Saturday, October 15, 2011

{Day 15} My Real House

How about a few days of "Real Home" as we journey on in this series?

I've been a decorating magazine junkie for years. I'm crazy for house blogs and I love it when friends ask for my help with their own re-do's and design schemes.

But as I sit here and type this, I have dishes stacked on the countertops and books and puzzles strewn across the living room. The armchair is full of toys I threw away that my kids discovered and dug back out of the trash today. 

Blue nail polish is smeared across the kids' bathroom countertop and floor, compliments of the 3-year-old. He did that a week ago and I haven't cleaned it up yet. That's okay. It blends in with the Crest blue bubble-mint toothpaste that's also smeared across the countertop. 

It's October and there are still summer clothes in all the drawers. That's what jackets are for, I tell myself. My goal is November.

Random toys, flip flops, and sippy cups have spilled out onto the lawn and too often I bring the kids in for dinner and forget to have them clean it up. And because they are kids, they are just fine with that.

For two days in a row I have been near tears over mess. Tomorrow is Saturday and we'll all pitch in to pick up and clean and I'll feel better for two days. 

By next Friday, however, I'll be able to write this post all over again. 

These words I type? They are for me as much as they are for you. 

The truth is, real home {like real life} is messy and frustrating. But it's also bursting with life, energy, and creativity. I've decided that a creative, lively home will always boast mess in some form.

A friend of mine used to have college students in and out of her home while her four kids were young. Her house was rarely clean or picked up. Years later one of those students {who had since become a mom} thanked her for living real. One woman's messy house freed that young mom from ridiculous expectations and equipped her to live real too.

Crazy, isn't it? My friend actually had a ministry out of living authentically, not obsessing over perfect, and having others in her home to share life together, mess and all. 

Perfect homes can be intimidating. 

Real homes are usually inviting. 


{Click on the button for the list of all the days 
& topics thus far.}


  1. yesterday i dropped our oldest off at a new friend's house for a birthday party. i'm going to be honest. i was so excited to see their house because i'm about 89 % sure his dad is german and a professor at the university. of course, i'm a romantic so he might be south carolinian and a business man.

    their house has a very french looking garden in the front with rosemary so established it has blooms on it.

    within five minutes, she was apologizing for a few things roundabout. even though i was caught up in her vintage nat geos and vintage furniture and her house was looking just wonderful. i do it, too. and i was thinking about the cheerios scattered throughout my house and the dishes piled high and the stinky trash. so i said something about grace for ourselves like we have grace for others.

    because it's true. i feel so much better when i see that what i'm living is just real life. it's fellowship really and i LOVE that you pointed out that authentic life is ministry.

  2. I love reading home/decorating mags, too, and it is probably the reason why we have certain expectations of how our home should look like. I sometimes would drive everyone in the house crazy by constantly fussing around, moving tabletop decor a certain way, getting obsessed with cleanliness, etc. etc.

    One time, my then 6-year old daughter told somebody "My mom has cleaning issues." Another time, my then 7-year old (they're a year older now) said, "My mom is obsessed with cleanliness." So I stopped fussing around. Today, my house is one happy mess.

  3. Know at least one of your readers breathed a sigh of relief at the thought that authentic living is a beautiful, inviting thing. Thanks for being real and encouraging others to do the same!

  4. The homemade bread on the stove in your kitchen picture looks YUMMY!

  5. I love cleanliness. I admire neatness. I covet orderliness.

    And most days, I live with a mess. No, that's not right. I live IN a mess--because, to tell the truth, I'm one of the mess-makers.

    I have a few habits of neatness, but it doesn't take long to find my piles of stuff. I need to cultivate more simplicity in my life.

    Meanwhile, I need to be thankful that I have the privilege of living this messy, unclean, not neat, disorderly life that is blessed with so much. :)

  6. Hi. Just taking a minute to comment and say that I'm really enjoying (and benefiting from) your series and that this post is such a great reminder that hip, fun, thinking women have messy, real houses, too.

  7. I want to make a quote block with this on it "excuse the mess...we are busy making memories." So true! As long as we're not gross like on Hoarders we're good, right? :) Keep writing friend! Love it!

    Amy Z Smith

  8. Love that story of the college student! And your home is lovely. You have evidence that real people, not robots, live there.

  9. Gotta agree with an earlier comment: That home-baked loaf of bread sitting atop your stove redeems it all! Well . . . that and the "well-fed, well-loved, and happy" kids you wrote about earlier.



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