Author: Addie Parker
•9:52 PM

I grew up on a lake in a small tourist town in northern Michigan. My lake was very small, and there were very few homes on it at the time. But even in our tiny community in the boonies, I remember the Keeping Up with the Joneses scenario playing out.

My parents bought our house for a relatively small amount of money. It was outdated and unloved.  Before we moved in, we had to clear trash and debris from the rooms. It was that bad. But, together as a family, we renovated and made improvements.  And when we made an improvement, so did our neighbors. We built a deck, they built a deck. We built stairs down to the lake, they built stairs down to the lake. We built a two-story play structure, they built a raft with a diving board. Maybe it was just coincidence. It could have been. But 12-year old me remembers the neighbors doing each project soon after we did ours.

Last night, I was finishing up putting up some trim around my front door, and I was thinking about how I feel a little bit like a little girl playing house. It was an odd feeling. Like maybe what I was doing was a little pointless.  Maybe all the time and effort and money I've spent improving my house since I moved in has just ended up making me look shallow, materialistic, and unapproachable.

But that's not what this is about. That's not what I'm about.

It isn't about show. Looking good to look successful or well-off. If you look closely and pay attention, you'll see that most everything is second-hand, cheap, repainted, handmade, or improvised. It isn't about show.

This is about creating a haven for myself, my husband, our family, and our friends. This is about coming home and getting cozy. This is about an island of peace and order in a sea of uncontrollable chaos.  This is about creating a place where stress melts away and love flourishes. This is about welcoming friends. This is about long chats on the couch with friends about infertility, about fears, about successes and triumphs. This is about the sigh of relief that comes when I walk in the door after a long day at work and know that I am home.

Every little seemingly pointless thing I do adds to the cozy, familiar, peaceful environment of my home.

The Nester recently said, "Home should be the safest, most comforting, inviting, beautiful, invigorating, welcoming place here on earth.  I feel like anything I do that enhances our experience at home is well worth the trouble.  Time making our home beautiful and orderly is time well spent."

I couldn't agree more.

In a season of my life where we're about to add to our family life in numbers, I'm so glad I've spent time preparing a cozy home in which our life is taking place.

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On 10:30 PM, January 26, 2010 , Anna See said...

I could not agree more! Lovely post. My house is full of second hand finds, but I hope it is cozy and pleasant.