Monday, June 24, 2013

Finding Home: How Does Your House Reflect You?

I know a person’s home reflects as much about her tastes as it does her place along her journey, but I was hard-pressed to imagine the whimsy that inspired this design. 

I felt as though we had kayaked into a nursery rhyme. “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children she didn't know what to do. . .  Peter, Peter pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn't keep her. He put her in a pumpkin shell . . . ”  

As we paddled deeper into the cove, I imagined poking the bulging side with a paddle and watching it explode, or unseating it from its foundation and seeing it float away, or maybe bounce along the bank and bob along the water.

There’s no end to the creative endeavors people put into their homes. A quick search of unusual homes offers the following sample:

For the ocean lover—a seashell house.

For the hermit—a house on a rock.

Making home digs deep into the things we value. Whether playful or peaceful, bulging at the seams with friends and family, or silent and austere with meditation, our homes, in part, enable us to use the gifts we have been given.

I've discovered being an HGTV (House Hunters International, yes!) junkie (and yes, I did enter the Dream House contest) helps me to define the things that are important to me in a house at this stage of my journey. (I know, I know. Didn't we just finish renovating a house?) But my husband and I think we have one more in us.

And so, we pack up my father-in-law and scour the countryside for properties. At the end of the day we say: “Okay, we need to eliminate one. Which one will it be?”  Our little game helps us to stay on track, to keep refining and redefining what we've come to value—peace, serenity, and beauty.

Sometimes I feel guilty about enjoying these pleasures.  But when I have guests and they are able to sit by the pool, surrounded by bird-song filled trees, shed their tensions and soak in beauty, I know it is the gift I have been given.

So come on by. Once you make it past the initial canine chaos at the front door, I guarantee a relaxing afternoon. And maybe, if that HGTV van comes along with my winnings—we’ll move on over lakeside!

How about you? What do you like in a house?  How does your home reflect the place you are in life? Do you think the different places you've lived have been representative of your journey and gifts?

And don’t you wonder just what that final place is going to look like?—the one whose architect and builder is God!


  1. I love this post, Marcia! (And I too entered the Dream House contest and am an avid fan of HH.)

    We live in a 100 year old home in need of repairs and chock full of creaks running through the heart pine floors (repairs and's beginning to sound a lot like me!)

    But I love the history of the home, the stories within the walls, and the character that oozes through every nook and cranny. Both sets of grandparents lived in older homes -- and their homes were my childhood homes -- so perhaps that's the link to my love for century-old homes.

    I'm actually blogging about my "dream" home this Friday. :)

    Thanks for sharing your "guilty pleasures", ie, gifts from God for you to enjoy.

  2. Look forward to your post, Cathy because I know how important your home and its history is to you!

  3. That pic of the bulging house kinda looks like me as I sit here on the couch today! I wrote a piece about my dream home last year and finally admitted that I would love to be somewhere away from lots of people and near water. I used to feel that a good christian would/should want to be "actively" on the "front lines" getting people saved until the end. But now I am seeing His pleasure in our normal day to day lives with Him.......possibly in a sweet cottage along side a lake. :)

    1. Susie! Those are exactly my thoughts, further freed from guilt as I read Richard J Foster's chapter on praying the ordinary--in all and on all our fronts whatever they be, they can be an offering to God--by the lake shore as well as in the jungle.

  4. Marcia:

    We love our rural home, 20 miles out of Grand Rapids, on a gravel road designated a "Natural Beauty Road" by the county. Ten acres of tranquility. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner; reading and writing on the deck.

    Ahhh... think I'll go there now for lunch.


  5. I love this post, Marcia. And I also love HHI -- ohh the places they go!
    Our house doesn't really reflect where we are right now. I'd love to have a nice quiet place in the woods, not in a neighborhood near the high school! But this has been home for 23 years and the kids get squirmy anytime we mention selling it. It's comfortable and it's HOME. At least until the Lord leads us elsewhere, and we are content here :)

  6. A fun article, Marcia! We love our new house. It's different than our former houses in that it's contemporary rather than colonial. The free-flowing rooms feel more relaxed than a more traditional design. There's an abundance of sunlight throughout the house that produces a natural happiness, and the light-colored walls, high ceilings, and white trim add to the cheerfulness. One fun feature is that the acoustics are such that when someone speaks, we're never sure what room they're in even though it sounds like they're right next to us. God couldn't have chosen a better home for us for this time in our lives. I can't imagine how glorious our permanent will be!


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