"Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them. While civilization has been improving our homes it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings." -Henry David ThoreauI've been thinking a lot lately about just how important home is to a family, a couple, an individual. Home is where we build our lives and even create change in the world. Every morning when I leave my house for work, I begin counting the hours when I get to come back home. I absolutely love being home! My house is where I feel safe, comfortable, happy, motivated but relaxed, loved, needed, wanted, and the most creative. Joseph and I strive for our house to be more than just a place to lay our heads at night; our home is our refuge. I see so many people strive for wonderful but rather large homes, work long hours, stress to make the mortgage payment and all of this in the name of family. What is the point of having a home if you're never there to enjoy it or the people inside (in our case the animals inside)? The interesting thing; when we lived in our basement apartment we felt just as much love for and longing to be home. We're more concerned about who we're with and what is going on in our home than the actual structure that makes the space we dwell in. Don't get me wrong, it is important to keep a clean home and take care of the dwelling. When my house is out of sorts I feel anxious and know it's time to clean up and put stuff away.
This past weekend we had the kids with us and took the opportunity to talk to them one on one to make sure they are happy when they are with us. We wanted to check in and make sure they knew if there was ever an issue they could come to us. After our talks we found that they all love to be with us and when it's time to go back to Evanston, it's too soon. We try our hardest to let our children be who they're going to be; with guidance of course; I mean children aren't born with good manners, are they? We want our home to be a refuge for them as well.
If you haven't already; look around your house and see what you can do to make it a place you long for during the day. You might want to paint a wall, re-organize your pantry, change your furniture around to create a work space, change the pictures you have hanging on the wall. . . The sky is the limit! Have fun with it and see the transformation happen right before your eyes! Oh and there is one important step you need to take to make your house a refuge: Be there!