Getting to the heart of your home - Setting Goals

This past weekend I had the opportunity to share with some women about my philosophies and ideas behind home decor and hospitality.  I was rather intimidated by this request, because many of the Godly women at my church have been practicing hospitality and creating a Christ-centered home for decades. I had no idea what I could add to their wisdom!  As I prayed about what to share, God lead me to give a few of my experiences and my motivations - the "why" behind my decorating.  Since I've already created all the content, it seemed to fit nicely into its own blog post as well.  :-)

(pre-children pictures of our fireplace room - decorated for spring!)
"...home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.

Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”

This quote is taken from the book, "Home-making" by J.R. Miller ($0.99 on Kindle!).  It's over 100 years old, so maybe don't read it if you are easily offended by traditional gender roles.  The author makes it plain that he believes biblical womanhood can be beautifully displayed through a happy and hospitable home.  I read it a little over a year ago, and while I don't agree with 100% of the content, it has really influenced some of my worldview when it comes to the power and influence I have as woman through the intentional use of my home.

When it comes to decorating, I view our home as just one more tool in my toolbox that I can use to point others to Christ.  It's not simply to be a museum for nice furniture or great DIY projects, but a way to intentionally influence my family and guests to give them a greater desire to know God.  As I've decorated and put together our house, I've considered my motivations and goals.  Knowing the "why" behind my decorating philosophy has really contributed to the "how" of my decor.

Here are a few of my own goals when it comes to decorating:

  • I want Brad to like our home, and I take his tastes and preferences into consideration when I decorate (even when they conflict with the latest blog and pinterest trends).
  • I want people who enter our home to know what we believe.  One way I've achieved this is to use bible verses as artwork in key places like our main living room and family room.
  • I want people to feel like they can be comfortable and use our other words, I try not to decorate with things that look too nice or frail.
  • I want to incorporate items with history or significance into our house.  This often comes in the from of special furniture pieces from grandparents or artwork from a favorite vacation.
  • I want our children to enjoy our home and have a safe place to play while being cautious to avoid making our home "child-centered" in it's decor.  There is no way to get through the baby and toddler years with no trace of children, but we really do try to keep their things confined to specific areas so that when we clean up after bedtime or before having company, it looks like a fairly normal adult house.
  • I want our home to feel orderly and clutter-free.  We are in a stage of life that already brings with it lots of chaos and stuff.  Therefore, lately I've been keeping my knick-knacks and decorating vignettes to a minimum.  Right now, less is more for us.
  • I want people to feel special and welcomed when they are a guest in our home.  This is one reason why I emphasize or enjoy decorating, because I think that most people genuinely enjoy spending time in a beautiful space.
  • I want our house to feel bright and cheery.  This goal has motivated many of my color choices, specifically the crisp white, grays, and blues - the pops of fun aztec prints and the light curtains.  Where ever I can let in natural light and keep things feeling airy, I do!

For each home, in each stage of life, different goals should motivate the way we decorate our space.  Yours might be completely different than mine!  The key (in my opinion) is to recognize that your home is a powerful tool that can influence your spouse / family / friends / neighbors / guests and then consider how you can use that tool in an intentional way for Christ.  That doesn't have to mean having perfect throw pillows or the latest trends in rugs.  Some of the most wonderful, Christ-centered homes I've been in are simple or even old-fashioned looking.  It's the heart of the homemaker that counts.

What are some of your home decorating goals?

You might also like: Intentionally Serving Your Husband - The Master Suite - Part 1 (And Part 2)
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