I really like home improvement shows. Even before I owned a home, I watched them and daydreamed. Color Splash, Property Brothers, Rehab Addict, Design on a Dime, and of course Fixer Upper.
8 or so years ago, my husband and I bought our own “fixer upper” on our shoestring budget. We quickly replaced the roof, painted every room, repaired a fence, updated the some plumbing, and some of the electrical. We finished a partially converted and unfinished garage and turned into an office. Guys, I can tape, float and texture like a pro. Then, we went a little house broke.
We started a kitchen update right before our first baby was born. An even tighter budget meant we didn’t get granite countertops, just a nice laminate. I hand sanded and painted the existing kitchen cabinets at 6 months pregnant. I had a serious nesting phase. And of course, we choose a cheaper flooring option than we would have desired.
After our son was born, we still had a few other projects but the took a back seat to the baby. I don’t think I did a thing until I started getting more sleep… around 15 months later!
A couple of summers ago, I did a DIY floor treatment. It was lots of work, looked beautiful, and didn’t break the bank. But it won’t hold up in the long run.
Now, when I see my house… I still see all our unfinished projects. The spot that still needs trim added, the flooring that is cracking and needs to be resealed, the unfinished guest bathroom, the windows that need to be updated, and the leak in the bathroom, while fixed, left sheetrock in need of replacement.
My husband still daydreams about tearing down walls and switching up the layout. He’s a designer and dreamer.
This Christmas I wanted to have family over and host Christmas. Between baby number two’s early arrival and our unfinished projects, my husband had a stern “NO!” He didn’t want to clean or make our house presentable. I understood. We were both pretty tired.
But I think we have a constant fear of our house not being finished, not being good enough, and not being clean enough. We don’t have friends over very often unless they are really close friends.
I see all my house’s faults… Our 5 year old doesn’t.
This is my favorite place.”
“Did you build this house for me? I love our house.”
“I love your bed. It’s cozy”
“I love my big giant bed. You built it for me.”
(Thanks IKEA for making us look like super heroes)
“I love my room. I love my planets and all my stars.
(I hot glued planets and glow in the dark stars to his bed)
And… “I’m ready to go home.”
- This boy doesn’t see our house’s faults or the dirt on the floor. He sees the vibrant colors and personal touches.
- He doesn’t mind sharing a bathroom with his parents. In fact, he enjoys it.
- He doesn’t see unfinished projects.
- He sees the room where he reads each night with his parents.
- He sees his art hung on the walls.
- He sees safety, security, and comfort.
- He sees our home from his own perspective and loves it.
I’m challenging myself to see it in that same way. I want to see the hearth of my home, and not my to do list.
House maintenance is real and important thing. I’m not excusing our laziness, but I am allowing a little grace. And let the real beauty of my home to shine through: faith in the Spirit of The Living God, and the humans who live and dwell here. I want to see the blessings of my security, not a comparison of wealth.
So while I’m in this season of holding babies and no free time or free hands, I want to see my home from a child like perspective. I want this to be my favorite place, cracked flooring and all.