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Home: What Makes the Difference?

Hi, everyone! When asked to write about the concept of home, my mind has gone in a million directions. While that’s nothing new for me (multitasking mother of three, what can I say?), I have to admit I’ve struggled to figure out a way to narrow down my thoughts on this one.

Admittedly, I’ve been “home”-obsessed for a good portion of my life. I started watching Home and Garden Television around the age of 9, and I was absolutely enamored with these people called “designers.” They would choose paint swatches, flip through fabric books, do a LOT of DIY-work and create amazing spaces (and all in a 30-minute episode, just like real life – ha!). One of my most prized birthday gifts as a young girl was a subscription to House Beautiful magazine. I would watch movies and study the set decorations and floor plans of movie homes I loved (and I still do this today!).

This love of designing, decorating and architecture led me to study interior design in college. I LOVED studying the ins and outs of design and learning to help people find their taste and achieve the look they wanted. As a newlywed, I was in heaven picking out all of the elements for our first home. (I was also overwhelmed. THE REGISTRIES. THE DECISIONS. THE CHINA PATTERNS. THE BUDGET.)

However, as much as I STILL love creating the physical spaces that we live in (in fact, I love it!), I find myself paying attention to the emotional aspect of my home more and more. Because as cliché as it sounds, the stuff means nothing. NOTHING.

Recently, I went with my mom and one of my sisters on a Christmas Tour of Homes in our area. We went from house and house, and while there were pretty rooms and impressive spaces, there was something “off” in many of them. All three of us walked out of more than one house and just looked at each other. “Did that feel cold to you?” “Did something feel unsettling to anyone else but me?” “I don’t know why that felt weird, but it did.” Don’t misunderstand me: we weren’t judging the people who lived in these houses at all; we just sensed an atmosphere that didn’t feel comfortable in our spirit.

I thought a lot about what feels “right” to me when I think of home. I’m a list-maker, and I always feel a little more settled when I have a nice bulleted list to organize my thoughts. I wrote down the first words that came to my mind when I hear the word “Home”:

  • Comfortable

I can relax. I can breathe. I can be myself. I can curl up and close my eyes and take a deep breath.

  • Warm

I feel comfortable and enveloped in a hug. I feel a presence of warmth.

  • Inviting

Anyone is welcome here. Come sit and join us! Share a meal and experience fellowship here.

  • Peaceful

There isn’t a spirit of confusion or darkness. There is light and clarity and joy.

  • Safe

There is no judgment. You are loved as you are. You will not be mistreated here.

  • Personal

I am KNOWN. My tastes are reflected. Our family’s unique story is woven into this house.

  • Sentimental/Nostalgic

We experience moments and make memories here. We create rhythms and traditions that allow us to carry over treasures from our past and also set those in motion for our future. We carry in this house a legacy of those who have gone before and those who will continue on. We honor the God-given emotions and feelings that are innate to all of us.

 

In finishing the list, it was obvious to me what – or Who – I was really describing.

That’s the Holy Spirit. That’s Jesus.

The element that is foundational to everything we’re trying to create in our homes is reflected in a single word: Jesus. HE feels “right.” HE is what makes you walk into someone’s home of ANY shape, size, décor, or location and think “This feels right. This feels like home. This feels familiar.”

My husband and I are in the season of raising young children, and that can have its really taxing and tiring moments. It can feel thankless one minute and so-rewarding-your-heart-might-burst the next minute. It can mean that one day I feel like I have TOTALLY tackled the playroom clutter problem, and the next day I’m crying in a corner because I can’t even look at the PLAYROOM CLUTTER PROBLEM.

But you know what? We have Jesus.

In our HomeMaking and HeartMaking, HE makes all the difference! As we make spaces and make (disciple) little hearts, it’s all so that we can make much of Him!

I look forward to sharing what’s on my heart, some of our family spaces and elements of my HomeMaking and HeartMaking journey with you through Interior Inspirations!

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Ashley Lancaster

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  1. Libby Williams on April 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Ashely, I cannot seem to find your blog about anxiety. I really really love your writing dear girl. Loved the above writing about what was missing? the Holy Spirit…Oh how I pray we as homemakers and caregivers truly “get” that our homes need to be more than perfectly staged but full of Him…beautiful, orderly and full of God’s Holy Spirit….So where do I go to find your latest blog? Thank you for helping me out. Love you, Libby

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