We took our spring break this week with the public school kids. The Bible says that he who loves sleep will become poor, but after last week’s time change, I decided to toy with poverty for just one day. We didn’t get out of bed until almost 10 a.m. For my birthday, I sent the kids away with my husband on a short trip. Hilarious. That gave me two days to be a big girl by myself. I had three major items, at least for me, on my “to do” list this week: paint, scrapbook, and weed. So as I’m deliberating over two variations of a particular shade, I thought about the one word people often use to describe me: “warm.”
I went through a long period, probably in trying to readjust our finances after I came home and/or settling into a house that wasn’t so new anymore, where I did very little to improve the house. We moved furniture around and replaced items as needed, but I stopped buying, stopped painting, and for the most part, I stopped decorating. Then my husband began to have his men’s group meetings here, and I began to see the house through other’s eyes and started buying again. At first I was a bit ashamed of myself: was I worried about what others thought (something I pride myself on not doing)? Was I trying to impress someone? If I wanted to spruce up the house, why did it take having people over to make me spend money—wasn’t providing comfort and luxury for the five folks that live here motivation enough? I had more time to visit my own thought processes while listening to my husband’s comments as the meetings rotated from house to house. I couldn’t help but notice everyone’s attraction to visit the newer, bigger homes and the assessments that followed. Then I really got mad. In my rekindled passion for upgrades, was I subscribing (or I should say renewing my subscription) to a materialistic view that “things” in my home dictated how blessed we are as a family?
As all of this was churning through my head, I had a chance to think more about that word warm. Being warm means:
1) moderately or comfortably hot (I thought I’d leave that in there for ego’s purposes–LOL)
2) showing or feeling kindness and friendliness
3) showing passion or liveliness
4) showing or feeling great enthusiasm
When I think about it, I realize that this is what I wanted for our home—to be warm, not just for visitors, but even for the people that live here each day. I want people to walk in and feel at home, to be relaxed. I want the atmosphere to spark conversation, to give people the freedom to laugh, to cry, to just be. What a change that type of thinking made in how I spent my time and resources. Even the mundane clean-up tasks I’ve taken up with a new energy. I’ll admit I still don’t dance around with the broom, but I have taken a look at the home, not as a list of tasks or a depressing view of all the home improvement projects I’d love to complete with unlimited time and money. As I type on Friday with the family returning tonight, I’ve only accomplished one of my three listed items—I’ve painted. I do have some “have to’s;” on my list: there are papers that need to be thrown away, floors that need vacuuming, and clothes to be folded and put away. Scrapbooking may happen later today, if at all. By the way, the family did buy me a camera, so now I’m dangerous. Weeding can always happen over the weekend—I don’t have as many hands willing to pull weeds, unfortunately. But with each flower blossoming, with paper-free counters, and even with photo albums that depict our times together, I am slowly, but surely, day by day, creating an environment that is warmer and warmer.