Monday, April 18, 2011


Walk into my home, and you instantly see who I am.  I think it must be that way with most people's homes, but especially those that spend a lot of time within those four walls.  Mine is clean-ish, but nowhere near perfect.  In random places you will see curious things - a spool of thread forgotten on the mantel; puzzle pieces on the floor; math pages and pencils on the coffee table; a fort made of blankets and stuffed animals in a corner.

Last night we got in late, so I didn't take the time for my usual tidy up before bed.  This morning, sipping my morning coffee, I took in the sights of our home and it struck me - how your home can speak volumes about you and your family - your priorities, your parenting philosophy and your general approach to life.

When you come inside my house, you see not only evidence that children play and learn here, but also that I do.  I love that I have been able to find things that I enjoy and express myself freely in those ways.  My dining room table bears evidence of a sewing project, and wherever you look yarn and knitting needles punctuate the scene.  I'm glad that I carve out time for my own creativity.  It brings me so much joy to work with my hands and pleasure to give the things I make to those I love.  I also think it is good for children to see their parents making time for things that they enjoy, and to know that life doesn't revolve exclusively around them.

You will see that I don't have expensive furniture or art.  Almost everything I have was thrifted or free.  Our furniture may not match perfectly, but it just speaks to our priorities - "People before things."  Our home is a place where our kids can be themselves and grow up learning and playing without worrying about ruining Mama's expensive furniture.  And I can thoroughly enjoy my kids and let them be who they are, right now.

My home does not say "Perfection!"  It says "Family,"  "Creativity," "Learning,"  "Faith."  It says "Togetherness," "Peace,"  "Practicality."  For me, it says "Haven."  What does your home say about your life?

In my small home, the dining room also serves as the sewing/craft room, school room and sometimes laundry room! (yes, it is snowing outside....on April 18th!)

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  1. So glad you posted this. now I don't feel so bad about not having cleaned up all the evidence from my 4 yr old daughters birthday party this weekend. It's much more enjoyable sitting here, drinking my coffee, watching daddy give the baby a ride in his empty laundry basket, and letting her crazy giggles fill our heads - instead of "what should I be doing now." "Things" don't make a house a home. As long as people feel welcome and comfortable when they walk through my door....who cares if none of my dining table chairs match.

  2. Beautifully written Lydia!
    My home is also small, so certain rooms serve more than one purpose. :) But, we are comfortable with that. We too have nothing fancy and honestly do not have the desire for it either. We have love and laughter and cute kids to entertain us! :) I like how you said that your home shows children playing as well as you. LOVE that! My home has a similar reflection and I honestly wouldn't change a thing. I keep my house "tidy", but in perfect, spotless, perfection?! LOL! I prefer playing over scrubbing!
    Thanks for this post!!

  3. You've described our home, in value. We live in a 50+ year-old country home, built by my husband's grandfather. Everything was given to us or purchased at a reasonably, sale price. We feel so blessed to be here.

    I think the priorities you place on stuff is a reflection of the type of people you call friends. We were discussing that last night leaving the Lenten service. The people we are closest to value stuff at the same level.

  4. I used to really try to make my home look like no children lived here...and then I realized how foolish that was. It may mean a bit more mess, but it also shows what we value right now.

  5. Love this post Lydia!

    Usually my home says "Hurried," since we are out a lot doing activities - we lean toward unschooling and my boys get much of their learning from the library, classes, etc. I often wish, and my husband almost always wishes it was tidier.

    However, in the past few weeks, our house hasn't said anything to do with a home, but more like "Warehouse," what with hubby running his business from home and this being our usually busy time of year, we have boxes of all sizes cluttering our living space, including the kitchen table and counter, as well as the boys' play area on the main floor. I will be very happy when the end of this month arrives!

  6. Kristine - my home often says "dumping ground" when we are super busy...when we are spending most of our time out of the house, coming home only briefly to drop things off and grab other things before heading off again. It can really get out of control during those times!

  7. Lydia, I love this post. I feel like I am constantly striving to come to peace with what I want my home to say, with a balance of creativity and order and beauty and serenity, and trying to figure out systems to make that happen while I still only have one child. Good luck to me. I think it is crucial to create a home that is maintainable and comfortable for the individual and I'm so glad you are at peace and in beauty in your home.

  8. Your house is so cute and speaks volumes about you. <3 My house says comfort to me. I like a lot of comfy furniture and blankets, there is sunscreen everywhere cause we have a sunny yard that we play in constantly, and books everywhere - in every room - of every kind. We read constantly around here. There are pictures up all over the place, because we want to think about our family. If I could describe our house in one word it would be absolutely be comfort. Walking into our house makes me feel happy, snuggly, and safe.


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