Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The seemingly natural instinct/desire to make my house a home

You know it's kinda odd, Ive lived away from my family's home for about 7 years now, and in all that time I never really focused on making my living space homey, for lack of a batter word. Sure, I would coordinate colors when I bought things for my bedroom or whatever, but I think I always felt like I was passing through, like I was on somebody elses territory maybe- the college dorm, my grandma's house when she was in the nursing home, I had room-mates, etc. I'd set up my space to be functional rather than warm and welcoming.

Now that I am married, its been kinda a turn around. Pretty much immediately I wanted to do everything I could to make our apartment warm and inviting. I want colors to coordinate, I want things to seem warm, fresh and attractive. I try my best to keep it clean, but that isn't always good enough, the mess seems to get away from me sometimes.

 Whats strange about it is not the act of making the house "cute" but the feelings I have surrounding the issue. I feel duty bound to do it. Like, it says something negative about me as a woman and wife if I don't try to make my home a space that my husband and guests will love to be. Yet, its not a fear or obligation that keeps me cleaning, sorting, organizing, decorating; rather, I get a sincere JOY out of making my house look nice.

We are on a very tight budget and we are trying to keep out possessions to a minimum since we plan to move when our lease is up in about 6 months. As a result any beautifying has been a very sloooooow process. Unfortunately, my husband does not see the value in making the place look nice and any attempts I have made to express to him why I feel the NEED to make it homey have fallen on deaf ears so I feel silly trying to do much to help it look better. However, for my birthday my dad sent me a gift card to a big, evil box store for 40 bucks. I decided to use it to buy a few things Id been desperately wanting to do. I got area rugs for the bathroom, a pretty shower curtain, a step can for the bathroom (we have not had a can in there since my dogs would get into it) and some curtain rods to hang some curtains that somebody gave us in the living room. I got some good deals and even had 3 dollars left over. As soon as I got home, I set up the bathroom. It looks AMAZING! I love it! Then I put up the curtains. They are about 6-8 inches too short for the window, but whatever, I'm okay with it. I think it looks nicer than just the mini blinds we had for privacy.

I'm pretty handy and creative, so I have made a few things around the house and plan to make more/improvise more. For example, we have this tacky lamp in the living room that I would love to decoupage over or something, and I want to paint some art for the very, very blank walls. This place could be nice. Ive also been going through tons of our stuff and getting rid of what we don't need. Mike made enough money selling his extra instruments on craigslist to buy a new computer that we have been needing. Ive given things away on Freecycle and we are dropping off a box at the salvation army today. Theres still more to go through and get rid of. We don't need all the clutter! We sold all out coffee tables, end tables and bedside tables for $20 on Craigslist because those things are just a magnet for clutter. The place looks a lot better without them. I gotta figure out what to do about papers, those are my other big clutter problem. We have a file cabinet, but we still seem to amass a LOT of papers....

Proverbs 31:27-30
"She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness,
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
'Many daughters have done nobley,
But you excel them all'
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD,
she shall be praised"

Oh boy, I still have a long way to go to be like the woman in the 31st chapter of Proverbs! I especially need to work on the idleness, I spend way too much time on the computer. But I want to set these things as my goal, and I feel like it is my calling to minister to my family (which right now consists of just me and my husband) and I feel making my house a home is one way I can do that.

Anyways, I just thought I would share about this strange new experience of decorating a home and the joy it brings me. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this? It makes sense to me, I think God made women to be homemakers, so I can see why he would give us that desire and instinct. Its kinda cool.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Spiritual drought, at Christmas none the less?!?

I don’t know exactly what has been going on lately, but I have really been having a hard time connecting with God lately. When I pray, I have a very lonesome feeling not much different than when I’m talking to a wall. I want to skip church (but haven’t been) and reading my Bible, although it seems like a good idea, just hasn’t been happening as much as it should. I just feel so, disconnected!




It doesn’t make sense because I know Jesus is what my soul needs. It feels confusing because even as I look forward to the celebration of Christmas, I can’t pull myself out, and prayer hasn’t helped yet. I was skipping around my apartment the other day after M and I put up our tiny Christmas trees. My dogs looked at me funny and I just told them that there was no way they could understand the JOY, and HOPE that is intrinsic in Christmas. Christmas is celebrated at the time of year when Jesus was most likely conceived within Mary by the Holy Spirit. Mid to late December is also the darkest time of the year. So God, who IS light, came to us in human form during the darkest part of the year. The child would grow into the man that would be crucified for our sins, so that WE….so that WE could have a relationship with the almighty God, the maker of the universe. How cool is that????



So then, why am I disconnected from the God who would do that for me lately? I have a few ideas…one is that I have anger, resentment and rebellion in my heart. I don’t want to get into the specifics, but suffice it to say that sometimes, when we are Christians, we think our good behavior, our ability to follow rules (even when done with the truest of intensions) sometimes causes us to believe that we should be spared certain turmoil in life. HA! Imagine that? We think we are so holy that we can somehow opt out of the difficulties of life. It’s laughable when I put it in those terms. But I think that is what has happened to me…and that is basically the sin of pride. So I have the normal (and less-than-normal) hurts of life come along and I feel HURT. But then PRIDE steps in and we add on top of that HURT feelings of ANGER, RESENTMENT, and REBELION and NO WONDER I am feeling disconnected from God! I think I *just* figured out my problem…why didn’t I write this out before?



Thank you Jesus, for your mercy and grace. I know you hate pride. Please teach me to accept what you have for me with humility and joy.