I wrote this post a couple of years back, when I first started blogging about my journey to try to make our home a place of peace and joy…a SANCTUARY of sorts. I had completely forgotten about it until I recently reread it and realized that I needed to hear these words again. In the chaos of the last 12 months, I found myself fighting the inevitable messiness that comes from actually “living” in a house and I was feeling discontent and no longer at peace. I wanted a clean and neat home where the drawers were all organized and everything was in its place, but that was nothing like the reality I was living in. So I began to settle back into the messy beautiful home that I so love and that is a perfect reflection of the messy beautiful lives we are living, and the feelings of peace and joy have started to return. I wanted to share this with you again, in case you are struggling with the same thing…
Last night I woke up at 3:00 am with a question racing through my mind… “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Seriously!? Who wakes up with that thought in their head? Then I remembered that there is a piece of driftwood with this quote burned into it, sitting on our family room table. This was not something I was consciously focused on, but evidently, my subconscious mind had been paying attention. 3:00 am seemed like a rather inconvenient time to try to answer this particular question (especially since my alarm was going to go off in about three hours), but it did start me thinking about the other quotes and sayings placed around our home and how they represent our family’s values and make a statement about the things that are meaningful to us.
Now 3:00 am seemed like a rather inconvenient time to try to answer this particular question (especially since my alarm was going to go off in about three hours), but it did start me thinking about the other quotes and sayings placed around our home and how they represent our family’s values and make a statement about the things that are meaningful to each of us. Which ultimately brought me to this question…
What statement does my home make?
I guess I should explain what I mean by that. I’ve always gotten an immediate feeling when walking into someone’s home…just an overall sense of how they live. Organized or more free style? Pets in the house or not. The smell of a beautiful candle burning or the smell of a meal cooking in the kitchen? TV on or TV off? This awareness probably comes from my years selling residential real estate, and assessing how to best sell a client’s property. Trying to grasp the subtle elements that attract a prospective buyer and make them want to live there.
In those years, I learned that it’s not all about the neighborhood or the “perfect” decorator furnishings or decor. I’ve been in some of the most aesthetically beautiful homes in the world that felt cold and uninviting and were nearly impossible to sell. By the same token I have been in homes that were not decorated by a designer and looked incredibly “lived in”, but there was an indefinable quality that made them sell in a day. Which brings me back to my original question…What statement does MY home make?
Considering the fact that there is often dog hair on the floor, the beds are often not made and a pile of dishes is always in the sink, I initially thought…
“Your house says that you are not a great housekeeper and the dogs need to go outside!“
Don’t be fooled by the photos of my home on social media and this website. Those are just brief moments when I’ve vacuumed up the dog hair and cleaned the dishes in order to snap a picture of a perfectly styled room. My home does not look like that every day! It has taken me a long time to embrace the ebb and flow of chaos and mess in my home. To give myself permission to leave the dishes in the sink, ignore the dirty laundry, and snuggle up on the couch with a good book. This has been a big piece of creating our sanctuary. The ability to be totally “at home” and comfortable with who we are and how we live.
When I come home, I want to feel as if I am entering into a cocoon, despite the imperfections. I am usually greeted by three very happy, furry critters, I’m likely to find at least one of my three kids at home with a smile on their face and there’s always a soft blanket to curl up with on the couch along with a glass of whatever suits my mood.
So as I lay awake in the middle of the night considering all of the quotes, sayings, quips and questions throughout our home, it occurred to me that while they are a representation of what we value or find important, our home’s true statement is made in much more subtle but meaningful ways.
It is in the greetings given to each other at the end of a long day, it is in the meals shared at our imperfect kitchen table on a nightly basis and it is in the loving words spoken to each other when we encounter the inevitable pain and disappointments of life.
The statement my messy beautiful home makes is that love lives here.
As I drifted back to sleep, I reminded to myself embrace all of it. To enjoy the moments when my home looks like a beautifully styled show place, AND the spilled milk…dirt tracks on the carpet… backpacks everywhere… real life moments that are the heartbeat of our messy, beautiful life.