One thing I absolutely love about modern day technology is the world it has opened up for women. So many women have created businesses for themselves and their families through a tiny little thing called the Internet. They began a blog as a way to voice their thoughts and capture their ideas and over time something bigger happened. God connected people to their dreams and then connected them to other people. I can't help but beam with pride when I read blogs or books written by bloggers because I see how God is using their passions and abilities and skills to influence a world of people. One of these such bloggers is Melissa from The Inspired Room. I can't even tell you how I stumbled upon her blog however many moons ago but I enjoy reading each post as it enters my inbox. Melissa just released her first book called Love The Home You Have and I quickly jumped at the opportunity to read and help promote her book. (I think one of the greatest things that we as women can do is lift each other up and help propel each other forward.)
So I am going to touch base with you about this book as I read it--sharing my thoughts and insights. I felt like I was saying "yes" and "yes" over and over as I began her book. I was often reminded of some of the things I've shared with you in the For Rent series I did awhile back as I read her opening chapter.
I don't know about you, but I can easily be convinced that where I am is not where I am supposed to be--that there is always something that I need to do next that is greater than where I am currently positioned. I think that's why leaving our dream home to move into a rental has been such a blessing in disguise for me. I have really shifted my thinking to where I am in the moment--not where I would like to be later or where I used to be. What about you? Where are you? Where is your home currently?
- maybe its the house you've always been in
- maybe you've been recently uprooted
- maybe you are in-between homes
- maybe its an apartment
- maybe its a rental house
- maybe its back at your parent's house
- maybe its somewhere you never imagined
- maybe its your dream house
We are all somewhere different. I can look back over the course of our homes (as a married couple, we have lived in 7 homes in 10 years of marriage) and I see how I often didn't view them as homes. How do you define a home? Maybe that's the baseline question we need to answer. What constitutes a home? I definitely didn't see our first apartment as a home yet it is where we began our life together as an Us--where our newly registered-for presents decorated the place. At some point, I stopped seeing our first "purchased" home as a home because it was just a townhouse yet it was the home we brought our first baby home to. Our third residence was a too-small-for-us townhouse that lasted only 2 months so how could that really be a home (our daughter was going to sleep in a closet)? Our rental house during construction was temporary--a holding place to the dream home--so I didn't see that as our home even though we brought our second baby home to it. Do you see the pattern there? Always waiting for what's next and failing to recognize that home is right where you are. Home needs to be redefined in our minds and hearts. Home is right where you are. Melissa says, "The exciting result of learning to love the home you have is this: You will find greater contentment where you are, and your home will start to inspire your life in unexpected ways."
I don't know about you but greater contentment (in all of life) is really want my heart desires. I bet that deep down all us truly desire to a create a home right where we are and not to live for what's next. We want to drive down the street or read blogs or Pinterest and refuse to let the images we see convince us that home is what's next. We don't want to think that home will happen in the future at the next place. You want to refuse to say that you will create a home in the next space. You truly want home to be now. We may end up missing out on something beautiful that could happen right where you are if we are constantly looking for what's next. There is no one set style or limitation. We are all different and unique. I think that the ability to create a home is within your reach--no matter what that home may look like. "The formula for a house you love should work just as well whether you move to a new address or settle in and embrace the one you already have."
So what is that formula? How can you love the home you have? Melissa's book is going to delve into that very formula. She gives three ways to jumpstart your journey in chapter one. I'm going to share with you my answers to her prompts.
- List three ways you're grateful for the home you have
- we are saving money
- easier to clean (only 1700 sq ft)
- easy to decorate (again, only 1700 sq ft. no more empty rooms.)
- Start a special tradition or create a fun memory in your home
- Since moving here, we have invited friends over for dinner often. (Ironically, we did this less when we had the home to hold lots of people.) This is a new tradition for us. We decided to invest in relationships by investing in some outdoor space (think food, fire pits, and tree swings). Because of this, our home as been the nesting place for some of our best relationships.
- Think of one area of your home you enjoy and why
- I really enjoy our master bedroom--especially in the early afternoon. You can sit on the bed and look out the french doors or big windows and see the sun breaking through the established, beautiful large trees in the backyard. It is a canopy of beauty for sure!
I want to challenge you to answer those three questions. Start your journey with me. Sometimes we just need to focus our eyes on what is in front of us. You can create the home of your dreams right where you are. There is a community of people just like us over at Home Love Stories where you can share your journey or read about other people's journey to loving the home where they are or if you want to buy Melissa's book and join me while I read, you can do that here.