A blogger I follow was talking the other day about the importance of your home feeling like a sanctuary or, at the very least, having somewhere within your home feel like a sanctuary. (This particular blogger is undergoing massive renovations in their home, so they selected their kitchen and their kids' bedrooms as their "sanctuary".) I love reading about stuff like this because it helps me put into words how I want my home to feel to my family and others. My husband and I are homebodies and my desire for my home has always been for it to feel like a giant exhale as soon as I walk in the door. Do you know what I mean? I don't want to come in the door and feel stressed. No, my home can't take away the stresses of life but it can become something that reminds me what is truly important in life. One of the biggest compliments I've received so far about my home was from my mom a couple weeks ago. She is recovering from a surgery and commented that she enjoyed coming to our house because there are so many cozy areas to relax. My heart rejoiced! :-) But, honestly, that is the exact feeling I want my family and others to have when they visit.
We have been in our current home for almost six months now (which is crazy to me!) and I find myself analyzing what is working and what isn't. For example, we don't need a desk in one of our living rooms. What we need is a bookcase because books evoke happy thoughts for us....and we finally bought the Harry Potter series a couple months ago and our current bookshelves are too full to contain them. Perhaps this seems like a random topic to blog about, especially because it isn't motherhood specific. But as we prepare for winter (aka the season of being inside more) and the holidays, I can't help but think about how to create a home that encourages contentment and joy. Let's be clear--you don't need a fancy home or fancy things or a neat & tidy house for it to be a sanctuary, "Home" and "sanctuary" are absolutely more of a state of mind than a tangible object, but that doesn't mean we can't strive to make our physical space more conducive to feelings of rest and restoration or motivation and inspiration.
Is this the right time to tell you that now that Halloween is done, we'll be putting up a Christmas tree this weekend...? We may or may not have five Christmas trees in our house during the Christmas season (one real with all the sentimental ornaments that we place the presents under and four tall skinny ones that are amazingly cozy--two are used for our Starbucks Christmas ornament collection). Did I mourn losing my beautiful double front doors at our old house for the sole reason of not having as pretty of an entry to decorate at Christmas? One hundred percent. Wait---this is supposed to be a post about making our home a sanctuary. How are we talking about Christmas? OH! Because the Christmas season is the best part of the year!
Ok, getting back on track and leading this train into the station. Creating a sanctuary can and will look different to everyone. Yet I do strongly believe that our physical space and our emotional & mental well being are connected. Will a relaxing home solve all of your problems? No way. But might it offer somewhere to feel safe and that's an important piece of the puzzle.
Light a candle just because. Add a cozy blanket to the couch. Make some cookies. Rearrange your furniture if you're feeling extra motivated. Put up some Christmas decorations! Figure out what will make you exhale when you walk in your front door.
Until next time.