to just create home...  Home as in this safe, comfortable, reflective of me place. As I realized my husband's desire for his very own safe, comfortable, and reflective of him home, I became aware that home isn't just about what I love. It's more about what makes the people who dwell in it feel loved, safe, home.

That early on first fight with my first ever home dweller taught me this simple truth...

Making a house a home is a matter of the heart.

It wasn't so much about what I liked and what he liked, but our hearts making space for each other in a way that spoke home to both of us. I could learn to like black couches once I realized how happy it made him...and that my heart wanted him to feel happy in our home. Houses need couches and tables and chairs...but not as much as they need heart. In my make believe worlds as a young child, the one thing that was consistent over and over is that I created what made me happy...what made me feel good...what let my heart beat to a rhythm that I didn't even realize was beating simply because it was so perfectly working as it was created to do. When there is nothing at stake, I really think we will do what we were created to be... but aside from childhood dreams and playing, it gets way too risky and way too scary in the not-so-make-believe world. 

Today my house holds six of us. And some days, we hold even more. Whether it be the people who sleep here or the people who visit here...I want them to feel at home. That young child desire to create what makes me feel happy carries on in my grown-up play today. The stakes are a little higher, but my house is a space that is worth the risk to put a little heart into our home. Picking out and making the perfect pieces to accommodate our nest is a joy to me...a reflection of how I was made and I've finally given myself permission to be as I was created.  Its the heart part that I constantly have to tweak, train, and try again at. 

How I take care of the place is not near as important as how I take care of the people in it. Sure, the things that surround us speaks volumes to the heart... cleanliness verses clutter, order verses chaos, comfort verses discontent. But what the heart says to each other is what builds a home. Words can break, steal, destroy, ruin, and kill a home. I want my home to breathe life into my dweller's hearts. I want to create home that offers cleanliness to a broken spirit, comfort to the heart, and order to the lives that need to spend their days finding refuge in the simple place they call home. 

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