I still remember the visit to a friend's home after college. It was my first time visiting. I went into the room where I was going to stay and on the nightstand there was a simple vase with flowers in them. Right in front was a note welcoming me. I went to the bathroom and there was a candle burning. It was my first time here and it felt like home. It was simple - a freshly made bed, a candle glowing in the bathroom and a card that said "Welcome. It is good to have you here. I hope this is a space for you to rest." The practical elements and her heart came together in a beautiful way. It wasn't just a beautifully decorated room - although there were those elements. It was her heart desiring to make a sacred space for us to rest and enjoy our time there. And her hands worked to create that for us.

We long for home. We long for a space we can come alive, relax and be ourselves. We long for a place where relationships are meaningful and significant. Often times our homes are not restful - they are stressful with lots to do and unfinished tasks and projects.

What if our homes could be that sacred space - a place where our hearts are tended to, and out of that our hands work to create and serve those we love.

I love talking about practical tools for our home - meal planning, cleaning rhythms, how to organize a schedule, toy decluttering, laundry, dishes, organizing, how to structure a day with kids. These are all topics I will be talking about on this blog.

But if we just talk about how to do those things and neglect why we are doing them, it can lead to perfectionism, discouragement and trying to keep up with the Jones's. The purpose of cleaning, organizing and doing dishes is not just so our house looks great when people come over. The purpose of decorating is not just to impress others. We are creating a home that loves and serves those who live there and those who we welcome in. And sometimes this may look different than we anticipate. I remember hearing a mom talk about her creative son. She said if she did not have a space for him to be creative, he didn't thrive. When we talk about meal planning, laundry, cleaning, organization, our schedules we need to know who we are serving. I have a son who is very creative. He needs space to be creative in order to thrive. Knowing this informs how I approach organization.

I am really excited to talk about the nuts and bolts of tending to a home. But what is most exciting to me is thinking about you having a home where your family thrives! A home where you don't feel guilty when people enter. Not because it is perfectly clean, organized and clutter free, but because your family works to have a home where you come alive. A home where you daily do the tasks that are required but it comes from a heart that is more focused on loving your family instead of worrying about what everyone else thinks when they walk through the door. A home where when someone enters you don't feel like you need to apologize, but a home where people walk in and see a family that is thriving. And the great thing about this approach is we get to decide what is best for our family. They are the primary people we are serving. My home will not look like your home because we are serving different people. This is your home to serve your family.

Who is in your family? What helps them rest, relax, be themselves and come alive? How do you best love those in your family?

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