She looked around her apartment critically. Less than 600 square feet – not an inch to spare. What was she thinking? How could she invite her new neighbors over for coffee?
“There’s not enough room,” she despaired. “Our furniture is early attic. Nothing is coordinated. They’re just pieces we inherited from others or found at garage sales to get us by.”
Yet, meeting her new neighbors briefly in the courtyard of their apartment complex, and desperate for some adult interaction, she’d blurted out the invitation to come for coffee and a visit the next morning. Now what was she going to do?
So often we view our homes as incomplete. We compare them to magazine spreads and find it lacking.
What defines a comfortable home?
View your home as a blessing you can share with others—a warm, friendly place that encourages relationships. Sharon Anderson
Here are 3 decisions we made regarding how we view our home:
- Warm and inviting. I’m not talking about temperature. When people enter your home and are greeted with sincere affection and welcome, they are immediately at ease. Warmth allows anyone to become a friend no matter if you’ve known that person for minutes or decades. Your warm attitude removes barriers instantly.
Hospitality is the ability to make people at ease in unfamiliar situations with warmth and generosity. Entertaining is to amuse, divert, or hold the attention of pleasantly. I’m terrible at entertaining others; but I’m pretty good at practicing hospitality.
- Peaceful. It’s quickly apparent when entering any place if there is conflict and strife or acceptance and peace. The only thing my husband asked regarding our home was that it was a peaceful place. Easy to do when it’s just the two of you. But, when we added our children to the mix, not so easy.
Maintaining a peaceful home is a learning process that involves more than just “keeping the peace.” I quickly learned that even though children tussle and fuss and are noisy my home could still be peaceful if I checked my attitude. Practicing gratitude goes a long way to creating peace. The greatest compliment ever received about my home was that it was a place of peace.
- Clean not pristine. Growing up there was a plaque hanging in my home that read, “My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.” We joked about that plaque. Yet, as a new mom, the simple truth became evident.
I’m an average housekeeper. The truth is I’d rather do anything than clean. Therefore I clean only because I want a healthy home. Because I’m a recovering perfectionist, I struggle to put something away simply to get it out of sight. I want to make sure it has a place that makes sense so I can easily find it again. Therefore, you will often see piles in my home, things that need to be put in their proper place. My home will never be a showplace, nor would I want it to be. I’d rather you are comfortable and welcomed than wowed. Is it possible to do both? Yes. Just not for me.
I did host my neighbors that day. We had a lovely time getting to know one another. No one was bothered by the simple, unmatched surroundings. I was thankful I had a home where I could host my new friends.
The extraordinary truth I learned was that people and relationships are more important than the perfect surrounding.
When I open my home to encourage relationships, I am abundantly enriched and blessed.
Let me ask you, what do you want your home to represent? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Capture the extraordinary in the ordinariness of today.