Seven years ago we bought our first house which over time has evolved into the home I’ve always dreamed of creating. It took patience and effort but we are now well into the remodeling phase. I am happy to share with you some images of the place I call home.
Have you ever walked into someone’s home and just knew right away that this was where you wanted to be? Do you feel that way about your own home? What makes a place special, and how can that element of satisfaction beyond the simple aesthetic be attained? These are questions that I ask myself when I observe a space, especially the sacred spaces that make up my own home.
A few years ago I went through a major health crisis. Coming out of it I was inspired to live differently. Part of that change in me was a desire to examine all that was around me and truly ask the question: Do I need this? That question eventually evolved into an even deeper question: Do I want this?
It was a year or so later, during a visit to see my sister and her family in Seattle that I was able to find a word for the concept that I was meditating on. Minimalism. I watched my sister practice a minimalistic life with very little effort (or at least she made it lool effortless). I followed her around her house inquiring about the things she used/didn’t use. It was like seeing my goal fleshed out.
Minimalism was just the first step. It became an avenue in which to run my thoughts on living more intentionally. There was Simple Living. Homesteads. Hygge. Zero-wast. And an endless stream of other lifestyle alternatives online. They were all pieces to a puzzle. They all had a part of something that I wanted: substance. I wanted to live with a prioritized, intentional, long-term perspective.
I wanted my home to be a reflection of my character, and a testament to my creed. I wanted that others could walk into my home and have a true sense of peace and purpose. But in order for me to achieve that I had to do some soul searching. I had to find the piece that made all the other pieces come together and make sense.
Hygge, Minimalism, Simple Living, etc. are all beautiful but incomplete attemtps at finding true peace, purpose, and fulfillment in life. They are steps in the right direction. Pavers on a pathway that only get you so far.
It’s my faith that made it all make sense. My understanding of God’s love and compassion explains to me what I strive for these deeper things. Only His Spirit made it all come together. Hospitality without love is just a business operation. Comfort without joy is just a hot water bottle on a stomachache. Accommodation without peace might as well be a prison cell. What I realized is that what I truly wanted others to experience when they walked into my home is His Spirit, and that there is true peace in His presence.
I love entertaining. Welcoming others into a special place that I have created. Setting a mood. Thinking of themes. Creating atmosphere. There is little else I take so much pride in than when I feel that I have nurtured others.
But most of all I hope to minister to others in a deeper way. There is so much ugliness, hate, bigotry and judgement in the world we live in. Why not create something beautiful and welcoming that is built on love?
My prayer is that when my guests have left my home they will feel a little lighter. A little brighter. And having felt a touch from true peace.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added onto you.” Philippians 4:19