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Peaceful Homes

I had a dollhouse growing up. By growing up I mean that I got it when I was five and kept it into my room, setting it up and decorating it regularly, until I moved at age fifteen. (I probably would have had it in my room even then, except that I went from having my own room to sharing a bedroom with three sisters and there wasn’t room.) I spent hours (upon hours) at my dollhouse, setting their kitchen table with blue speckled tin dishes and homemade clay food, or wandering the aisles of the dollhouse store pondering my dream dollhouse. One of my favorite things to do was scoop all of the miniature furniture and decor out of the house and start from scratch with an empty house. These are some of the happiest childhood memories.

I don’t need a dollhouse anymore. I left it in my parents’ basement, and the contents packed away for future playdates, and have moved on to bigger and grander things.

Like real houses. IMG_2593IMG_0793IMG_0641

Since getting married a year-and-a-half ago, Tanner and I have already shared three homes together, this followed two dorm rooms and an apartment shared with two fellow college students. All of these have been real life opportunities for me to play dollhouse all over again. And I’m not in any hurry to find the dream home and settle down because I love the opportunity to clear out the house and start all over again, finding just the right place for our hand-me down furniture, wedding registry kitchen ware, and homemade wall-art. (As a precious side note that I love to share, Tanner and I eat off of the same exact blue-speckled tin dishes that I used in my dollhouse. Except this time it is not miniature)

I think most girls are born with this innate pleasure to nest and make-home. Even my less-domestic loving friends still have found great pleasure in filling an empty house with just the right things that make it home. And in doing so I believe we emulate our creator. He had an empty space and added to it. A tree here, a mountain there, a quiet meadow here, a beach there. And then it was whole and complete and good. Ready for His people to dwell in.

Unfortunately I don’t have the unlimited resources that God had. (I wish I could create a beautiful set of bookcases with a sliding ladder out of nothing.) But with the resources that I do have I want to make a dwelling place for my people: my husband, visiting family members, houseguests, friends, piano students. I believe that I have the option to create a beautiful space for our family to live in and our guests to visit. With every shelf that I decorate, every piece of furniture that I find a place for, and picture I hang, I am taking part in making peace. IMG_0916IMG_3142IMG_3144

photo-5“Surely each person who lives in an ‘interior’ of any sort should realize that ‘Interior Decoration’ is the first opportunity to bring forth ‘hidden art.’ For the Christian who is consciously in communication with the Creator, surely his home should reflect something of the artistry, the beauty and order of the One whom he is representing, and in whose image he has been made!” -Edith Schaeffer

I don’t want to over-spiritualize the matter of putting up curtains. Our home could be a place of peace if we lived in a single room, used sleeping bags, and ate off of the floor. (A possibility that isn’t out of the question in future Oharah adventures.) Likewise, I have been in perfectly decorated homes that are anything but peaceful. This peace-making isn’t about the beautiful things you get from Hobby Lobby or make from scratch using Pinterest ideas. The peace in our home must not depend on what we put in it, but rather the hearts of those in the home.

But the thing is, we are material people. We live in a material world. And we have homes that are made out material substances. We cannot separate ourselves from this, nor should we try in attempts to reach a more spiritual place where we are above all things material. This philosophy of stuff is dripping with gnosticism error.

Jesus was a carpenter. Jesus made things. And these things were probably furniture for houses. He poured more of his life into the art of making things for the home than He did in public ministry. He didn’t condemn Joseph for devoting his life to such a materialistic calling. He joined him in his craft. And I bet those tables, chairs, benches, and beds were some of the finest quality and most beautiful that Nazareth had seen. IMG_0268IMG_1608photo-6IMG_1607

If we are interested in making peace, if we desire to have a home in which nothing is missing and nothing is broken, I believe we will put an effort into creating a beautiful space. It can be simple. It doesn’t require a trip to Target. We may have to live into the creativity of our maker. But when we make a space whole, we open the door to helping those who dwell in that space live in wholeness. IMG_2621

{I’m an amateur home-maker to be sure. My Pinterest projects have never turned out to be exactly as planned and I often second guess the outcomes of my decorating endeavors. I have gained beautiful inspiration and insight from the following resources.}

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer – If God created then shouldn’t we create? I love her thoughts.

Living a Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard – Simple but insightful ideas on how to create beauty in the home.

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith – I read this while unpacking and moving into our current home. Each chapter was beautiful and inspirational.

My mom and grandmother. They do not have links, but their beautiful homes and eye for decorating have been training me in home decorating all of my life.

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