What we call home is a culmination of what we grew up with and what we’ve created.
Home is my favorite place to be. With my people, my stuff, in the space we have cultivated and call home. Home isn’t always about the place we reside but the way that place makes us feel. We can cultivate an atmosphere that speaks to our hearts in just a few easy steps. Ask yourself these two simple questions.
1.) What feels like home to me? Is it soft blankets, yummy smelling candles and pinstripes? Then fill your home with those things. Is it a giant couch the whole family can pile onto to watch a movie? Make finding that couch a priority. You don’t have to go to the most expensive furniture store to find it either. People are sharing from their surplus all the time.
A friend of mine really wanted a specific couch. It was during a rough time financially but because she cared about what home felt like she began to pray for the specific couch that would fit their home and family. I kid you not, within weeks, there was the exact couch…on the side of the road. You can guarantee she went with a truck and picked it up as soon as she could. She cleaned it, washed all the covers and that couch still serves a purpose in her home. It’s a place where the family cuddles for movies and serves as a reminder of Gods provision and blessing.
Things like this happen all the time. We just have to be asking and watching for them!
For me, a table where we can all eat together feels like home. I used to think the dining room with the big table was a waste of space but God changed my heart on that. In the new farmhouse the dining room table is the heart of our home. Why? Because gathering at the table to share meals together makes my momma/friend heart so happy.
2.) What feels like home to the people around me? Ask them! And then implement those things, whatever they are. Home for my kids always means a fridge full of bottled waters and chips in the pantry. Silly, I know, but almost every time my kids come over they grab a water and fix a snack. Lugging, loading and unloading those cases of water are a pain. Making sure there’s always santitas tortilla chips and salsa may be a hassle. But it’s something they can count on.
Our house has always had a bar area in the kitchen and it’s where we all gather for the first ten minutes or so when everyone gets home and chat about our days. Sometimes it’s because I’m cooking or doing dishes but usually it’s because that’s the central location everyone gathers.
We sit on the porch together and play with the dogs when our kids come over. We talk, throw the ball, repeat. This goes on for awhile and is a great way for us to connect. For my son, this feels like home.
We like to laugh a lot at our house. Chad makes us all laugh, and most the time it’s at something I’ve done but all in the name of fun. We also like to scare people. And then laugh. Chad gets a huge kick out of scaring the new people or the more gullible ones like my son-in-law or my sons girlfriend. You feel right at home after you’ve had the poo scared out of you and everyone has laughed a good belly laugh for a minute or two.
Home can feel like places, locations within your home, being with certain people or doing specific activities together. All of these foster conversations and connection built by time and intentionality.
Wherever home is there’s a few things we can do to cultivate a place worth loving. Be intentional with what’s in your space and how you engage with the people there. That’s it. If you don’t love it, make some small changes to shift the culture. When our kids were younger we had a game room and it felt like the kids were always so far from us, them hanging out in there and we were in other places. So to fix that, we just changed where we hung out and went into the game room with them. Simple, intentional and shifted our hearts towards each other.
What about you? What makes where you live feel like home? What makes it feel like home to the people you love? What about to the new people who come into your homes?