How to Make a House a Home
I’m a shopping addict. I’ll admit that right now- I have a problem. I will walk into Target for one thing and leave with all of the Hearth and Hand things (any other Joanna Gaines fans out there?) I go to Bargain Hunt and Dirt Cheap once a week and buy whatever my heart desires (I mean, you can shop sales and not feel guilty about spending money… right?) So, when we first moved into our new house at the beginning of the year, you can imagine what it was like. My wheels were turning.
Eric, we need a new sectional. Eric, I think we need a big ole rug for every. single. room. Babe, can we get furniture for outside? We have a covered porch now so obviously we can decorate that thing up. Let’s get a projector. I wanna get a million frames and put pictures up on every wall. *Cue Eric looking at me and saying, whatever you want, babe. Just kidding, it was more like If you buy another freaking rug for the house, I am going to take your credit card away from you.
You see, I was so eager to make our house a home. I wanted the empty walls to be filled with happy pictures of our smiling faces. I wanted our living room to be comfy and cozy. I wanted a big screen so we can pack everyone we know in our bonus room for movie nights. I wanted the floors to be covered with pretty rugs so I could cram as many people as I could on to those rugs. I wanted our house to be an open door to all and I thought the only way I could do that is by furnishing every single corner right away. But, as I walked around our new beautiful house asking the Lord to do the thing my heart desired so much, he spoke in a much different way than I expected.
The thing is, Nina. You don’t need all of that. You don’t need the rugs. You don’t need the fancy couch. You don’t need the perfect dining room table. You just need me.
And so my perspective started to change. And gosh, have I been blessed by everything this home is. Since we moved in 7 months ago, 20 teenage girls piled in to spend a whole weekend worshipping the Lord together. They slept in my empty bonus room on the carpet. There wasn’t a fancy sectional up there. No rug. Nothing. And you know, they loved it. They bonded and chains were broken that weekend. They didn’t care about the fancy, they just cared that we were together.
On the couches I wanted to change out, I’ve had so many meaningful conversations with people who just needed to be heard. Who were so hungry for community. They didn’t need the extra, they just needed someone who cared. In the kitchen I was so eager to change up and decorate, Eric and I have cooked many many meals. It’s where we laugh the most. It’s where he sits on the counter top while I’m cooking and we have the most meaningful conversations.
You see, friends, the couches, the paintings on the walls, the pretty rugs, the dining tables- that’s not what makes a house a home. A house turns into a home when you welcome people into the mess of your life. Who cares if there’s a pile of laundry sitting on the couch? Let me push it to the side so you can sit and tell me about your life. Who cares if my dining table feels like it’s not big enough to host everyone? Let us pull up a chair and get super close together. Because that’s when my heart rejoices the most, when my people are all in the same room- together. A home is when Eric and I jump on the couches when we’re excited or nuzzle up close together to watch a movie when it’s rainy outside. It’s where our sweet pup lays outside our bathroom when we’re getting ready because she just wants to be close to us. It’s where we laugh the loudest and cry the hardest.
Our home is not the most perfect, picturesque house on the block. It doesn’t smell the greatest sometimes. The flowers in the front are most likely dead because I haven’t watered them in who knows how long. Most of the walls are bare because I have commitment issues and can’t decide what I want to hang up. We have a bed frame missing a mattress and box spring in our spare bedroom because well, adulting is hard and mattresses are expensive. But, friends, our home is the place I feel the safest. It’s the place where I want to open the door and welcome anyone and everyone in. It’s where I want everyone to feel safe and be able to glorify God through every single conversation on the couch I wanted to get rid of.
What I’m saying is this: don’t wait for your house to be perfect. Don’t worry about the laundry that never stops. Leave the dishes. You don’t have to be the best cook. Your coffee doesn’t even have to taste the best. Open your door. Welcome people into your life. When you can do this, the house you’re living in turns into a home that is open to all. And I really think that’s what Jesus is calling all of us to do. To open our homes to the brokenhearted, and welcome people into a life that is everything but perfect.