Home – to me – comprises several different places.
I know at once when I’m there because the air smells different. Safe and familiar. There are landmarks that bring comfort – the red front door, the walls with academic posters, jazz shoes and scripts, Mom & Dad’s table, the wide corridor to the college group room.
They are places that have held dozens of meaningful experiences – visited over and over again until they’ve become imprinted on my heart.
And yet, there is something even more sacred and sweet about the surroundings of my actual home – where I come to at the end of a day – that isn’t defined by mere windows and doors.
And I believe it’s because every inch of a home is imprinted with the DNA of those who live there. Those who love everything they do in their homes will be dusting it with intrinsic value. They will be leaving tracks of care across the landscape and artfully leaving their footprints behind.
If I were to put names on the map of my “home-home” for instance, I might put “Rest-Stop for the Mind” at my kitchen table – for at every meal, all other thinking stops and I can lose myself in a book or a TV show.
I might label the couch in the front living room as “Productivity Central” since that’s where all my work at home takes place.
Loveseat in side-living room would be “Oasis of Peace with Jesus” while gray chair and ottoman would be “Throne of Inspiration” for my best writing.
The bathroom would obviously be “Transformation Station” while the bedroom would be “The Sacred Space of the Inner Core.”
“Dance While You Chop, Boil, or Bake” might be the moniker for the kitchen – and of course, there would be “Fresh Sheets” representing the laundry room.
It is a place
Constructed with character,
Tied together with trust,
Laced through with love,
And unified with understanding.
It is a place
Marked by morals and values
From the Word of God,
And protected by prayer.
It is dedicated to devotion,
Surrounded by service,
Consecrated by private tears,
And lived in with quiet joy.
It is a place
Where friends and family
Are eagerly welcomed in,
But whose inner borders
Are guarded carefully.
Home, therefore, should be a place worth investing in. It should be worth creating with purpose and savoring with intention. It should be groomed and cared for, and others should be invited to join you in the landscape that is your home.
Make them feel like they have entered the coziest, most welcoming place on earth – make it a geography they will want to visit again and again. Make it a safe space for fears and tears, laughter and dreaming, secrets and confessions, long talks and comfortable silences. Make it a place that you love to be in – and others will soon feel the same.
It doesn’t have to be perfect – the decorations don’t all have to be matching and coordinated – but even small touches of thought and loving care will come through to your guests. That chest of blankets, that cupboard of mugs, that candle waiting to be lit, that stack of books that they ask about – they are all signs of comfort and rest.
Rest for the mind, rest for the body, rest for the soul. Our homes should be the ultimate resting place – as Chip & Joanna Gaines say in their “Magnolia Manifesto,” “We believe in home, that it should restore us from today and ready us for tomorrow.”
If you have such a place, treasure it, curate it, and enjoy it –
for it is a beautiful thing to have such a map of a place called home – and to continually add little markers of the memories formed within.
And I am so grateful for this cozy little cottage that I get to call home.
Picture gleaned from Pinterest.