Your Home is Beautiful

Your Home is Beautiful

Do you live in a house?  Apartment?  Duplex?  Trailer?

Then you are very, very blessed.

Do you have a bed with a pillow?  A kitchen with a skillet?  A chair to sit on?  A shower with running water?

Wow.  Then you really have it made.

I’m guessing you might have more than a backpack to hold your clean clothes?  Blessing upon blessing.

Since going to Colorado with my family a few weeks ago, serving alongside those who minister to the homeless, feeding families who don’t have enough food to nourish their children through the week, and learning more about those who have no place to call home – I can’t quite see my house the same as I did before.

It’s been easy for me through the years to find fault in the house we’ve lived in for the past eleven years.  Our abode is well over 100 years old.  That means it has a lot of “character” right?  Yes.  If by “character” you mean that the toilets don’t flush well, the basement looks like the Adam’s Family lives there, and the dust from the Dirty Thirties is still stuck in crevices around each of our fifty drafty windows.

That’s how I look at my house when I have a self-focused perspective. The world tells me I need new, shiny, perfect, better, best, improved, highest quality, and spotless. Pinterest tells me I need my home and the contents therein to look like as though they climbed out of a magazine – completely unique, yet altogether trendy (which is oxymoronic, yet true). We must have the right color scheme, a lovely furniture arrangement, and classy wall decor. Otherwise, we must feel guilty, deprived, and less than.

What if we just decided to be thankful instead?

We don’t have central air in our house.  Below is a picture of our kitchen window air conditioner, sporting white cardboard and clear packing tape to seal off the window.  (Which I felt was better than brown cardboard and silver duct tape, yes?)  I used to be embarrassed by this.  Now I just appreciate that we have air conditioning on 100 degree days.

air_conditioner

Go ahead.  Pin this.  I dare you.  You know you want one just like it in your window.
Perhaps we could start a unique trend.

Undoubtedly, God gave each of us our home and has called on us to use it for Him as we raise our family and offer hospitality.  We need to keep it clean, take care of it, and create a space that will tell all who enter that our home is a place of peace and joy.

But beyond that, should we really lose sleep over the fact that our “to-do” list of needed home improvements is as tall as the pile of clutter in the corner?  I’ve come to realize that having a foundation, walls, a floor, and a roof is more than many people have.  Even if some of our furniture is old, worn, and stained – at least it’s furniture.

Look at your home through the eyes of the homeless.  Your home is perfect – a gift.  It is beautiful, and truly, you are blessed.

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Comments

  1. Pam says

    Yay :) I need to share this with a high maintenance relative who asked when we were going to “modernize” our 20 year old kitchen cabinets.

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  2. Debbie says

    You are SO right on this topic! I lived in a third world country for three years and I know what dire poverty and homeless looks like. I have seen naked children and deformed adults begging for money and food. I have seen despair and hopelessness in the eyes of a country’s less fortunate. We Americans are so incredibly blessed and take so much for granted! We need to be humbly grateful for all that we have.

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  3. says

    So well said!!!!! I love my home because it’s mine! Through the years I’ve “made lemonade” out of the existing lemons. Is it perfect? Absolutely not! BUT it is beautiful to me and I’m so thankful that God has seen fit to give this to me.

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  4. Jamie Garcia says

    Thank you I needed this post a lot. I am judged by my family and IL’s b/c our house is “never clean”. I have a kitchen floor with literal holes in the flooring and water damaged cabinets, I also have 2 under 3 yo and one on the way. I clean as much as I can, and that is not just a cop-out, I really do, but it’s never going to “look” clean enough or stay clean with my babies. I feel like a failure and furious sometimes. I need to stop “poor me-ing” and start concentrating on making my home warm no matter what the floor looks like. Thank you for writing this.

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    Crystal Reply:

    Jamie,
    Maybe this poem will help…type it up and frame it somewhere conspicuous! :)
    (I saw it years ago–before I had the number of children I do now–and was touched by it; then I recently found it online somewhere, and decided I needed it in my home as well.)
    EXCUSE THIS HOUSE!
    Some houses try to hide
    the fact that children live there.
    Ours boasts of it quite openly.
    The signs are everywhere.
    For smears are on the windows,
    little smudges on the doors;
    I should apologize I guess–
    for toys strewn on the floor.
    But I sat down with the children–
    we played and laughed and read.
    And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
    their eyes will shine instead.
    For when at times I’m forced to choose
    the one job or the other,
    I want to be a housewife–
    but first I’ll be a Mother.
    (Author unknown)
    I have this framed (over a hole we keep forgetting to patch) in the hallway, and I am humbled each and every time I read it. I hope it brings you the same measure of peace it’s brought to me.

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  5. Kate says

    The air conditioner picture made me laugh. We recently passed on our window units to a friend with an old home when we moved into a newer one with central air. When she went to use one, she first thought her son and his friends had taken off all the knobs. Nope. That AC unit worked really well but the knobs had long ago broken so, we always just kept a pair of pliers on the window sill to adjust it. I already owned the pliers, so why spend money on new knobs? :)

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  6. Kentuckylady717 says

    Thanks for posting this Laura, you are so right….been there done that…..we did not have a/c when I was growing up, so I don’t even need it now, even tho I do….I have central air, which I have not even turned on this summer….as a saying goes in a song I used to like, got along with out you, before I met you, going to get along without you now…..does anyone remember this song ? I didn’t think so LOL

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  7. Crystal says

    I am also grateful for this post! It seems so many people feel pressured to have “the perfect” everything! Is this what life is all about??? NO! It’s about the people, not the things! Thank you for reminding all of us.

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